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Irvine Meadows (Irvine, CA), Sept 12, 1996

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--> John Elliott's Review
--> The T-Bone Review
--> Jon Morning Son Neal's Review
--> The Cinnamon Girl Review
--> Richard Proto-Rusty Shearer's Review
--> The *DREAMER* Review
--> Milton Crandall's Mini-Review

The Set List

  1. Hey Hey My My
  2. Stupid Girl
  3. Barstool Blues
  4. Big Time
  5. Slip Away
  6. The Needle and the Damage Done
  7. Long May You Run
  8. Mr. Soul (accoustic)
  9. The Loner
  10. Cinnamon Girl
  11. Cortez The Killer
  12. Music Arcade
  13. Like a Hurricane
  14. Roll Another Number For The Road
  15. Rockin' In The Free World

I Stopped By To Pick Up A Reason
Irvine Meadows (Irvine, CA), Sept 12, 1996

review by John Elliott

Well Hello Mr. Soul!

This was the event of the season folks. This concert was by far the absolute best I have ever witnessed from the feeling arranger. After a very strange performance at the Forum (you could tell Neil and the band were not into it), on this night, Neil and the Horse truly gave it up, put it on and displayed the goods. You want variety? Come and get it at this puppy.

I watched in amazement as Stupid Girl, Barstool Blues, Long May You Run, Mr.Soul and The Loner came blistering off the stage. This was an incredible set list and a truly accurate resume of the talents of both Neil Young and the Neil Young with Crazy Horse package. This was a classic folks. I dare a reviewer to call this boring.

HHMM really cooked and dipped and darted and had an edge on it that was sharp. Stupid Girl was smooth and clean and came out like a bullet from a hot barrel from the opening stanza.

Barstool Blues simply was a testimony to the excellence of the early days of Neil and the Horse and was just about good as it gets. Crazy Horse played this from the heart.

Big Time was killer. Slip Away was outstanding.

LMYR was fantastic, sounded great and had some extra vibe going on.

Mr. Soul was unreal. Unreal, absolutely incredible in the context of the set-list and within the setlist selection on the North American Tour. I will never forget this performance of Mr. Soul ever, especially as it contrasted to the feeling/mood swings of the Forum show. It was otherworldly, it was great. That one instant in time made my journey to California from the East coast well worth while. He gave it lots of attitude, great jestures, etc. Wow.

The Loner. (Somebody wake me up). What a great tune. This was almost too much to take. This sounded so great it was almost hypnotic. This number just rolled out and swept up the crowd. This was vintage, this was like a fine cigar after many glasses of fine wine had been poured.

Cortez the Killer was unfreakin real. Check that, it sounded too good to be real. Live music is better and this was the proof. If you were there you'll know what I mean.

This show was so good I guess only the OPL sessions could top it. OPL is different though and hard to compare I guess. Trust me though this had to be one of the very best on the tour.

I stopped by to pick up a reason and it was there. It was there and you could tell it came out for that night. Why I don't know. But let's hope the kind of music that went down at Irvine Meadows keeps coming from Neil and the Horse.

Next time Irvine Meadows is a tour venue, I would suggest to either get in the ticket line early or talk to *SR* Richie cause I think Neil likes the place and you won't want to miss it next time.

John Elliott

Irvine Meadows (Irvine, CA), Sept 12, 1996

review by T-Bone

Okay, here are some impressions of the Irvine show. It's 1 a.m. so this account may be a little incoherent.

First, Neil kicks into a rockin' HHMM. From the beginning you can tell that he is into the song, and that the band is loose and in a good mood. Then he breaks into (can it be?) Stupid Girl. I couldn't believe it! What a great choice. Then, as if that couldn't be topped, he sails into Barstool Blues, which the band rips to shreds. Folks, it's a Zuma night.

This is where my memory may be untrustworthy. At this point I think he played a steady Big Time followed by a mesmerizing version of Slips Away. After that, out comes the acoustic guitar for TTATDD. Out comes the harmonica holder and a surprise: Long May You Run.

Then, he drops the sixth string down to D-tuning. I rack my brains for the Neil songs I know in D-tuning and think of only two: CG and Mr. Soul. He wouldn't do CG acoustic so it must be . . . and it is! It's the best Mr. Soul I've heard, I think. On par with the great version on the Unplugged CD.

Now my memory gets fuzzy again . . . he starts in on a rousing Cinnamon Girl, followed by The Loner. Both rock. I can't remember the order after that. He does a plaintive version of Music Arcade, a wry Roll Another Number, and a good version of Cortez. I have to be honest, Cortez is one of my all-time favorite Neil songs, but I've never thought that his live versions measured up the beauty and grandeur of the recorded version. I don't think that original version can be topped (but I'm willing to be proven wrong). This Cortez was better than most, I thought, with the band really groovin at the end.

