<-- Back to the HyperRust Databases        <-- Back to HyperRust Home Page
 <-- Back to Tour96 Page        <-- Back to Performances page

The Gorge (Quincy, Washington), Sept 14, 1996

Jump down to...
--> The John Mortimer Hearseberger Evans Review
--> Kurt Johnson's Review
--> Bud Van Ryn and Kevin Yagle's Review
--> Stephen Changed Mind Golledge's Review
--> Ruben The Great Bullfighter Arellano's Review
--> Don Adair's Review
--> The Bruce Berry Review
--> michael hirano's Review
Also See:
--> The Gorge RustFest
--> Cool dual-review of Neil's & Pearl Jam's Shows. (on another web site)
--> Nolan Zak's Gorge Experience. (on another web site)

The Set List

  1. Hey Hey My My
  2. Pocahontas
  3. Big Time
  4. Slip Away
  5. The Needle and the Damage Done
  6. Long May You Run
  7. Heart of Gold
  8. Sugar Mountain
  9. Cinnamon Girl
  10. Fuckin' Up
  11. Cortez The Killer
  12. Music Arcade
  13. Like a Hurricane
  14. Sedan Delivery
  15. Tonight's The Night
  16. Welfare Mothers
  17. Roll Another Number For The Road
  18. Rockin' In The Free World

The Gorge (Quincy, Washington), Sept 14, 1996

review by John Mortimer Hearseberger Evans


I don't know what to say about the Gorge show other than "Wow!" Being that this was my first Neil Young concert, he and the Horse could have played T-Bone for two hours and I'd still have been in nirvana!

It's about a 3 1/2 hour drive from La Grande, Oregon to the Gorge, so I left about noon on Saturday and had an uneventful but adrenaline- filled trip to a nice viewpoint ten minutes from the venue. I got there about 3:40, and Lost Dog had said we should all meet about 3 p.m. I thought I'd be too late to meet any Rusties, but a great group was still there! I had the pleasure of meeting Clayton Trapp, Mike Joss, Mike Currie the Lost Dog, Ruben Arellano the Great Bullfighter, Brad MORE BARN! Brandeau and his friend Kumi (sp?), Mick Ring, Rick Selby and then Jim Lagerquist as well! Lost Dog made certain I didn't go thirsty, we all signed the MORE BARN banner and then convoyed to the Amphitheater.

Clayton, Brad and Kumi and I weren't staying overnight, so we parked in the big lot and journeyed to the camping area, about 1/4 to 1/2 mile away, to meet the campers. Bruce Berry (aka Mike Durham) showed up, and Steve Golledge came too. Soon Sandra and David Verhoeff from B.C. came by, and then David Mullan (our gracious ticket purchaser/distributor!) Nolan Zak (Campaigner) and Patrick Abadi and three friends were there also.

After some beers and fun conversation, we all gradually made it back over to the parking lot/ concert area. Rustie John Tosch was right about Gorge security... I was not allowed to bring in my water bottle or my bottled coffee drink. I guess they must have figured I was bringing in a bunch of hits of purple microdot in the water and that I would then proceed to use the empty coffee drink bottle as a weapon in a drug-crazed frenzy!   :-)>   (Paranoia strikes deep... actually I can understand them not wanting any broken glass in the venue... but geez....!)

Anyone else get any tour t-shirts? I got the black one with the two-hands/guitar frets design that says "Neil Young" and has the feathers. Nolan and his crew all grabbed their own black ones that have the action shot of The Man! There went most of the rest of my bucks for the evening, but so what, I can stand to lose a few pounds... who needs meal money?   :-)>

Sponge had started playing by then, so I went and found my seat and although I had thought Sponge would suck I enjoyed them quite a bit!

I found my two eastern Oregon friends, Karyl and Adam (Karyl absolutely wants to subscribe to the list! Adam is pretty interested.) They sat to my right, and Brad and Kumi were to my left. Patti Smith was IMHO incredible. Her set lasted about an hour, and she did a lot of spoken word/poetry to a background of very intense psychedlic guitar... Lenny Kaye was in her band, and so was ex-Televison guitarist Tom Verlaine, who sat in a chair at the far left of the stage throughout the set, wearing an interesting looking sort-of fur hat and noodling away on his guitar!

