<prev<      >next>
Show Reviews
Direct bookmark: http://HyperRust.org/Tour97/?R59
(updated Friday, 19-Jun-2009 07:19:32 EDT)

The Catalyst
Santa Cruz, May 19, 1997

Jump down to...
--> Steve Portigal's Early Reports
--> Bob Gunn's Review with help from Bill Shaw
--> Ken Shick's Report on How It Ended
Also See:
--> The show details.

The set list

    First Set
  1. Big Time
  2. Modern World     [New Song]
  3. I'm The Ocean
  4. Razor Love
  5. Cinnamon Girl
  6. Hippie Dream
  7. Horseshoe Man     [New Song]
  8. Throw Your Hatred Down
  9. Out Of Control     [New Song]
  10. Downtown

    Second Set

  11. Act Of Love
  12. Truth Be Known
  13. Hard Luck Stories
  14. Crime In The City
  15. Don't De Denied
  16. Cortez The Killer
  17. Modern World     [New Song, again]
  18. Piece Of Crap
  19. Hey, Hey, My, My

The Catalyst
Santa Cruz, May 19, 1997

early reports by Steve Portigal
(Tue, 20 May 1997 01:33:50 PDT)
It was awsome!

Wonderful show tonite. Billed as Hippie Dream, Neil and the Horse rocked the Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz. Personal highlights were the last song: Hey Hey My My (or vice versa) which I have never seen them do electric. Wow. Piece of Crap. Don't Be Denied. Crime in the City. Truth Be Known. Downtown.

I really enjoyed myself.

(Tue, 20 May 1997 08:43:26 PDT)

Well I have TRIED To sleep it off (hell, am I groggy this AM) and still no one else has posted. I know several people from the list where there, so what's up people? Doesn't anyone post from their living room?

Anyway, I'm still reeling.

Razor Love - elicited big cheers when Neil holds that one lyric and his voice goes all high (silhouettes in the windowwwwwwww)

Twice played either a cover or a new song - Neil wears the tele but doesn't play it but dances around crazily playing harp, a very sixties good-feeling song about we've gotta change (we've got change) the way we live... communication between boy and girl, oh yeah.

There were two more new songs - one on guitar (which I can't remember anything about) and one piano (that I didn't think came off too well).

Neil had a music stand which he was using to check out some words - and not for new songs, he read ALL of Act of Love off this stand.

It was interesting to see Neil cue the band for shifting to a bridge.

Some dude who someone must know the name of hung around on stage, playing a bit keyboards (very low key) and tambourine sometimes.

A pedal steel was set up, but not used.

No Hurricane.

Only acoustic guitar showed up when Pancho used it - damn, I forget the song.

Someone else post something, damnit!


The Catalyst
Santa Cruz, May 19, 1997

review by Bob Gunn
added comments by Bill Shaw

Neil wore baggy dark shorts, a denin shirt over a black Harley tee and a backwards ball cap -- how does he think up this stuff?!   ;-)   In breaking with recent tradition, he wore white socks. (Trivial you say? -- someone always asks...)

I'll add to this: The shorts were a kind of Hawaiian print pair of "Life's a Beach" baggies, the Harley shirt was from Winnipeg, and the baseball cap was a Ministry cap. I was up close and noticed every detail.   ;-)
SantaCruz really is Hippie-central. No matter how you approach the city, you see signs (traffic signs) that direct you to *Downtown* (where the hippies all go). If you follow them you end up at the Catalyst.

An acoustic band (mandolin, standup bass, acoustic guitar) named Harmony Grits played a short (40 min?) set to begin. The Cat often has a happy hour band playing in the patio section of the club. I figure someone told these guys "No happy hour tonight -- wanna open for Neil & the Horse instead?"

Harmony Grits are a great local bluegrass band who have been around for years, They are normally a 4-piece but last night their dobro player wasn't present so the other 3 went on without him. Last time I saw the Grits at the Catalyst about a month ago they did a nice cover of Harvest!! So they are definitely Neil fans and I'm sure loved the show as much as anybody there.
The Big Time opener was crisp, crunchy and appropriate -- so many of the references in songs (both subtle and obvious) really resonate when you hear them in Neil's 'hood. "Gonna take it state by state, till I hit the Golden Gate..."

The Mirror Ball stuff is splendid with CH. Considering the younger aud that will most likely attend the HORDE, this is a calculated and intelligent move. I still can't believe Mirror Ball doesn't get the amount of respect it deserves in these parts (you old farts! ;-)

Want a Neil quote? Well Uncle Bob brought one home for ya. After 3 songs (Big Time, new harmonica-heavy love song, I'm the Ocean), Neil asks

I thought he said "How's the bass?" referring to Billy's sound, which is why they took 5 minutes to get him up in the monitor a little better or something. Apparently Neil couldn't hear him very well up to that point...?? I could be wrong, I guess a careful listening to the tape is in order to be sure...
He then proceeds to take a 5 minute break while old black gets a beer. Cinnamon Girl follows.
That's all from me for now. Tix in hand for tonight, see y'all there!
. . . Bill (on the beach)
Cortez had a weird little a capella ending.

The LOW songs were/are cool. Hard Luck Stories in particular had some heavy vocal echo/reverb built in.

The 3 new songs were all love songs.

Neil takes the hippie aesthetic very seriously. Unfortunatly, many of the denizens of Santa Cruz are the me-first hippies that ruin every music scene they touch.

Neil appeared to have a telepromter on his music stand displaying lyrics. Either that or he was watching the Melrose Place two hour season finale (yeah, so I watch it. So what? Wanna make somethin of it? 8^)

The Crime in the City was all that. While the Troc version focused on the crime, the Cat version focused on the freedom part. We discussed recently what an epic song was -- well the on-line OED has been updated with a pointer to this version. The often distracted club-goers were a single entity as this thing rolled over the club. Maybe my 1st real ear-to-ear smile (you know, the kind you can't get off your face when the music goes off) since, well... then <poorly masked GD reference>.

Deadheads don't age well within the context of other music (especially contemporary music like Neil's).

Good beer selection -- though no Dark Becks (1 point for the Troc).

No encore, though the lads unstrapped after POC, and Neil made them do Hey, My, My, Hey. It was a built in encore. The place went fuckin nuts after Neil and the Horse left the stage. They/we cheered for what seemed like forever but was probably 15 minutes. Some dude got on stage and told us "Hippie Dream has left the building." Neil was probably home watching his tape of Melrose Place with a cold one by then.   %^)

Almost (ready to do it again),

The End of the Show

report by Ken Shick

Larry had put his harmonica on the music stand in front of Neil during Modern World. After the song, Neil put it in the holder, put it around his neck and put on his guitar. Then Larry walked backed out and talked to him. Neil got pissed and said "I don't know what key it is!" Then he tore the the harmonica holder off and gave Larry the guitar back.

Larry didn't want to take it because this was the one required for the next song on the setlist. Probably Mellow My Mind.

Neil then grabbed all the manila folders off the music stand, pulled one out, and threw all the others on the stage in disgust. Larry came out and picked them up as Neil put on old black and tore into Piece Of Crap. He ended it "...I WANT MY MONEY BACK .... PIECE .. OF .. CRAP!"

Then they blistered HHMM.

They left the stage. The house lights came on. House music came on. But the people refused to leave... It was amazing! They clapped and cheered for at least ten minutes, without one person heading for the exits.

About 8 minutes into this my friend turned to me and said "Who do these people think he is? Jesus Christ or something?"

A couple minutes later the stage manager (?) came out and said "I'm sorry but Hippie Dream have left the arena." Then people slowly trickled out.

Ken Schick