In fact, there was a lot of grooving over the course of the night. The end of BB had gone on for quite a while, too, with Neil just hanging on that final chord.

The final song was LAH, which thoroughly rocked. At the end he ripped his strings off the guitar and pounded them on the pickups. Then, he picked up the candle and carried it over to the microphone and sang over it. For the encores he did Roll Another Number and RITFW.

All in all it was a stellar show. Neil was in a good mood and pulled out some real chestnuts for us. I haven't seen all the setlists for this tour, but of those I've seen I think the Irvine show stands out for song selection. How can you top Stupid Girl AND Barstool Blues?

I have been Rusted.

He played it - wow!
Irvine Meadows (Irvine, CA), Sept 12, 1996

review by Jon Morning Son Neal

Wow! What an unusual setlist!

Neil has just given the greatest thrill to this young college student! I personally request a song from Neil one night, and, the next night, he plays it! We'll never know whether my request had anything to do with his selection of this song. But all I know is that it has appeared in the set list very infrequently at best on this tour.

At any rate, the Forum show of last night was my first Neil Young show, and it blew me away. It was 100% of what I was hoping for, in terms of energy and power. This morning, I woke up with my neck and back sore from all the gyrations I performed last night, and I was almost numb with satisfaction and bliss.

Tonight's show was different. To me it seemed sort of an extended encore to last night's show. The performances didn't take me and smother me into another world of wonder like last night's did. I had had such a high experience at the Forum that it was difficult to recreate it here. Seven different songs were played tonight that weren't played at the Forum, such as Stupid Girl, Barstool Blues, and The Loner. Hearing Mr. Soul was really cool. I don't really have that much else to comment about the concert; so doing so would be mostly to repeat ravings similar to those I posted yesterday.

But I still can't believe that he apparently listened to me in the parking lot of the Forum. Listening to Neil Young play Long May You Run, a song that means so much to me, believing in my heart that he was singing just for me.... Experiences such as these truly are the ones that enhance ones quality of life. And not just in the short term -- this will be a valued piece in my collection of my life's "trunks of memories." One that I, if humanly able, will look back on often. With joy. Even fifty years from now.

- -Jon Neal, MORNING SON

Irvine Meadows (Irvine, CA), Sept 12, 1996

review by Cinnamon Girl

Just wanted to add an emphatic "AMEN!" to what's already been posted about last night's show. The only time I sat during the whole set was for a few minutes during Cortez, when I was just taken away by the music. Of course, I was estatic to hear Cinnamon Girl live. But, what can I say? All of the songs were absolutely excellent. Neil just pulled every last note outta every last song. Sigh.

Met a GREAT bunch of Rusties - what a fine group of people and how nice to now have faces to go with names/handles! And, it was WONDERFUL to have a whole ROW of people jump up the minute the band walked on stage, stay standing throughout the whole concert and ROAR their approval of each song! I can't tell you how many concerts I've been to where I was the only one in the row dancing and moving to Neil's music while others are blathering away during his singing. Maybe next time it'll be easier to pull a RustFest together now that we all know each other a little better, eh?

No one mentioned yet that during LAH, when Neil picked up the candle and dripped the wax around, he next held the flame up to the microphone and you could hear the crackling fire like it was a firestorm. I honestly thought the mic would catch fire any second. He then attempted to sing through the flame, but all I could hear was the fire roaring with his singing faint in the background. The effect sent a chill down my spine.

While breaking the strings on Ol' Black during the LAH frenzy, Neil cut his middle finger on his right hand. It was dripping pretty good (our seats were great, and with my binocs I was right there on stage), but he just kept sticking his finger in his mouth to clean it up between notes / pounding / picking. And he only looked at the injury once and then kinda shook his hand like, "Ow! Go away!" Point is, even with the injury, he finished LAH then came out for the blistering encore -- it never stopped him even for one beat. Totally awesome.

By the way, Patty Smith was outrageous. What a rocker! Thanks, Gary AFOY, for filling me in on her. I'll be looking for her CDs this weekend ...

So, now I'm truly jealous of the famous east coast road trippers. And after last night, more so of Shakey's phenomenal record number of shows that he's attended! Color me vivid green with envy ...

I brought my girlfriend with me and Neil has converted another to his religion. She liked him before the concert but was more concerned about the Jimmy Buffet concert she's taking me to next month. I don't know much about Buffet's music except "Margaritaville," but I'll go to any concert for free! She kept saying, "You'll like Buffet" to which I'd reply, "You'll LOVE Neil!" Afterwards, she was saying, "Jimmy WHO?" and was grilling me about what tapes she should buy, what song was what and making me promise to always take her whenever I see Neil. My reaction to what tapes to buy? ALL OF THEM!!!