Near the end of Patti's set, a roadie came out and whispered something to her, and then Peter Buck of REM came out and sat in on Not Fade Away. "Oh, just dropped by, and thought since I was in the neighborhood...." ! Patti Smith's set got a pretty warm response for the most part, I thought.

Things were getting pretty exciting now! Neil and The Horse came on about 9:15 if I remember correctly, but I was pretty addled by nerves by then! It had been fun watching the road crew setting up the stage; the organ was back behind the drum set, which sported the jolly roger flag. Several dream catchers hung from the amps on left stage, and atop one amp was a little statuette of a Native American on horseback (it's the popular sculpture/scene I can't think of the name of at this moment) made from what looked like jade. Large white candles were place on stage, maybe about six of them.

Neil was wearing the knee-length baggy shorts and a rather plain-looking greenish-gray short-sleeved shirt, short black socks with Nike logos, and what looked like cross-trainer shoes. He looked comfortable. Billy was dressed in white for the most part; he had a light white jacket over a Rage Against The Machine t-shirt. Pancho had on a t-shirt with a picture of Hendrix. I couldn't see much of Ralph, just a head with a black baseball cap on backwards and arms everywhere around the drums!

The next two and a quarter hours were like an ecstatic blur; Billy in his semi-trance state, playing his bass as if he was under some kind of spell, opening his eyes now and then, contorting his face here and there... Pancho was laughing a lot, having a wonderful time... and Neil was absolutely incredible, playing his guts out the entire time... despite a more-or-less steady rain for the last 3/4 of the show! Ralph would hit a crash cymbal and a spray of water would explode from it... the candles had to be re-lit periodically... when Neil would stomp, water would splash up sometimes. Everybody got wet, but it mattered not!

I am not good at remembering setlists... that is best left for others to relate later. My personal highlights were Like A Hurricane, Big Time and Fucking Up, although it was all fantastic! And some of the endings were amazing... Neil and the guys were getting into some pretty avant-garde goings on, i.e. pounding on guitars with fists, Neil busting a bunch of strings and beating what strings were still attached with the broken ones, and retiring Old Black for the night by pouring on a large splash of candle wax... ! He would sing a few lines of songs while all this was going on... almost in self- parody?

The endings I remember mostly were from Like A Hurricane, Fuckin' Up and Rockin' In The Free World.... wow! Anyone who taped the show, PLEASE contact me!   :-)>   (especially if you got it on video!   :-)>

The acoustic numbers were beautifully done, and I never cease to be amazed by Neil's harmonica playing abilities...

So, watching a couple of hours of The Horse having a blast while Neil stomped, jack-knifed, spun, gyrated, jumped, contorted, catharted sweated and did what he does best... only serves to confirm what I have known for the past 29 or 30 years: Neil rules!

After the show, I waited for Brad, who had an errand to run, but got chased away from near the stage by the security folks. I also got to meet Todd Devries, Jon Osterberg, Don Leary and Barbara Hardaway and Kurt among others. Bill Booth, Mirror Bill, The Prisoner, Jason, Matt, Mathew and any other NW Rustfolks in the Rows, I will meet you too one day!

The trip home was long. Long enough that I started falling asleep at the wheel, so about two hours short of La Grande I stopped at a Motel 6 (Motel Sux) for about five hours of sleep (I couldn't sleep longer because I was still too wired!)

And I'm not wired now, either, eh! People who are wired don't sit and blabber aimlessly for this long now, do they?   :-)>

Actually, I'm wired for the rest of my life! Thanks Brad, thanks David Mullan, thanks everybody, and THANKS NEIL!!!!!

many cheers,

John W. Evans (Mort)
aka Mortimer Hearseberger

Journey Through The Past ...or...
How I freaked out at THE GORGE

review by Kurt Johnson

Well, Here I sit back in New Brunswick, jet-lagged, tired, spaced out and still fucking pumped.

