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Polaris Amphitheatre (Columbus, Ohio)
August 29, 1996

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--> Brent Garrett's Review
--> Mike Perfect Stranger Figg's Review
--> The Out on the Main Line Review
--> Dale Hesselroth's Mini-Review

The Set List

  1. Hey Hey My My
  2. Pocahontas
  3. Big Time
  4. Slip Away
  5. The Needle and the Damage Done
  6. Heart of Gold
  7. Sugar Mountain
  8. Cinnamon Girl
  9. Fuckin' Up
  10. Cortez The Killer
  11. Music Arcade
  12. Like a Hurricane
  13. Loose Change
  14. Sedan Delivery

Polaris Amphitheatre, August 29, 1996

review by Brent Garrett

It took me most of the next day to recover from TTEDCRF (Ted's Totally Excellent Deer Creek RustFest) and the show, but Columbus was worth it. I went from the rear of the pavilian at Deer Creek to 8th row, center in Columbus.

As many othe people have posted, it's the joy in Neil's and the Horse's eyes that make the show. I've never seen anyone as focused as they were. It was only during Fucking Up that they really acknowledged the audience, with the birds flying all around.

The highlight as mentioned in a few other posts was LAH. It started off much like the previous night, but took off once Neil snapped his last guitar string. Billy had also broken all his strings and was lying prone on the floor, banging on his bass. Neil was smashing his guitar with his hand, coaxing whatever noise he could out of the poor instrument. Every few minutes he made it back to the mike to sing, "I could have loved her...." then went back to making incredible sounds out of his stringless guitar. They finished up with Billy hitting his bass with the power cord to produce sound and Neil holding the end of two strings from his guitar and banging them against his guitar. Totally absorbed by the hurricane. As they finished up, Neil tried to blow out the candle with no luck. It took him about 10 blows before the candle would go out. In the meantime he spilled wax all over the place. He ended up smashing the candle on the stage (Larry C., Electro Tech, picked up the candle as to revive it, but he also ended up smashing the candle to the stage). Between the lights, the sound, and the fury, the hurricane definitely hit.

A great Neilism occurred during the encore. He said (in his usual elequent manner!!), "It's good to be back in Ohio," while setting up his harmonica. A bunch of people in front were going wild and yelling "Ohio!!!!" Neil said, "Settle down, you don't even know what I'm going to play," and proceeded to play Loose Change.

IMHO, volume was not a problem. There was no ringing at all the next day. During the Columbus show, I got to see Spiritualized (a great band by the way, sort of Renaissance meets the Dead) and it was incredibly loud - but there were no people to absorb the sound, only seats.

Greatest concerts. Naaaa. Still doesn't compare to RNS and in the last year Michelle Shocked and John Hiatt (both in much smaller facilities) still take the cake. All in all, though, my batteries are charged and I'm ready to take on life again.


Polaris Amphitheatre, August 29, 1996

review by Mike Perfect Stranger Figg

As expected, Neil was at Polaris tonight, but you all knew that. I didn't have anything to write with so I had to be creative with remembering the set list....

Hey, Hey, My, My; Pocahontas hit the Big Time before she Slipped Away because of The Needle. The Needle made her feel like she had a Heart of Gold, but you know you can't live on Sugar Mountain forever. Cinnamon Girl, on the other hand, was Fuckin' Up with Cortez down at the Music Arcade. All of this resulted in a horendous storm that was Like A Hurricane. It seemed like it was pointless to wait for any more, but Neil came back to pick up a little Loose Change as a result of a Sedan Delivery.
The whole night was a highlight for me, but LAH still stood out. I had expected to hear PowderFinger but it wasn't there (damn curfew). It probably wouldn't have fit in the story anyway. It was a treat meeting a few Rusties, although we weren't organized enough to do much. I met Tom Gyrn early and talked with him for awhile. Brent Garret and then Terry Gardner found me in the upper pavilion before Jewel played. Between Jewel and Neil I met Tom Hanna and found Brent again after losing Tom Gyrn in the crowd. It was great to meet you all. Too bad we didn't have more here.

Jewel was better than her CD, IMHO, but I'm not impressed with the CD anyway. She was worth listening to live, and can definitely yodel up a storm.

Perfect Stranger,

Mike Figg

Polaris, Poncho and More
Polaris Amphitheatre, August 29, 1996

review by Out on the Main Line

So much to write about...
The Polaris show was incredible. Many have talked about LAH, which was unlike anything I've ever experienced, especially since I was directly in front of the speakers pumping out those massive waves of bass and feedback. I literally had to brace myself to keep from being knocked over. Just as good, though, was Fuckin' Up, with Neil, Billy and Poncho leaning and knocking into each other like human bumper cars.

I got to see a couple of rusties at the show (love those shirts), but I was with friends from college I haven't been with for years so I didn't have much time for socializing. I'm planning to get to Star Lake early, and am looking forward to meeting y'all.

Speaking of Star Lake, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran an interview 8/30 with Poncho as a preview to the show. Here's a few highlights:

"When you get back on the Horse, it's like this is the barn, where we belong. Now just pust us out in the field for awhile and we'll romp around."
Sampedro confirms what every armchair guitarist already knows: It is indeed fun to play with Neil Young.
"It is right now. There are times when he's got the dagger in his eyes, man. He gets that glare in his eyes that can just cut you right in half. Then there are tours like this one, when if something goes wrong, he just laughs it off because there's so many good things going on, it's not worth bothering about."
Sampedro isn't sure whether Crazy Horse has picked up many Pearl Jam fans for this tour, because he doesn't spend much time looking out at the crowd.
"I'm busy trying to keep up. When I do loook up it's just a blur. I think I play with my eyes cosed. If I do look out, I find a girl and the next thing I know they've changed songs on me."
See you in Pittsburgh

Out on the Mainline

Loose Change
Polaris Amphitheatre, August 29, 1996

mini-review by Dale Hesselroth

Awesome! Neil came out and said "You guys have been so good, we're going to play one we don't know very well" and then proceeded to play a note-perfect rendition of Loose Change -- with his solos mixed higher than on the CD, and many, many more suble variations through the second half. The first time I heard it (playing overhead as I walked into the record shop to buy BA!), I thought "Oh no, what's this?!" But it grew on me all summer, then to see it live, especially as a climax to everything else that had happened up the that point, WHOA! Powerful, thundering, rythmic background with his solos laced neatly, piercingly among the crashing. Kind of like symphony -- catch the theme early and listen to the artist wonder all over with it, stretching, pulling, playing, but never straying from the main idea. Here's a song he gets lost in and we can hear how his mind works -- as we can in much of his live music -- it's the source of greatest pleasure for me in seeing him perform.

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