Cinnamon Girl

Irvine Meadows (Irvine, CA), Sept 12, 1996

review by Richard Proto-Rusty Shearer

Met a lot of Rusties at the Irvine Meadows show. Since I don't get to do the Rust@Death mail thing at work, I was really happy to get to hang out at the show with them. And the MORE BARN! shirt was too cool.

The sound was way better at this show, compared to the Forum. Lyrics were intelligible, notes discernable. I loved it. Sorry I didn't take my daughter to this show instead of the Forum show. Song selection was good. Very different from the Forum. That is, you stilll had to take the same core courses, but the electives were totally different. Stupid Girl, Barstool Blues, The Loner, acoustic Mr. Soul. People who went both nights are really fortunate.

We think Neil cut his finger ripping out his strings during Like A Hurricane. You could see him holding it up and looking at it and sucking on it a couple of times. He seemed to cut short the outrageousness of the outro, cradled Old Black across his chest and hit the whammy bar crosshanded as he left the stage. The encore was only two songs, a bit shorter than the Forum and what I've read on HyperRust. But he did get into a way different extended ending on Rocking in the Free World.

If you like to know about shirts and shoes and things, the combination of the great Rustrow seats and my binoculars brought things up close. Neil had on the shorts, Echos Tshirt, Nike socks and hiking shoes (with an "S" on the back, not Nikes), Pancho a Jimi Hendrix shirt, basic pants and fancy jogging shoes, Billy a white shirt, extra long jeans torn at the bottom and draging on the floor and some basic Keds. Frank had a Chief Crazy Horse shirt with a torn sweat shirt over it.

Today's LA Times (Robert Hilburn) reviewed the Forum show. Good review overall but complained about song selection (wants more new stuff). Hope he went to Irvine.

It was fun. Nice to meet everyone. Hope it happens again some day.

Irvine Meadows (Irvine, CA), Sept 12, 1996

review by *DREAMER* eric

Hi Rusties,

Back again for second night in a row from RustRow Heaven. I posted a long review yesterday on the Forum, this one I'll make short so I'm not up all night.

First, great get together before and after the show. I got to meet lots of Rusties finally after two previous shows without good RustFest hapnins. I was early to dispose of my insurance tickets I had bought, and to beat traffic. Outside the gates before they opened, Paul*SR* was there first and then Cinnamon Girl & her friend, Ron (down from Barstow again), and I believe Gary was also there when we went inside. We hung out inside at the Food court at a picnic table when Wally and his wife showed up also. It was great to setaspell with y'all, and share our interest in the musical experience of Neil Young. I finally got to meet our RustRow coordinator Richie also, and Joanna after the show, after which we all walked out together. These SoCal Rusties are truely a fine bunch of folks, It was a pleasure to meet every one. Enough social talk.

This was my best show so far, Forum topped Great Woods, and now this show dwarfed the Forum show. Better venue, good view, good sound.

We were treated to some special stuff tonight. After HHMM, we got two of Zuma's: first Stupid Girl, and then I was blown away with Barstool Blues for the first time and it was outstanding. I hadn't listened to Barstool Blues much before and didn't even recognize it (to be truthful) but was taken in by the live version. It was second on my fav list tonight behind Cortez. Last night I thought Slip Away and LAH were tops, tonight Barstool Blues and Cortez.

What made this show so special I think, was that Neil and the Horse seemed to be having a better time, there was lots of fun'in around up there. We got, as you may have seen on a Setlist, about as much a change from the previous shows as we could have ever expected. Stupid Girl, Barstool Blues, Long May You Run, Mr. Soul, The Loner. I was very happy with the varity we got.

I am going to leave it at that, I'm very slow at this and it's time to settle in and dream of Concord possibilities. Right Richie?


Irvine Meadows (Irvine, CA), Sept 12, 1996

mini-review by Milton Crandall

On the eve of fri the 13th , as the stage was set with 13 burning candles it was apparent to the observent that this was not going to be your happy dance to it concert. Neil didn't even say Hi bye or kiss my ass, he just blasted away at the audience from the get go, with little regard as to what the audience wanted to hear, only what he wanted to play. Extended lead solos were the theme of the night, many if not all going to the edge of a painfull threshold. The band tried constantly to reel Neil back in , but he played as if venting his anger on everyone around. It was a weird night, at a place where money is king and freeways and pavement rule the night. This rich, middle age crowd was set to be served up it's portion of Neil Young hits, the way they wanted to hear them played, but Neil instead smacked them up side the head with a brand of music they just weren't ready for. I had the feeling as I left most were disapointed, but deep inside I knew Neil was laughing at all the spoiled brats that make up this part of the world known as Orange county. As I left I asked my friend jokingly, if there was an ambulance service that could take us home. This is one I will not forget, a very different Neil concert, and in retrospect, one I was lucky to experience. Wish you could have been there.

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