Direct bookmark: http://HyperRust.org/Tour99/?R31
Had a great time at the gig last night....
Neil looked fit and trim, and moved with his characteristic slow and deliberate pace. Very cool, very relaxed looking. He had a candle burning on top of his upright piano. Ringed by gorgeous old guitars. At one point one of his harmonicas fried out and he handed it to a roadie and said, "Here, hang this in the Hard Rock Hotel." Then he held up "Hank", his acoustic Martin that was once owned by Hank Williams, and said "Ol' Hank is never gonna hang in the Hard Rock Hotel!!" That got a loud response from the audience.
When he introduced Homegrown, he mentioned that it originally started out as a song about weed, which got a good round of hoots and applause. Neil said "Wow, that's quite a response!" He said that Homegrown is now a protest song for tha American farmer, "We're losing 500 family farms a week." And he told us that if we just went to our local organic food stand, we could bypass the big corporate factory farms and help save the American Family Farm. Plus we wouldn't have to peel everything before we eat it, which the government says we should do before we eat it, although they still claim that our food is "safe" to eat.
Neil is one smart cookie.
He also regaled us with a great story about his old blue tick hound Elvis, which he told in between verses of Old King. It was about how Elvis once took off wandering when they let him off the tour bus. They couldn't find him, and they had to get to the next gig. So Neil left a plaid shirt of his on some railroad tracks for Elvis to home in on and left and drove 150 miles to the gig. Afterward he came out and found Elvis sitting there (in a helpful fan's truck) waiting. That was a cool story.
Overall, Neil was in great voice and played his guitars well. He pulled out some great old chestnuts for this gig -- my fave was Out On The Weekend, followed closely by Albuquerque. He played a wonderful version of Long May You Run on his grand old pipe organ. He did a moving version of Philadelphia on the piano. I thought he'd go the whole show without picking up one of his 12 string guitars, but he fooled me by coming out for an encore and doing Pocohontas.
Our fellow Rustie, Slowpoke, got to hear Neil do the song he chose his handle from. I've never heard Neil do that tune before, I wonder if it'll make it to an album one day? Maybe the Archives?
Neil had requested that, due to the acoustic nature of the show, no seating be done during songs -- to minimize the disractions and noise, people walking in front of others, stuff like that. Also, that no requests for songs be shouted out, as the songs for the evening had been preselected. That didn't stop some people from shouting out songs, and otherwise distracting Neil with thier shouting out his name and other stuff. You know, the usual shit.
One drunk woman kept shouting out "Neil, I wanna marry you!!" behind us. She was eventually shown the door. I doubt that she could see it.
A few songs into the show, a very inebriated gnome of a fellow walked up to take the two seats next to us, and quickly ushered his girlfriend in and proceeded to jabber all night in a loud voice. The clown wouldn't shut up!! When told, he'd clam up for a second or two, and then start up again as if nothing had been said!! I leaned over to ask why he bought tickets to see Neil Young and then spent the show talking and spoiling it for us...
Then there were the photo flashers. A few were escorted out, but that didn't stop the rest of them. Why in the hell does it have to be this way? Why can't everybody just behave themselves for 2 hours out of their lives so that everybody can have a good time?
A bunch of us went to Chuck's hotel room for a jam session afterward, had a ball!! My fingers are pretty sore today, I haven't played in a month and a half. Did somebody bootleg our session? Hotel security came by at least once to tell us to shut up and put out the cigars and cigarettes, I guess we were having too much of a good time!
I'm glad I finally got to meet some of you Rusties out there!! We really must do it again sometime, maybe when CSNY comes to Nashville August 30th?
(The Damn Yankee)
(more reviews to be added soon... --RE*AC*TOR)