First, an update. I was that Major Groveller who had a west coast business trip fall in his lap and who pleaded for both a ticket and a ride from the Rust Community. The Rust Community came through BIG TIME and it was all meant to be.

First of all thanks to Lost Dog's (Mike Currie's) wife who did not go to the show. I got her ticket! It is my personal opinion the ticket went to the right person. Thanks to Lost Dog who couriered the ticket to me so it was in my hand on Thursday. And, thanks to Barb Hardaway who responded to my pleas for a ride almost immediately. Fucking Saints, I tell you.

So, I get on the ferry in Victoria on Saturday morning and my adrenaline is beginning to flow. I meet up with some YOUNGsters who are heading to the show. They know not of RUST but are on their own pilgrimage. So half of the time is spent in the lounge with these "kids" ( "...and I'm getting old") listening to one fellow play some real nice guitar and singing along. The other half was spent on the deck watching the Puget Sound go by and singing Neil (ask me for my set list).

Get to the dock. Catch a cab and to my hotel. God, it is all happening. Get my key and an extremely piercing alarm goes off. Everyone out in the street, it is not a test (Well, I used to be a fireman). The Fire Dept came and I sat there for 15 minutes thinking "I will not let this fuck anything up". Just as I am about to get a room at the hotel across the street, they let us in. Rush upstairs and call Barb Hardaway. Yes, she is there and my ride is still on. I love you Barb!!!

Barb's daughter was coming also, but her ogre of a boss was making her work 'til 4:00. So, I met Barb a bit earlier and we burbled around a bit 'til it was time to head off. Off we went and headed to the Gorge. Nice ride full of Neil and Neil-related banter. Let me tell you, that car has a hell of a heating system. We got there about 7:15.

The Gorge is kind of a weird place. I mean it is totally in the middle of nowhere ("Everybody knows this is..."). Kind of like the movie Field of Dreams - "build it and they will come". We park and by now I am rising off the ground in a Pre-Neil, internally driven drugged state. I make a decision to leave my raincoat in the car. A real inspired decision.

We funnel into the sight like cattle. I go for a bottled water and then head for the seat. The place is pretty different than I expected, as I'd expected a "shed" like Saratoga or Great Woods (I had seen Neil there a few weeks earlier). No, this was totally open with fold-up, movable seats. I had a fleeting thought that maybe I should have brought my rain coat. Nah! I get down to section C, row 6, seat 4 and it is heavenly. I'm at about "2:00", from the Neil's viewpoint, about 30-40 feet from his Rustiness. Oh lord, it was a good seat.

I meet Lost Dog, Steve and a couple others and Patti Smith is starting her set. Pretty calm at first with her acoustic guitar. That did not last long. She is definitely a wild woman who appears quite on the edge of it all. Pretty soon she is wailing away and the band lets loose. Peter Buck showed up and they did kind of a Deadsy Fade Away. I really liked it and was figuring this would certainly inspire Neil to great heights. Bingo.

In between sets, I metd a few more great Rusties. I wish I would have made an effort to meet John and the others but I was a bit too excited to think straight. About 9:15 the Nazi's told us to get to our seats and soon we were off on a musical ride. Like I said, I had seen Neil at Great Woods a few weeks earlier. I had seen him once before that in '83 with the Shocking Pinks. So, I knew what to expect. Time for my education to begin.

Almost as soon as Neil and CH started, so did the rain. Light rain at first. From the first note this seemed like it was to be a special evening. Correct. What a great view. God, he was facing right at me and so close. The volume -- perfect. Deafening but not lethal. It was a Pocahontas night which was fine with me, since I had gotten Powderfinger at Great Woods. Other than that, the set list was the same as GW through the acoustic set.

It has been mentioned that Neil had a "writers block" during LMYR. Actually, it was a long one. And it does seem to me that he was playing with us Rusties' heads when he announced "bonus song" and began a fairly long amble into some chord changes. We guessed Interstate and this and that. But then he goes into Heart of Gold and gives a particularly devilish smile. Messing with our minds, I tell you.

