Direct bookmark: http://HyperRust.org/Tour99/?R21
First impression: Wonderful show!
My wife and I got a sort of late start and found ourselves in a 4 block long traffic jam on Western at 7:54, so I did a little side step and picked a street one block over where we found a parking garage whose entrance as it turns out was right across from Neil's bus. Richie*SR* walks us to the bus with the cars stuck on top and the Zuma license plate where he takes our picture. Thanks Richie.
The show itself was very fine. Started with On The Way Home. Sounded wonderful. After that the setlist is a blur. (Jim Beller didn't send me a flashlight pen.) It was very dark. Stage lighting just on the semicirle of guitars. From our loge seats we could see down on Neil and his bald spot. As he moved around, or ambled around, the lights would go up on the pianos and/or pipe organ.
I think he played every new/unreleased song we've been talking about over the past year except Buffalo Springfield Again, doggone it. I remember Looking Forward, Silver and Gold, Slowpoke, Horseshoe Man, Out of Control, Railroad Town, the Dad song and a new one about waking up in the morning with a girl by his side, not sure he even knows her name. Anyone know that one?
Some of the old chesnuts? Cortez the Killer. Beautiful. At first I thought he was going to play Natural Beauty. Sounded the same. Harvest Moon. Mother Earth on the pump organ. LMYR on the pump organ (I agree with Paul*SR* here - pretty boring).
Sugar Mountain and Powderfinger in the first and second encore. Homegrown on the banjo. Did his "Homegrown is now a protest song" speech for Farm Aid and organic food. Pretty well received with applause, but not wild applause. At one point he said something to the effect of "it's okay to talk with you guys about this in California, New York, Washington, Oregon. But if I was doing this, say in Illinois, people would look at me and say 'there goes old Granpa Granola again'."
Highlights for me? Sure! He obviously read my dream set post from a few days ago and played Goin' Back from the Comes A Time album. Beautifully done. Love that song. If I remember correctly he played it right after Looking Forward.
Last Trip to Tulsa. I have a confession to make here. Neil started into this song and some really loud cheers erupted. I didn't know the song. It was long. It had weird imagery. It sounded great. I thought why did those people cheer? They must have though it was going to be something else. Then he hit the last verse and I heard the title in the verse and then I knew. You see Rusties, I have a confession, I've never heard the Neil Young album. Don't have that song on any tape. But I'm going to correct that problem right away!
Southern Pacific on the banjo. I love Southern Pacific. Love the Re-ac-tor version. Love the Farm Aid version. Loved last night's banjo version.
One more anecdote. He showed us the Hank Williams guitar before playing Harvest Moon with it. Said "This guitar used to belong to Hank Williams." and some guy yelled back "He wants it back!" Neil said, "I told him he could have it back whenever he wants. All he has to do is come get it." Big laugh...
Then he told a small story "One time Bob Dylan borrowed my bus. His was broke or something. So he had my bus for a couple of weeks and this guitar was back there, so Bob played it a lot." (I paraphrased that.)
So the crowd was great. Rude between songs, but in a loving and funny way. Quiet during songs. Neil answered the crowd a lot. Oh yes, someone yelled out "WEED!" after Homegrown. Neil had been talking about how it was an old druggie song and now a protest song so he answered "Did somebody say weed? Must be a fan of the old song." More laughs.
He was into it. My wife was impressed. I was too. He has never talked at a show I've seen before, except the Bridge School shows. It was great.
Disappointments: Just one. No Old King talkin' blues. Maybe he saw Paul's Review. I wanted to hear it. But that was the only disappointment. A great show!
(more reviews to be added soon... --RE*AC*TOR)