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Show Reviews
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(updated )

Memorial Auditorium
Sacramento, California, March 17, 1999

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--> Bill On The Beach Shaw's review.
(more to come)
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The set list

  1. Tell Me Why
  2. Looking Forward
  3. War Of Man
  4. Out Of Control   (on upright piano)
  5. Albuquerque
  6. World On A String
  7. Don't Let It Bring You Down
  8. Philadelphia   (on grand piano)
  9. Homegrown   (on guitjo)
  10. Daddy Went Walkin'
  11. Distant Camera
  12. Ambulance Blues
  13. Unknown Legend
  14. Long May You Run   (on pump organ!)
  15. Old King   (on guitjo)
  16. Harvest Moon
  17. Slowpoke
  18. After The Goldrush   (on pump organ)
  19. Good To See You
  20. On The Way Home
      Encore 2:
  21. Pocahontas

Memorial Auditorium
Sacramento, California, March 17, 1999

review by Bill On The Beach Shaw

Yo rusted ones,
Great show last night. My first one of the tour. Also my first acoustic Neil show (well, not counting half a dozen or so Bridge shows). What a show! Very nice. I was lucky enough to score 4th row tix at BASS when they went on sale, so obviously I was very happy with my seats.

Lights went down right at 8:00, but about 5 minutes went by before Neil hit the stage. Tell Me Why sounded real nice (well I guess they ALL did!) but Neil just came out and started playin', no "how ya doin'?" or anything. There was about a 20 foot deep orchestra pit between the stage and the first row of seats that was empty save for a couple of security. Neil referred to it as a black hole or something a couple of times, kind of made a joke about how nobody is ever allowed in there, except musicians. I was about to say "I'm a musician" and go down there but it probably wouldn't have worked.

ANYway... knowing the previous setlists in advance didn't *spoil * my enjoyment of the show one bit! In fact it made it interesting because of the stuff that *didn't * conform to previous shows, like Long May You Run, ON PUMP ORGAN!! That must've been a first. Sounded great, too.

Before War of Man, someone yelled "say hello, Neil!" Well, he looked around, picked up a guitar, and introduced it! "This is my guitar, Hank. Used to belong to Hank Williams." Out Of Control was next... took me a couple of verses to realize which of the new songs it was. Cool to see Neil wandering around the stage deciding what to do next.

After that someone from the back yelled out "Happy Saint Patrick's Day!" which got a round of applause from the crowd. Again, Neil kind of looks around, takes a swig off his Pale Ale, and says, "I'm drinkin' some green beer." Another big round of applause.

Nice double shot of TTN material with Albuquerque and World on a String. Don't Let It Bring You Down followed, with perhaps the biggest crowd response of the night. (As an aside, I can see why some artists seem locked into greatest hits type concerts. You play the obscure or simply lesser known stuff, and the crowd gets restless or certainly not as enthusiastic. You play the old favorites and the crowd goes wild... but I digress).

Philadelphia was nice, with the grand piano treatment. Not too familiar with that one so nice to hear it with "virgin" ears. Long spoken intro to Homegrown (on the "guitjo"), talking about family farms, Farm Aid, and ORGANIC farming, all of which got a good response from the Sacramento (ie: California farm country) crowd. Afterwards, Neil says something like, "I know what you all are doing out there. I can smell it! That stuff even makes my banjo sound good..." at which point the audience responded with cheers and laughter. Someone yelled back "It's organic!" ...Classic.

Daddy Went Walkin' closed out the set. I like it! Another song about an old man. Classic Neil. Before the song, Neil simply said, "In a few minutes I'm gonna go away for a while. But don't worry, I'll be back." After the song he waved and walked off stage.

I won't go into much detail on the second set. Highlights were Ambulance Blues, LMYR on pump organ (as mentioned above -- first of tour, maybe first time ever on pump organ?), Old King with long story about Elvis getting lost at a rest area on the way to show in Humboldt, very very cool story telling intertwined in the verses. And the Pocohontas on 12-string encore. wow

Overall the crowd was pretty respectful. There were a few "pin drop" moments for sure. There were also a few obnoxious moments but they were few and far between, at least from where I sat. But I did hear sort of a lot of noise coming from the balconies. I guess up there is was harder to concentrate on the music or the man, so people started making their own noise.

Anyway as most people have commented, well worth the price of admission. And extras did seem somewhat plentiful, I saw tix going for 1/2 of face value. Not the good ones, but still, it got you in the door.

Until Friday, I remain
On The Beach.

(more reviews to be added soon... --RE*AC*TOR)