Fucking Up was particularly inspired with some extra little fun verses. By the time Hurricane came, it was definitely not raining lightly. The Techies were covering this and that with plastic. Let me tell you, not only did the rain not matter, it made it better. I really got the feeling that Neil was feeling something like "These folks are enduring some discomfort out there so I am gonna muster up a little extra special". He was even more possessed than usual. Hurricane is best in the driving rain I tell you. Unfuckingbelievable.

The encore really was magnificent. Sedan Delivery just plain shows these guys have more fun than seems humanly possible. That was THE BEST TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT I HAVE EVER HEARD!!! It started off kind of bluesy and spooky like the side-2 original and proceeded from there to Weld-like destruction. Roll Another Number was great but I was getting nervous that this would be it. But then Welfare Mothers came up next -- I was so glad he played this one. I think the boys were really getting off on how loud we were all singing. (I still really don't have much of my voice back!)

At his point I was so soaking wet that I took my flannel off and was just in my Rust@Death shirt in the rain. Not cold at all, however. Neil was flapping his soaking wet shirt at his strings adding a new technique to his arsenal. Last but not least was Rockin' In The Free World in which the Star Spangled Banner morphed into chaos and into Taps. Nice touch.

The thing about this concert was, when it was over I think I'd really had it. I had been "dancing" almost all night. My dancing is akin to my down-hill skiing. Not very pretty, out-of-control, on the edge and dangerous. Also very exhausting. Neil is in far superior shape than I am, but I tried to keep up. By the time it was done, there was no doubt he had given us his all.

What next? We headed over to the RUST Camp which Lost Dog assured us was "five minutes away". We soon came to the conclusion there is a world of difference between "Pre-Neil time" and "Post-Neil time". Especially when it's "soaked-and-cold-post-Neil time". Anyway, we hung out for a bit and then headed off.

Thanks to the Rusty who drove us to Barbs car, which we finally found. The ride home was long, because:

  • it was raining
  • the lane markers were poor
  • it was often foggy
  • there is a 45 mile downhill to Seattle and we were a bit paranoid about Barb's car hydroplaning
Slow and steady. Barb and I took turns driving and talked the whole way. I got to bed about 5:00am, got up at noon and headed off at 5:00pm (Pacific Time) for a major Red-Eye that got me home at noon the next day. Tired? Yes. Happy? Oh yea!!.

Now I hear Neil will do another leg in Canada. He is coming to St. John, which is an hour from my house. Oh, lord here we go again. Stay tuned for news of a St. John RustFest...

I must be doing something right in this life.


The Gorge (Quincy, Washington), Sept 14, 1996

review by Bud Van Ryn and Kevin Yagle

Whew! What a night at the Gorge! Rain or shine indeed. About a third of the way through Neil and Crazy Horse's act, the wind and rain arrived ... on-time, as promised. Well, everyone just donned rain gear and hung in there. The rain came from behind and (of course) above, and those of us deep on the bowl floor of the ampitheatre were fairly immune from its worst effects. That can't be said for the band. The storm came at them head on, horizontal rain gusts soaking the stage and everything on it. Within minutes they and their equipment were sloppy wet.

Neil stomped around the soggy stage, his wispy thin cotton-candy hair limp and matted, his grunge t-shirt and baggy shorts and black high-top tennies soaked through. Spray splatted from every stomped puddle. Ralph Molina's crashing cymbals gave off mist shards mimicing their sound. No mistaking it. These guys and their million watts of equipment were wet and getting wetter.

Two thoughts hit me with succeeding levels of discomfort:

  • They'll get electrocuted
  • They'll shorten the show, or quit! Neither happened.

    If anything, Neil (who clearly calls the shots) reveled in the adverse conditions, fitfully stomping around the stage, milking his Les Paul for every possible improvisational honk and squeal and stun-buzz feedback, on every song. And not only didn't they shorten the show, the encore went on for five songs -- including Roll Another Number, Tonight's the Night, and Rockin' in the Free World. Neil seemed to be drawing energy literally out of the wind-charged rainstorm, taking it in, processing it, throwing it back out over the speakers to the wet but rapt audience.

