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Pine Knob (Clarkston, MI), Sept 1, 1996

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--> The Kato Review
--> The Computer Cowboy Review
--> David Waymire's Review
--> Zain Patel's Review
--> Eric's Mini-Review
--> Andy Strote's Review
--> Vincent's Mini-Review
--> Dave Slug Fielder's Review
Also See:
--> Mary Maguire's Zeke Encounter

The Set List

  1. Hey Hey My My
  2. Pocahontas
  3. Big Time
  4. Slip Away
  5. The Needle and the Damage Done
  6. Heart of Gold
  7. Sugar Mountain
  8. Cinnamon Girl
  9. Fuckin' Up
  10. Cortez The Killer
  11. Music Arcade
  12. Like a Hurricane
  13. Powderfinger
  14. Sedan Delivery
  15. Roll Another Number
  16. Rockin' In The Free World

Pine Knob (Clarkston, MI), Sept 1, 1996

review by John Kato Kitamura

In comparison to the Barrie show the day before, the venue couldn't have been any more different! Molson Park was (for me) a huge mosh pit jammed in with a crowd of sweaty people (who were not always pleasant, but hey, what can you do). Pine Knob felt like an amusement park with little plastic seats and security guys scurriying around like mice to make sure that you stayed in front of them. Because of that the show had a more relaxed feel for me, but it didn't seem to bother the Horse, who stormed on at full fury. (Almost) everybody was standing by the encores.

Andy's MORE BARN banner again made an appearance - story is told elsewhere. And it's a great story!

Sugar Mountain was introduced with "I wrote this song when I was 19 years old".

Pine Knob has TV screens on each side of the stage, so one could get some good views of the Neil's expression and what he was doing with his guitar. However, Shakey noted that they only showed the chords of songs we already knew!   :-)   There was a moment that brought a smile to my face during Music Arcade - in one of the choruses Neil sang "Have I ever been found out ..." and immediately smiled at the mistake (or was it intentional? Who knows?). He finished off the chorus using "I" throughout.

Cortez seemed short - I think Neil may have skipped the last verse.

They weren't using as many monitors as at Barrie, but the sound still got pretty muddy during the rave-up before Hurricane. In fact, the opening guitar riff to Hurricane was so ensconced in feedback that Billy and Ralph missed the downbeat. Ralph signalled to Billy, came in a couple bars later, and then Billy came in on the second round of chords. During the break in the middle of the song, there was a lot of distortion when the whole of Pine Knob started reverberating with Billy's G note. In the melee at the end, after breaking all his strings and wobbling his guitar around, Neil dragged it offstage (by the broken strings?).

In the encores, Rocking in the Free World was very slow. It may have sped up when the band came in. At the end Billy walked offstage, but Neil wasn't finished yet. Neil started playing a slow riff in E, and Pancho and Ralph joined in. Billy ran back on and grabbed is bass and sat on the drum riser to play along. After a couple of minutes, Neil signalled a final chord, and the show ended.

Pine Knob was another great show - the third (and unfortunately last) for me.

For all you west coast rusties - the shows have been great. I hear that Andy is sending his MORE BARN banner on to be present at the rest of the shows. Wave that MORE BARN banner with pride!


Pine Knob (Clarkston, Michigan), Sept 1, 1996

review by Computer Cowboy

I drove up to Detroit the day before the show. Not a really long drive, but I was hoping to avoid going straight to the show after five hours on the road. My best friend, Bob, had been after us to come visit and this was a perfect opportunity: Bob and I each aged another year over this weekend, and we're each into Neil.

Bob has a houseful of people there, as it turns out. And they are all German. Bob and his wife speak fluent German, everybody was a beer drinker, so my Neil adventure turned into Oktoberfest. I don't know what was more fun - telling the dirty jokes, or trying to explain them.

We spent THE BIG DAY on the lake in Bob's new boat. Apparently it's a law -- if you live in Michigan you gotta have one. Cool with me. By showtime I was completely beer soaked and sun drenched. Really a cool bunch of people.

