Direct bookmark: http://HyperRust.org/Tour99/?R16
Sorry Rusties, but I think we saw the best show of the tour last night. Itís hard to imagine Neil in better voice and spirits.
The first half of the set, in particular, sparkled. Sipping frequently from a bottle of Sierra Nevada ale, Neil opened with the same six songs as the night before. The selections from Tonightís The Night ó- Albuquerque and World On A String -ó were awesome. I swear you could taste the fried eggs and country ham.
Then came Donít Let It Bring You Down and the white cane lyin in the gutter in the night... Wow. They just donít come any better than that. Except maybe for the Last Trip To Tulsa. Neil used to be a folksinger, ya know. Itís amazing to think that 30 years after his first solo album Neil remains such an exciting and poetic musician. Did you ever really think he would still be going so strong just 300 days from the 21st century?
I gotta say, though, that a concert in 1999 is a far cry from the first time I saw Neil in Boston Garden in 1974. During the show last night there were cell phones ringing, gray-haired people in suits, hardly a whiff of hemp in the airóand some knuckleheads even had a screaming baby with them. And they let it scream its way through several songs. That was a bit much for Neil, who was compelled to comment on the distraction.
There were also the usual mooks, whoíve heard a song or two at a frat party or on the radio. One of them sat near me. He went bonkers for the Harvest Moon songs, howling during Old King and rhythmn clapping until a woman in front of him told him to cool it. After those three songs he and his buddy disappeared for the rest of the show.
Too bad. They missed a poignant Slowpoke (ďWhen I was fast I was always behind.Ē) and a really warm Flying On the Ground from the first Buffalo Springfield album. These songs reminded me of one reason we all treasure Neil so much ó- he is pop musicís greatest believer in the power of love.
From there, it was to the pipe organ for a little "Phantom of the Opera" treatment of After the Gold Rush. It was another one of those nights when I was ready for the silver spaceships to take me to a new home in the sun. Truly. If they had come right then, I would have gotten on board. And Iíd happily to go there with the rest of Neil Nation. Even the mooks.
Neil rewarded the faithful with a second encore. He picked up the 12-string. ďAurora borealis,Ē I said. So did Neil. It was an enchanting Pocahontas. I canít imagine him singing any better.
As Neil says, Good To See You. I canít wait til the next time.
(more reviews to be added soon... --RE*AC*TOR)