    The moment turned magic and mystical. Neil had me transfixed. I was born again. In the face of a storm that might fry him black, right in its teeth, Neil reached back and went wild. His voice was strong. He sang well. And his display of guitar wizardry, his pogo-dance frenetic playing, was matched by his stamina and energy. He was a man possessed ...a madman. And he held us all in the palm of his hand, the balm of his music.

    The Gorge is a spectacular setting, a natural rock ampitheatre on a high desert plateau stepping up from the Columbia River far below. It's smack in the middle of Washington State, about equidistant from Seattle and Spokane and a long way from anywhere civilized. The seemingly incredible distances needing to be travelled, by car and then by foot, to see Neil perform in this raw desert setting, draped a strong feeling of pilgrimage and worship over the evening. We were all on a haj to worship at the altar of rock and roll, with Neil Young the wizard-shaman-rabbi.

    The Gorge is a visually and aurally stunning venue. Its stratified red rock outcroppings stand out in sharp contrast to the blue river and cloud-mottled sky. The sound from the huge stage speaker banks is loud but not painful, traveling outward, gathered nicely into the huge outdoor bowl and fed up into the sky. But, the place is way too inconvenient for a bladder-challenged bloke like me. Pissing is a major, uphill, time-spending chore, and I had to undertake the arduous journey in the dark more than once. We also had to stand all night long, as the metal folding chairs were quickly soaked while everyone was already standing through Neil and Crazy Horse anyway.

    But what really bothered me, beyond the stoned anxiety about the rain, my bladder, and the band's safety, was the nagging realization that I really didn't want to be there in the 13th row of the audience listening to the music. I wanted to be up on stage doing it.

    (Imagine Neil's life: Huge ranch, world traveler, the finest of venues and accommodations while on the road. The Adulation of millions and the millions from the adulators. A reported $8 million net from this tour alone.)

    Ah well, I got some small satisfation from playing Neil songs in the parking field before the concert. The sweet drunk woman in the R.V. parked next to us liked my playing. So did Kevin. More than a few passersby smiled and nodded approval. So that felt good despite a disappointiningly short tailgate party. Not much chance for interaction or conversation once everyone was packed into the audience and the music started.

    Anyway, bottom line: Wet and wild. And a funny illusion when the stage lighting was low that it wasn't raining at all. Didn't really cop any licks, but got inspired to play and sing harder, with more passion and elan. Like Neil. And the pieces of the night all clicked into place there in the tunnel-vision, rain-soaked colors of the stage during a blistering Sedan Delivery. It hit me like an hallucination. The stage, the audience, the very night all jumped to the music. We were all Neil's children. He and Crazy Horse were up onstage comanding the storm, harnessing its energy and feeding it back through the speakers. But Neil was in charge. He was the Master of Ceremonies. He was Bernard Shakey, primal instigator.

    The Gorge (Quincy, Washington), Sept 14, 1996

    review by Stephen Changed Mind Golledge

    A totally fantastic 1st "Neil Live" experience. Lots of rain, tho, which is not a plus in an outdoor venue like the Gorge. But nobody seemed to mind, not even Neil & Crazy Horse. Even though the roof over the stage is too high to be completely effective.

    Neil talked a bit:

  • Before The Needle and the Damage Done he said "I'll be with ya in a minute."

  • During Long May You Run he forgot the words to the "Beach Boys" verse!: "I'm having a writer's block. Well, you know...It's been worse."

  • At one point he said, "Bonus song time, folks" then played a few bars of something I didn't recognize. Someone said "Interstate!" but then he went into HOG.

    Some random comments about the show:

  • Same stage setup -- the skull and crossbones, pump organ, carnations in the vase were all there. Same outfits. No MORE BARN! shirts.

  • HHMM, Pocahontas, Big Time were fantastic. Perfect. During BT I thought about the "Briggs funeral" thread; the pace was slow and heavy, like a dirge.

