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Zurich 1996 - First Show of 1996 Tour

by Reto Wieduwilt a.k.a.widu
posted to Rust at 8:33:48pm EDT, Thursday, June 20, 1996
transcribed to HyperRust at 10:31pm, same night
Also see follow-up review by Mr. Grumpy, at bottom.
Dear fellow rusties...

It's 1.30 am in the morning and I have just returned from the first concert of Neil Young and Crazy Horse in Europe in 1996.

The Feedback is back!!!!

Here's the setlist:

  • Country Home
  • Roll Another Number
  • Big Time
  • Drive Back
  • Loose Change
  • Slip Away
  • The Needle And The Damage Done (accoustic)
  • Cinnamon Girl
  • Fuckin' Up
  • Cortez The Killer
  • Music Arcade (accoustic)
  • Like A Hurricane
  • The Loosing End
  • Down By The River
  • Prisoners Of Rock'n'Roll
  • Welfare Mothers
  • Hey Hey My My

  • Barstool Blues
  • Dangerbird
  • Rockin' In The Free World

  • Powderfinger

Location: Hallenstadion, Zurich (Switzerland)
Date: June 20th, 1996
Audience: 6-7000 (of possibe 11000)
Time: 9.55 pm - 00.20 am

The show started at 9.55 pm after two opening acts (a swiss 'folk- rock' band who's name I don't care about and The Levellers, that will play at the Open Air in Konstanz in 2 days too).

There had been a 1 hour break between the Levellers and Neil Young's concert, so the audience started to get impatient. But shortly before 10 pm the lights went out the Neil & the Horse came on stage. The show started with Country Home, which was no surprise after the OPL series. Then a nice Roll Another Number, followed by the first 'new' track Big Time. I haven't listened much to my Broken Arrow copy lately, but I really liked the long intro to Big Time. After Drive Back (very good too) the two weakest numbers of the evening followed. Loose Change and Slip Away. I don't think that these are good songs and also don't like them much in the BA version. To me it seemed much like they just didn't know how to bring Loose Change to an end and even Slip Away, a song with a good start, got boring after some time (sorry!).

Then TNATDD in the well known accoustic version. The clapping got louder again after the two new and unknown songs. After that a 'safe' trio followed: Cinnamon Girl, Fuckin' Up, and Cortez The Killer. Neil can't do anything wrong with this three songs, but Cortez was played in a 'short' version of only about 8 minutes. Then the accoustic Music Arcade. A very nice song and although most of the audience didn't know it, it got some loud applause.

After that quiet moment the concert went on stronger and stronger, although it sometimes looked like a 'Weld II'. Flashing lights openend Like A Hurricane. And afterward, Neil Young and The Horse really started to rock!! For me, Prisoners of Rock'n'Roll was the higlight so far. Regular show ended with a rocking Hey Hey My My.

Barstool Blues was the first encore followed by a beautiful Dangerbird and a 'good-as-always' Rockin In The Free World. Then the lights in the Hallenstadion went on and people started moving out. Ohhhh! it was already 00.15 am! What a show! time had gone quickly. Roadies came on stage and everybody thought that it was over.

Everybody was surprised when NY&CH came back on stage and played Powderfinger to a much smaller audience and with the lights on in the Hallenstadion. Neil Young introduced it with 'You were such a good audience ....'. What do we want more.

At the end, the Horse has rocked for 2 hours and 25 minutes and after a difficult start, the 2nd half of the concert was really great. I will be looking forward to the following concerts because they can do better. The show had it's very good moments (like Drive Back, Cinnamon Girl, Fuckin' Up, Prisoners, Dangerbird, and Powderfinger) but especially the first half wasn't always very good.

The Hallenstadion wasn't sold out at all, maybe 6-7000 of 11000 tickets were sold. The rust-row was kind of small. I met Martin Donelly and Chuck Elliott before the concert and the three of us used the time of the opening acts to discuss tape trees, BA, first live show of Neil (they: 70s, me: 93!) and so on). Unfortunately I missed Olaf (I am very sorry about that!).

Maybe I'll write more tomorrow, but it's 2.30 am now and I really have to get a 'Power-nap' now.

. . . . . greetings from Switzerland
. . . . . . -widu

Neil Young & Crazy Horse:
more on the Zurich concert!

by Mr.Grumpy (grumpy@mediacom.it)

The show was great! Surely the best I've ever seen & probably one of the best of the NY & CH career! After a nervous start (in the beginning Neil was very nervous, specially about the lights) the intensity grew on and on as the minutes went by. Big Time is a great number, and I'm sure that Loose Change and Slip Away will become highlights as well during the tour. For those songs yesterday evening, Neil & CH seemed to wander in search of some particular feeling, sound or feedback that didn't come --- but probably will in the next nights.

While playing the classic long songs (Hurricane, Cortez, Down By The River) it seemed to me like Neil was testing the ability of the group to get the VERY DEEP FEELING they have on their best days. But when the songs became VERY POWERFUL, and the solos incredibly touching, he cut off the songs. He probably wanted to have a chance to test a great number of songs for the rest of the tour.

I almost cried on Danger Bird, one of the finest thing I've ever heard with Crazy Horse.

During the last, unexpected encore (with the lights on!) of Powderfinger, Neil injured his right eyebrow --- bumped it against Billy Talbot's bass. Blood started to flow along his face. Nothing really serious, but a very worried Elliot Roberts ran immediately on stage. However they finished the song, and the majority of the crowd (except for the first rows, which is where I was) didn't noticed the small wound due to Neil's hair. Neil left the stage a little vexed, but very satisfied with the gig, which ran 2 hours and 25 minutes.

It's very sad that this show won't come to Italy (which is where I am from). The same happened last year with the Pearl Jam Tour. Can anybody tell me the reason why?

I drove 800 Km to go to Zurich, but for a show like this I'd have even driven 8000!

I hope to get news from the other gigs, on the Net....

Bye,. . . . . Mr.Grumpy

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