Direct bookmark: http://HyperRust.org/Tour97/?R44
(updated Friday, 19-Jun-2009 07:19:10 EDT)
I had a wonderful experience... It all started Sunday morning when I left Seattle and cruised on down to Portland, dodging all of the speed traps and avoiding the really nasty traffic. I almost forgot how to use my brakes for 3 hours -- 185 miles (296 KM) in 3 hrs 5 minutes -- Not bad.
I got to the venue and we were parked across the street from the main entrance in a dirt field -- for free. (I thought this was good), I looked around and checked out the children -- (teens and twenties) -- they could have been my children, if I had started at their age. These kids were dressed more or less like I dressed at the same teen stage. But their shoes are better.
I heard that they were going to open the venue at 1 pm (and not 2 pm like posted at the web site) so I got in line, having faith that Jack would make it up from Corvalis and find me in line. He was there in 5 or 10 minutes. (Way cool and black Hawaiian shirt.) At last, someone my own age... We traded my extra ticket, three ones, 4 quarters and a half melted chocolate for 2 crisp $20's. (The joys of motherhood are not to be under rated!)
Then who comes strolling by, in a MORE BARN! t-shirt? More Barn Brad, and his girl friend Kumi! Naturally we started talking, and since this was family, invited them into line with us. (The line eventually reached the length of the race track and up the parking lot). We had a real nice chat and finally, well after 1, the line started to move. "No bottles, cans, food or cameras"! Jack and Brad were busted and had to return their stuff to their cars.
Got a schedule at the gate (a nice little keepsake) -- said everything to start at 2:15 and end by 9:45 !!!! (So much for my little hand written schedule and Jack's cool print out from the web site.)
I headed in and straight for the Chem-toilets (it was a long trip and wait in line). Then cruised on over and got some lunch -- pretty good chicken taco salad, a real bargain for $5. Sat down near the main stage and ate it. Nearly got done when up came Brad, who grabbed my chair and took me over to the little stage, where I saw Neil's chair! Neil's Guitar! Neil's harmonica stand! And (the guys said) Neil's guitar tech and sound tech (I believed every word).
The DAT taper was all set up. We waited and waited... The guitar tech played a really excellent version of Test One Two -- and got a nice round of applause. The clock said 2:15 or later and there was music from the 2nd stage. Then mass sadness! The guitar tech picked up Neil's chair and guitar and left! (He came back for the harmonicas, and left again.) We members of the Cult of Neil commiserated, and then we left.
Oh yeah -- I met some Rusty who drove down from Victoria with his brother and cousin (I think they flew to Victoria from Calgary), and I met Eric, who had a nice woman with him.
I checked out the shopping opportunities and bought a t-shirt that looks like a beer label -- El Caballo Loco (only $23). Big sadness: no train tent -- and I love trains (I have 3 train sets, little HO sets).
About the music... The first group -- Haale -- sounded like the lead singer had studied at the School of Grace Slick (or maybe Wendy O Williams). Not bad. But I was too far away to really get a good listen.
Then nearly as soon as the last chord died out from stage 2, Toad the Wet Sprocket started at the Main stage. These guys are really tight and polished -- I will have to look into their stuff.
(I wandered around some , got a fruity drink. It was VERY hot and muggy and I need something besides water to cool me off -- I drank 3 liters of water at the venue!)
Sky Cries Mary came next -- they are really different. I think they would be really great in a more intimate setting. I met up with Jack again, chatted a bit about how the more things change the more they stay the same.
Squirrel Nut Zippers (named for the candy?) were next, their first song sounded like a cross of Salsa and Reggae, then they did some big band swing type songs. These guys don't sound like anyone else!
Then Kumi came up and said "It is happening." Away we go to the little tent, and sure enough, there's Neil's guitar, harmonicas and guitar tech! The tech pours coke into a cup for Neil. The Security guys come out and shooo us back a little and sit down. Not a DAT taper in sight!
Just as SNZ finishes, on comes Neil (so I can't tell you anything about Leftover Salmon) It is about 4:40 pm and Neil walks in in black shorts and a black t-shirt. He has "Seattle Tan" legs (also known as "fish belly white"). He looks great for 52. He sits down and says "Would Pegi Young please bring her shopping list to the Workshop stage..."
I look around and our little crowd has grown to hundreds. I am inside the tent, maybe 10 feet from Neil and this is my first live Neil!!!!! Others have posted the set list -- so I will add that he was real relaxed -- he was grooving on the love and attention from us and giving it all back. The best 20 minutes in the world -- worth the entire ticket price.
I was in a daze of joy -- I hugged all of the local Rusties (their wives and girlfriends were very tolerant). Then I met Schoobie and Scott with the Banner. We laid it out on the grass and a lot of people asked about it. We talked at length about the Internet and Rust.
Big Head Todd and the Monsters came on. (Each group seemed louder than the last.) They have a lot of energy and seem to be going places, just not to my place.
Jack wanted to hear Morphine and I wanted to get a good patch of ground for Neil, so I heard Ben Folds Five from afar. A lot of excellent violin and innovative sound. I also would like to hear them in a more intimate venue.
Back at the Main Stage: Primus -- with sound set on 12! My bones were bouncing! The mosh pit was intimidating... They played for an hour and the crowd was singing, dancing and playing air guitar -- these guys have loyal following. They played a very bass, very minimal, very tight sound. The lead singer has a lot of bass or cello fingering and uses silence very well.
Then Morphine. These guys are very good, but I was working my way to center stage. That's when I again met Brad, Scott and Erich, plus their lovely wives, girl friends, etc. Brad moved us about 6 feet more east, and Neil and Crazy Horse came on and just blasted -- Hey Hey My My!!! All eyes and ears on Neil!
I have to say the Hippie Dream was the ultimate version, transcending anything I have ever heard from Neil. The rest of the set is described in detail in other reviews -- I was blown away by all of it! I love Slowpoke. Cortez the Killer was...killer.
Don't Spook The Horse -- such a cool song. Why have I missed this one? Neil did some song with harmonica while the guitar tech wisked off Neil's guitar and did something to it. I liked the song, but something was wrong, like missing instrumentation or something. Neil said something like: What was that?? Guess I won't be doing that again!
All too soon Neil left the stage, but there was hope. He came back to do the most energetic, totally blasted away Throw your Hatred Down. It ended with Neil's patented blast and wail finish, with Frank's guitar wailing feedback all alone on the stage. It was over.
We tried to get pictures, but I lost the guys in the crowd, so I left. I found a flea bag hotel, got out of my soaking wet jeans and shirt, had a long hot shower, and dropped off to sleep (a really rare occurance).
(lots more to be added when I can... --RE*AC*TOR)