  • It seemed to me that the beginning of Slip Away was a bit muddled, as if they couldn't find each other. During the jam it started to rain.

  • The acoustic set was great. This version of SM was new to me, sometimes could barely recognize it. At one point he was picking notes in a way that gave a banjo-like effect.

  • The following electric set was ELECTRIFYING: again struck by the slow pace of CG. Fuckin Up was faster. Cool to watch them bump into each other during FU.

  • Strummed with his thumb on MA.

  • LAH was also right on, musically and theatrically. The broken strings on Old Black's pickups, the wax dump, the dance with the candle, then singing through the flame. He took the candle to Pancho, who had his shades on and had to wipe off the keyboard with a towel once. It looked like Pancho and Billy were also singing through the candle and trying to blow out the flame. Then Neil took it away, blew it out, and set it down.

  • Loved the lighting effects on the pump organ.

  • For me the energy hit a maximum during the encore set. Again, they were ON IT. TTN just blew me away. Towards the end Neil was slapping his open flannel shirt against the strings. LIVE MUSIC IS BETTER!!!

  • Welfare Mothers was "short"--no playing around between Neil and Pancho.

  • RITFW was also fantastic.

  • Neil broke out of the feedback at the end and I thought another song was coming. But then he played Taps, broke the strings and started walking across the stage, waving. When he reached Pancho he looked at the candle at stage front and suddenly ran to it, dived onto his knees and blew it out. Then over to the other candle in front of his spot, blew it out, and walked back across the stage, smiled, and waved and was gone.

    More another time about the Rustfest (Thanks Lost Dog), security Nazis, and the losers behind us who yelled "Sit down, faggot!" at the guy who stood just before Neil came on. Guess there must have been lotsa faggots there because EVERYONE stood when Neil & CH showed, and stayed on their feet for every second. Anyway the seats were too wet...

    One last thing for now: Patti Smith ROCKED, too! Mr. Buck of REM fame joined in for her finale. The openers, Sponge, sounded pretty tight, but I was still working my way to my seat and missed most of their set. I'd like to hear what other folks thought of them.

    Changed Mind

    The Gorge (Quincy, Washington), Sept 14, 1996

    review by Ruben The Great Bullfighter Arellano

    As everyone else probably agrees, the show was Amazing! It was my second show ('93 virgin), but never so close! When I got to row 6 and looked up at Patti Smith, all I could say was "Holy Shit!" I'll make a few additions to the previous reviews:

  • Mike Joss and I had a little 'fun' getting across the border from Canada to Washington. As we were getting questioned by the border officer, all was well as we seemed to 'pass' the endless array of questions (Where ya' phrum? Citazenship? Where ya' goin'? etc.), until he came to the question: "How do ya' know each uther?" Mike replied: "The Internet" "The Internet?!?" "That's right." The guard got out of his booth and attempted to see into the van's darkened windows, but to no avail. So he gave us a card and said "park over on the left and go inside to the Customs counter." So we did as we were told. The customs officer had some more questions for us (Do you have your concert ticket? Do you have any oranges? No oranges? But no oranges? Do you have your keys?). He then took Mike's keys and searched through his van and our stuff -- smart guy, he even looked in the overhead light cover. (!)   :-}   Needless to say, we made it out (in?) alright. . .

  • Highlights of the show included:
    • The look on Lost Dog's face when he got out of the car at the 'meeting spot'.
    • Mike Joss 'rubber-gloving' MBD
    • Fucking Up!
    • Like a Hurricane was amazing -- both the intro and the ending.

  • As far as video tapes of the show go, I did notice someone in the audience (the aisle between B&C, around row 8C) had a video camera rolling -- let's hope it gets out... I took some photos with my 'non-proffessional' (and tempermental!) camera, but I'll have to see if any turned out.

  • During a song (Fucking Up?), someone threw a heavy chain up on stange and Pancho hung it from the head of his guitar for the rest of the show.

  • I noticed Neil recoiled his left hand in apparent pain, but continued playing with no difficulty. Which hand was the 'rumoured' Irvine Cut on?