I drive to the show, right? Because Bob put us up, etc. He takes me the back way -- 15 right turns, and maybe as many left ones. Not a big deal until after the show, when he refused to direct me back.

But here I am, 24 hours later, back at the tube.

Oh, the show! Yeah, almost forgot:

I'm wandering in through the parking lot (I think we parked in Wisconsin), several people yell at me about the shirt. Just admiring it, not rusties.

Right by the main gate we pass a tailgate party. There's a guy sitting in the trunk of a car, playing a guitar. I walked right past him -- noticed what I thought was an OPL label on the front. Checking out the back -- the ECHOS poster! Has to be a rustie, I think. I go back and introduce myself. It's Shakey, Rust's Tom Sawyer -- having commandeered a guitar and playing for the crowd of folks (I don't think he knew them - but I could have gotten the wrong impression). Not Rusties anyway.

Shakey starts to scare Bob, telling us his plan to become a truly memorable disgruntled postal worker. We chatted for a while, listened to Shakey's tale of woe (missed out on a backstage pass at Great Woods, but I'll let him tell that one) then let Shakey get back to playing, we headed on in.

Met Rich Stephenson (hope I got that right - I apparently set your business card free) and his wife. Admired Andy Strote's MORE BARN sign.   :)   Hope it shows up in Zeke's video (sorry I missed that Barrie show, sounded incredible!)

Jim Greene was there - great seat! I met Kato, Andy Strote and Mary Macguire for the first time. Very friendly folks, thank you for being so. And Kato - the ultimate in polite - insisted on laughing at all of my stupid jokes. Sorry man, that'll only get you more. There were a number of other Canadian Mikes and Daves, I'm sorry but my brain just refuses to yield up all of your names. Maybe if the Gin Blossoms hadn't been blasting away at the time...

OK, so several fine folks have posted the setlist, so I won't go through every fucking unbelievably intense rendition of classic and new songs. This show seemed to be dead-on Deer Creek, which is to say it was right up my alley. I've always loved the quiet Neil, but that isn't what I need right now.   :)

During Pocahontas I noticed a lot of details that I'd missed before. Like how close together the band stood. Practically on top of one another. The little pirate flag next to Molina. The feathers over the drum kit. The skull on the side of the speaker. Thank god for Bob's binoculars.

That pump organ looks more like a throne tonight than before. He starts with HHMM - the king is gone but not forgotten? Still singing to your lost friend? I hope you get to live the dream you had for a very long time.

I would really love to get a copy from the video feed to the big monitors on either side of the stage. Neil again kept his back to me all night, but the cameras compensated. Now that I think of it - I don't think he shoved his butt out at the crowd like he did at Deer Creek. 'course, it wasn't a full moon either.

I coulda missed it - there was a mosh pit forming right in front of us. People jumping around, dancing like crazy. This crowd was into this show *all night*. I don't know about the other rusties, but the energy in the crowd around us was (where's the thesaurus when you need one?) incredible. It was a big crowd, too. Bigger than Deer Creek, certainly.

This crowd was even up through the acoustic stuff. Cowboy's heaven. Bob was cool too - he really got an earful, never once told me to shut up. Never complained about me dragging him around scoping out rusties, either.

Wish I had more news to tell you. I can remember little things, like Neil running out of cord while blowing out the last few notes of Cinnamon Girl. Music Arcade was upbeat? I thought so. Did he use a pick? Didn't have that brushed, hushed, inside my head sound from the album. Coulda been that way at DC too, I wouldn't know. The blown out candle went off stage with Neil, on his shoulder (or did it - looked like it may have ended up on Pancho's keyboard?).

Powderfinger - good version, something a little different than the other show I'd seen. I thought for sure the locator's video was going to show up on the monitor, but alas it must not be ready yet.

