Neil Young - Paris
- 06-24-2001 (review)


Hi rusties,

Our friend Denis who is *Between The Rusty Words*, from the French rustlist *Les Gens Ordinaires* (Ordinary People) wrote a fantastic review of the complete show, Oasis and Neil, in the French language, so we at LGO decided to translate it to English and publish it to the rustlist.
It took some time for there were 3 translators (Sylver, Val & myself) and one checker/arranger, Allan Meek, but it's ready at last, so here we go :

Bad start. The drums smash my body. I can feel my atoms vibrating, then quickly panic. Will my heart resist ? English people stir about restlessly. The singer does nothing to fix his mike which comes down to his chest and points toward his abdomen ! Just imagine the contortions he has to do to sing ! A foreign object (a fruit ? maybe an orange ?) hits the singer. He looks at the object lying on the ground, gives it a disdainful pout, walks back to his mike and, without word or gesture, lets the audience know, *I just f#$@ you*. He goes backstage for the next song, probably to hide and sulk.
Let's look for positive aspects in this musical horror : the Pearl Jam-like intros are short and effective, and an electric end in a blaze of glory. No encore - phew !
Except for Donna, the English Rustie girl, the English crowd in front of me moves toward the exit. Off we go ! Hugues and I make out way forward and get to the rail, second row.

Props people are all over the stage. The piano is on our right, perpendicular to the front ; the harmonium, on our left facing us (Neil will likely turn his back to us for ATGR). In front of this stands a statue of Crazy Horse. The drums are at the center, decorated with the pirate flag and the French flag, and a cool buffalo head drawing on Molina's bass drum. Why didn't they put it on a T-shirt or a poster ? !

Crazy Horse ! Crazy Horse ! Crazy Horse ! CRAZY HORSE ! CRAZY HORSE ! CRAZY HORSE ! CRAZY HORSE ! CRAZY HORSE ! CRAZY HORSE ! CRAZY HORSE ! . . . We're running out of breath. He keeps us waiting. We're striking up *Heart Of Gold*. Still, nothing. Then, in the light of the big candles scattered on the stage, CH arrives shyly from the right.

Don't Cry No Tears / I've Been Waiting For You. Hou, I'm scared : they really take it too much in their stride, too restrained. In a word : too seriously. Neil needs help to feel at ease. The only weapons we have are our voices and bodies. At the end of the 2nd track, Neil began to smile and glance at us.

Love And Only Love. This track marked the real start of Neil's taking notice of us. This track was unbelievable. Part of the crowd was singing *Love & Only Love* with him, as another part (including yours truly) was replying to him. It displayed a new dimension - 8th or 9th - we've left the 4th ! Neil heard us and understood our call to the spirit. The Horse was getting loose. He's never repeated the verses of the song before tonight. We won his esteem. He was no longer playing for himself, no longer playing for us ; instead, he was playing with us. WE WERE CRAZY HORSE ! (Let us dare to say that). So in this spirit, it was time for POC. For the very last cry *Piece Of Crap*, Neil looked for the right time to surprise us, for he could see we were ahead of him. And he finally found it. Rejoice !

Going Home / When I Hold You In My Arms. The audience was silent while appreciating the new songs recalling Ragged Glory and Broken Arrow. There were two young, French, rustie girlfriends in front of me. One of them was struggling for fresh air, so she asked the security people for to get her outta there, and the other girl followed out of friendship. So here I was, in the first row, beside my friend rustie Young Billy, and facing Poncho ! When in such a place, you know who the musicians are looking at, whether it is you, your neighbor, or the one behind you. And you hear such a perfect sound . . . what more can you ask ? I'm glad I had no choice when I bought my ticket.

Now the acoustic part : From Hank To Hendrix / Don't Let It Bring You Down / Pocahontas / After The Gold Rush. Even after doing his dance during the electric set, he doesn't sit down to play his acoustic guitar. He sings with the audience. I love ATGR, but this time it seemed rather pale to me. I mean it was a classic, but it was missing originality.