  • The solo at the end of RITFW started with bits of The Star Spangled Banner, and ended with Taps (amoungst the rest of the chaotic, rythmic thunder).

  • The end of the candle theatrics of Fuckin' Up! was marked by Neil smashing the candle on the stage (at one point it looked to me like he wanted to pour wax on Old Black, but the lab-coat techie rushed out and took it out of Neil's hands)

  • The lighting effects on the organ reminded me of a scene from the musical The Phantom of the Opera.

    Unfortunately, there was little opportunity to put the MORE BARN banner up during the show., and after the show, Lost Dog and I tried to get Zeke to see it, but he was very busy and totally ignored the audience -- there was a photo taken of us holding it up in front of the stage, though.

    I still can't beleive how close I was to the stage. . . .

    -------{=* The Great Bullfighter *=}-------

    The Gorge (Quincy, Washington), Sept 14, 1996

    review by Don Adair

    Good morning, oops, afternoon now, to y'all.

    Neil and the Horse in the rain last night at the Gorge -- wonderful, overpowering -- so good that no one (and I mean almost literally no one) left before the 11:40 final curtain, despite the fact that most of the show was played in steady rain. We were all soaked but happy. No questions were asked about the dance/no-dance dilemma, cuz no one sat down, ever. Not even during the acoustic set.

    The show was long -- 2 1/2 hours by my reckoning and we got a long encore set: Sedan Delivery, Welfare Mother, RANFTR, Rockin' in the Free World (where there more, note-takers?)

    Some impressions:

  • Big Time. This is going to become one of my favorites. Great on the album, even better live. Rich, deeply textured, compelling lyrics. Love the stuff about the ocean's daughter.

  • Cortez. In some ways the musical highlight for me. Neil's getting a beautiful, bell-like tone out of his guitar on this song, and it rings pure and true through the band's churning groove. Crystalline and very cool.

  • Tonight's the Night. What a great song. I don't even want to say anything more about it than that. Made me plug the CD into the player after the show.

  • LAH. Furious, dramatic, urgent. Slickened by the rain, the bobbing heads and shoulders of the folks in front of me flashed like stabs of lightning in the bursts of light from the stage. Love the sight of Neil hunched over old black, pummeling it but still making beautiful/brutal sounds.

  • Slip Away. Failed to do anything for me. The only time during the show that the rain bothered me.

    I was disappointed that he pulled back his reins somewhat following the Irvine show -- we didn't get Barstool Blues, Stupid Girl, The Loner or Mr. Soul. We did get an acoustic Music Arcade, which Neil played as a freestanding acoustic piece, several songs after his scheduled acoustic break.

    Was it the NY Times reviewer who compared Neil's solos to those of John Coltrane? And I remember a poster to Rust who talked about Neil going inside to find that perfect note. Seems to me these thoughts are both right on. It's almost as if the songs he chooses as vehicles are immaterial to what he's trying to accomplish right now on a purely musical level. Some of the eerie chants over the extended concluding jams are sheer genius. He's operating at some times on a level that goes way beyond the literal or the logical...it's pure emotion. Theatrical, sure, but gripping and very moving.

    I love the way Neil plays with the Horse -- not out front in the spotlight, but back with the guys, all of them pounding away and swimming, as we now know they call it. It's such an anti-star trip thing.

    BTW, a mysterious figure joined the band stage right for the first few numbers, to play piano and bang a tambourine. We were too far away, and he was too much in the dark,for us to tell who it was. Anyone know?

    Have fun, you guys, in Concord and Sacramento. Wish I could be there, too.

    Don, thinking I have to get a handle one of these days.

    The Gorge (Quincy, Washington), Sept 14, 1996

    review by Bruce Berry

    I just got back from the Gorge show. MAN O MAN. I can't repeat the set list but I'll give some of the highlights of the night.