Encore #3 - Rockin In The Free World. It started off mean. Deliberate. Rumbling. As befits one of the most sobering looks at our lives I can stand. The music can't be denied - it rocks! Even Neil is smiling. I smiled too, tried not to listen to the words, heard them in a different way. Hmmm. Normally I try not to think too much during a concert. Neil always does me in, tho.

Hey, they showed the moon on the monitor at the end. Here in the mecca of the rust-belt, I bet they read my last review.


I could bore you with tales of our after show Neil-fest, but I won't. Just a glimpse - a quiet lake shore, a guitar, a tired crowd, and a cowboy working his way through every Neil tune he could remember. I even did A Man Needs A Maid acapella. Bob's wife socked me in the arm ("I'm no maid") and a German girl said it reminded her of wild men screaming on their night trips. Hey, what????

Then I drove back.

tschuess rust,
glw, the Computer Cowboy

Pine Knob (Clarkston, Michigan), Sept 1, 1996

review by David Waymire

My third Neil show of my life. Trans/Shocking Pinks in Lansing (1983, I think) was a hoot, even if nobody else seemed to get the joke. Blue Notes/Crazy Horse at Pine Knob 10 years ago was fun...but this was the real thing.

What a great show. Hard to believe the guy is 50 years old. He was rocking the whole way. Nifty candle set up, opens the door for those expecting something laid back. Boy, did they get surprised. Rock and Roll was here to stay on this night.

Came out with Hey Hey My My, Pocahontas, Big Time and Slip Away mega rocking. The Slip Away jam was one of the best I've ever heard by anyone -- CSNY, Dead, Allmans, anyone -- sort of like Lester Young meets Weather Report. Great virtuosity in a smooth way by Neil (like Lester The Pres Young), and just playing the hell out of the melody all the way through (like Weather Report). Most excellent.

Neil carries all the weight, although he couldn't do it without knowing exactly where Sampedro, Molina and Talbot will be every second of the night. And they are always just where they are supposed to be.

Then the solo acoustic greatest hits medley (Needle, Heart of Gold and Sugar Mountain). Good stuff, and he was really fulfilling obligations tonight.

Great Cinnamon Girl, really good Fuckin' Up (I still don't understand how that song gets into his regular play list, but he jammed it very well -- really hard), Cortez the Killer, Music Arcade and Like a Hurricane -- during which he destroyed the strings on his guitar, then pulled it around the stage by the strings getting some incredible and still music-like feeback out of it. Then he picked it up and pounded on it to get even more amazing feedback in rhythm with the rest of the band.

Then the encores: Powderfinger (the place erupted), Sedan Delivery (again saved by a fun jam) and Roll Another Number (whata great tune). Back one more time for Rockin In the Free World -- to finish up at 11 on the dot, meeting the Pine Knob curfew.

I've read a couple other reviews, and see some agreement...the way he's taking off on Slip Away is really a quite a highlight, and a wonderful surprise. Keep on re-creating yourself, Neil, cause you do the same for the rest of us.

Reflections on Barrie and Pine Knob (part 2)
Pine Knob (Clarkston, Michigan), Sept 1, 1996

review by Zain Patel

(Continued from part 1.)

The following night's show in Detroit was a completely different affair, though the performance itself was as spectacular as ever. The main problem was that because all seating was reserved, it was difficult to move around at all. The security guards (or Pine Knobs, as Dave Fielder aptly called them) kept hassling us to stay out of the aisles and to stand only in front of the seats for which we had tickets. Just as we'd be getting into the music, some guy with a flashlight would come by and say "may I see your ticket?" as if we'd done something wrong. That really put a damper on the evening.   :(   Despite the problems, it was still a superb show, and I'm very fortunate to have been able to see it. The following morning, I awoke with one of the worst headaches I've ever had (seriously), so I know I must have had fun the night before! :)

I suppose I should mention something about my glasses, since it's already been brought up (thanks a lot, Dave Youngberg! :) ). Toward the end of the show at Pine Knob, as I was jumping up and down (much to the annoyance of those around me, no doubt), at one point my glasses fell off and I inadvertently jumped on them, crushing one of the lenses. I was too much into the performance to even care, so I just put what was left of them under my seat, and continued to dance. (I use the word 'dance', but I'm sure those around me would feel that what I was doing was a great insult to the word 'dance'! :)

Others have already written about our brush with Zeke, so I won't get into any of that, but I'll just conclude by saying I had a wonderful time, and wouldn't have missed it for the world! Neil and CH were definitely in top form!!

Special thanks to Mary Maguire for helping to organize everything, to Rick Stephenson for getting us the Pine Knob tickets, and to Andy Strote for willingly doing all the driving (if *I'd* have driven back after either of the shows in my condition, we'd probably still be stuck in a tree somewhere! :)   Thanks also to Kato Kitamura, Dave Fielder, and Dave Youngberg for great company in the van, and to every Rustie I met over the weekend - it felt good to be among friends (even 'virtual' friends. :)

Love In Mind

P.S. And, of course, thanks to Brad Brandeau... The MORE BARN! shirts really made it easy to locate fellow Rusties! And it's weird, every time another concert-goer walked by, they'd look at the shirt with a confused expression on their face... Must have thought we belonged to some farmers' union or something.   :)

Pine Knob (Clarkston, Michigan), Sept 1, 1996

mini-review by Eric

Well, I just returned home from Detroit after experiencing my first ever (and unfortunately only one for this tour at least) Neil concert. It was incredible! I have every studio album of Neil's plus about 50 or more boots as well as many hours of video but none of them even compared to seeing the man live. Hearing and feeling the music while watching him not more than 150 feet in front of me is an amazing thing. And what an amazing concert!

Even though I haven't seen any of his other concerts live, I have those bootlegs and this concert has to be up there with his bests. And you could tell that he was enjoying himself. Tearing up the strings on the wonderfully "Arc-ish" LAH and getting the last ounces of feedback from his guitar, three encores, the primal, yet controlled, sounds that he produced, talking to the crowd a little between acoustics, everything. It was just awesome.

I also had the opportunity to meet some Rusties, all (except Rick, who had worn his the night before in Barrie and had on the R@D shirt) wearing MORE BARN! (Thanks again Brad). It was nice to put some faces with names, and although the Gin Blossoms made it a little difficult to carry on any type of conversation (my girlfriend and I could barely hear anything that anyone was saying) it was nice to see some Rusties. Also, the MORE BARN banner was real cool (I understand that we can thank Zeke for allowing us to put that up) too.

That is about all for now, I need some sleep.


Barrie, Pine Knob, Zeke,
the banner, and the van
(part 2)
Pine Knob (Clarkston, Michigan), Sept 1, 1996

review by Andy Strote

(Continued from part 1.)

I thought the crowd was a bit weird at Pine Knob too, like country club or something. We talked about it afterwards and came to the conclusion that this must be one of those places you can get subscriptions to, so that you can see Reba MacIntyre, Harry Belafonte, and hey, look honey, it's Neil Young, that nice Canadian folksinger. Many of these people were definitely not ready for what they were about to receive. Made for a distressing but humorous sight watching people leave the third song into the show, but maybe they were big Gin Blossoms fans.

Despite that, for most of the show Zain and I danced, sang (??), hooted and hollered our brains out. It was funny to watch the two couples sitting next to me. They gave us these little sideways glances, wondering what chemicals we'd found, or what planet we'd landed from. But, but, but, the guy right next to me was squirming in his seat. He was doing the seat dance. He wanted to get up, but he could not, no he could not. And then there came the almighty Hurricane, and he really wanted to get up, but hey he might get laughed at. Finally, during the encore, his nerves twitching like little sparkplugs, he bolted up and started to boogie. Good God man, let it loose!! Do that stupid fucking white man dance.