    I met a lot of other Rusties at the campground before the show. Lost Dog had the MORE BARN Banner where you couldn't miss it, plus there were many MORE BARN! shirts there, I knew that I was at the right place. I can't remember a lot of the other Rusty names, but I do remember meeting (forgive me if spellings and handles are a little off): Mike Currie (Lost Dog), John Evans (Mortimere Hearstberger), Dave Mullen, Motorcycle Mama (unofficial handle) & friends, Brad (of MORE BARN! fame) and many others that I can't remember.

    We were told that you cannot play music in the "quiet section" of the campground, so we moved over about 50 feet to the "loud section" of the campground. It's kind of ridiculous that you can't play music "quietly" at 5PM in a campground full of a bunch of concert goers just before a Neil concert. Actually I think it was just a part time minimum wage employee with a chip on his shoulder relative of Clyde Merrit that had to show us HE IS RELEVANT.

    Had alot of fun at the Rust-Fest!

    At the concert I sat next to Barb Hardaway & daughter. Also met Don Leary & Dave Seigler there.

    What normally might be considered a bummer, but what actually made it one of the most memorable concerts of my life, was The Rain. (That, and the 6th row seats.:) It rained throught most of the concert, but IT WAS GREAT! You could tell Neil loved it too. The rain was blowing almost horizonally towards the stage, right into the band's face. The lights really made the rain visible and seem more intence than it really was.

    One thing I really remember is that during Like A Hurricane the rain and wind seem to pick up and you could see the rain splattering off Neil's guitar and face. And everytime Ralph hit a cymbal, water would splash up into the lights. He seemed to like the rain, kinda like a little kid stompin around in the water. I have never seen Neil so energetic.

    He played 5 encores: Welfare Mamas, Roll Another Number, Tonight's The Night, RITFW and I know there's another one but I can't remember it at the moment. I'm positive there were five. During the "K O R I T F W" verse he pointed towards where the MORE BARN Banner was. I couldn't see if the banner was up at that time, but he was definitly pointing to the Rustrow.

    His acoustic set in the middle of the show was: TNATDD, Long May You Run, Heart Of Gold and Sugar Mountain. In the middle of Long May You Run I noticed that he was strumming a little longer on the D chord between verses than normal -- then he said, smiling, "I'm having a writer's block." He strummed for a while then went back into the song. You could hear some of the audience shouting out the next verse for him.

    All and all it was EXCELLENT! I wish I was going to the Sacramento & Concord shows. Now I've got to get ready for Monday morning   :(

    Bruce Berry **I Came Here To Sing And work**

    The Gorge (Quincy, Washington), Sept 14, 1996

    review by michael hirano

    the gorge show was pretty amazing. neil kicked. so did patti. it's only the second time i've seen neil and the first with the horse. the first time i'd been to the gorge as well. what a venue.

    most beautiful number. long may you run

    most humerous moment. overhearing some teenagers talking about who the hell patti smith was. one said, "i think she's some country singer."

    favorite solo. sedan delivery. dripping with simple passion that just resonates something in me. the bruce solo in ttn was pretty amazing too.

    most profound moment. neil's heartfelt, passionate recitation of the chorus from like a hurricane amidst the cacophany of circling light, crashing sound, driving wind and rain. i think i'll relive that moment every time i hear the song.

    other stuff.
    neils star spangled banner. awesome, but i wanted it to be longer.
    tonights the night. chilled my spine. but wanted it to be longer too.
    i, too, was blown away by tom verlaine.
    i never realised that patti was such a good spitter. wanted an encore from her, and thought she had the crowd support to do one.

    Q: what was the set piece up centre? i saw something shrinelike but neil and ralphs drum kit blocked my view.

    Q: close to the end of hhmm, neil said something to johnny rotten. what did he say?

    Q: did anyone else think that it wasn't loud enough? the sound was great, but i wanted it louder. i wanted neil's tubes to vibrate my chest. my ears didn't ring afterwards which, i suppose is a good thing for my high frequency hearing, but i can't help thinking i missed something in the experience. i didn't even think about reaching for my earpluggs. i don't remember going to a loud show where this happened before.


     <-- Back to the Tour 96 page        <-- Back to the Performances page
     <-- Back to the HyperRust Databases        <-- Back to HyperRust Home Page