Oh, yeah, the banner. Well you've read about it. It's on the road now. I sent it to Computer Cowboy by Fed Ex, but due to some stupid form you have to fill out if you're sending textiles, he didn't get it in time for Cleveland, but will have it for Concord. However, he was inspired to make his own banner for the show, and I'm looking forward to posts and pix.

Well, I'm outta here. It was a weekend to remember. I hope the rumours of a winter tour are true and would suggest to Neil that it's been a long time since he's played Maple Leaf Gardens, home of his beloved hockey team.

Looking forward to more reviews. Hope he plays something out of the ordinary for some of you that gives you a buzz as big as electic Needle did for us. Ordinary People, maybe followed by Razor Love?

See you down the road,

Cutlass Supreme

Pine Knob (Clarkston, Michigan), Sept 1, 1996

review by Vincent

if this is the place to review or talk about the Neil Young show at Pine Knob yesterday, I've got both. Let me first start by saying that this was my first time seeing Mr.Young play live and it was worth every penny spent. Before i continue let me say that Steve Earle was incredible! Back to the event. for me the best part of the show was the last five-six minutes of Like A Hurricane. I don't know what Poncho was playing, but the four guys had the entire place shaking from the noise. Neil went off, tearing at his guitar until the strings broke. He continued to play the broken strings, just freaking out and playing, walking around to the side of the stage and back. Next he dragged the guitar off stage and walked back over to his loyal bassist. There were big candles all over the place and Neil grabbed one from off of the drum riser. He holds the thing up, all triumphant like, and dumps the wax onto the stage. Next he holds the candle up and moves it back and forth in from of the bassist's (I'm sorry I've forgotten the name) and they both try, half-assed, to blow the thing out. He drops the candle, picks it back up as the freak out ends and eventually places it on the thing that Poncho's playing. When he does this, a bass sound unlike any I've ever experienced rolls out over the crowd. Stobe lights flashing during this part of the song and I've got to say that it was unlike anything I have ver witnessed before. The other part of the show that blew my mind was during Sedan Delivery. The four older couples on my right split after Fuckin' Up and the four on my left split right before this song, the playing was just great! Absolutely amazing!

Pine Knob (Clarkston, Michigan), Sept 1, 1996

review by Dave Slug Fielder

Now for Detroit: Personally, I really liked the theatre itself, I found I could see well and I found the sound system a little better than Barrie. I did not, however, like the ushers, or whatever you call them. I won't call them Nazis, I prefer the Pine Knobs. During the whole damn show, these Knobs kept telling us "sit down", "move out of the aisles", "stop stabbing me" (kidding!). But we kept on rockin' in our not-quite-free seats.

I'd like to add a little to Mary's wonderful "Zeke" story. As she was talking to him, he turned and looked straight at us. I grinned and waved back (rather silly but who cares, eh?), and I couldn't help but notice that he has the same glare that his old man does. As Mary and him strolled by where we were sitting, I also couldn't help but notice that he looks amazingly like Neil during the '76 tour. After that, I was in awe of Mary. Hey, she had spoken to someone with half of Neil's chromosomes!

The crowd at the show itself seemed rather blase about the whole thing, but neither that nor the Pine Knobs could stop us. The show was shorter than Barrie, maybe a little more tame, but did include the welcome addition of Powderfinger and a back-to-acoustic Needle. Ha Ha, we saw it electric in Barrie, and no one else will, nyah nyah! Just funnin' ya! Call that his gift to his home and native land. But he still put on an awesome show, with Neil you can't go wrong!

Don't remember too much after that, I guess I must have ate a bad BallPark frank   ;-)

All in all, the highlight of my summer! Now I wanna go back to the R'n'R Hall of Fame again to pay homage to the almighty! To all you folks who still have yet to see Neil, I hope your shows are as great as the ones we saw. Of couse they'll be, it's Neil! And to all you future RustFesters, I hope your fellow Rusties are as great as the folks I went with. Mary, Zain, Andy, Kato, Jack, Dave, thanks again! Once more, as Ralph Kramden says, "Yer the greatest!"

Still in the throes of withdrawal,


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