Only Love Can Break Your Heart. A good transition between the acoustic and electric parts. Nothing more to tell, nothing outstanding in my memory.

Standing In The Light Of Love / Gateway Of Love. Two more new songs : we're spoiled. They all are excellent and bewitching. The one where he changes from piano to electric guitar, he plays sitting all along, his guitar resting on his back with its neck turned to the ground. IMO, this track would be better without piano. This instrument adds nothing to the song and prevents us from hearing some sparkling notes of electricity whose secret is owned by Neil only.

*No rain ! No rain !* the audience shouts, just like on the Live Rust CD and the Rust Never Sleeps Video : Crazy Horse rides with angels. Happiness can be seen on their sweat-dripping faces.

My, My, Hey, Hey (or Hey, Hey, My, My). Unequalled power has been reached here. Everything was moving around me. It is fantastic ! Neil did this verse for us : *The king is gone but he's not forgotten / Is this the story of Johnny Rotten ? / IT'S BETTER TO BURN OUT THAN TO FADE AWAY / The king is gone but he's not forgotten.* When he was supposed to sing, *It's better to burn out 'cause rust never sleeps.* Poncho tells him with a grimace of surprise. Then, Neil realized his small mistake and replies the same way, grimacing. Both of them are laughing out loud. Poncho gets near Neil and mimes twice kicking Neil's arse, but he doesn't care and he throws the Horse into a wild and mean ride. How does he take it all ? What form ! What energy !

Sedan Delivery. Magical. The weariness I feel listening to some old live shows (1996, 2001) has now faded away. The same miracle as *Love And Only Love*. Once more, I reply to Neil. This is the end of me. I'm out. SD got me. And now comes . . .

. . . Like A Hurricane. A dove (the organ) comes down from the sky. A blue tear drops from his left closed eye. A black bandana on his head. I'm startled and want to cry to him : *no tears around me*, but it's too late : a violent Hurricane is on its way. It begins like the end of Weld version. Now, I'm weary and just looking. One hand grabbing the barrier, the other on Young Billy's shoulder, I'm feeling weak, almost stumbling. They should have set an airing system and/or sprayed us with water. Hey Neil, where's that big fan of yours, from Hurricane ? On stage, they wriggle like devils. Wires are tangling up. Billy is trying to untangle them and making signs with his body, to pass behind him. But Neil is on a trip, he's disregarding anything. The end already, Neil uses distortion and breaks his guitar strings. One by one they're giving way under the pressure. The last one's tougher and it needs all Neil's strength to tear it off with his hand. Neil, please don't cut your fingers !

Now it's time for the experimental part, a kind of laboratory. Giving it vibrating motions, Neil sets his Old Black in various positions, trying to shake the tremolo bar free from all moves. He tests ensuing sounds : He leans his guitar on the piano, thumping it then changing settings on his pedal-set, and thumping it again just to listen to the sound it makes, repeating this again and again. A few notes on the piano, then . . . you ain't gonna end this track this way, not this early -- I need ten to twenty minutes more ! You'd better have another guitar to break out. Go get it, please ! In the mean time, Poncho looked happily at Neil working on his experimentation. Billy put his guitar on the ground and looked at it inquiring, *Shall I stamp on it or shall I try and draw sounds from it ?*. He chose the latter and knelt to tamper with it. Crazy Horse left the stage discreetly.

Encore . . . Of course, we want more, till dawn. That's when I found my strength again, now I'm perfectly ready for . . . Fuckin' Up. Sorry, but I can't find the words to tell you about such a phenomenal song. Isn't there a small bit of blues at the end ? Oh my my, Neil never dared play this way ! He did it because he knew the audience was on his side. He could do anything tonight -- we were so good ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Poncho won me over by a length when he threw his neverending *Fuckin' Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup*. Maybe he shouldn't shout this loud. He is so strong. This *Fuckin' Up* will will go down in history -- Neil shouldn't forget it for his next live CD.

This is the end. Neil, arms raised, is waving his hands thanking the audience. Ralph's drumsticks fly above the crowd. One had already passed over in the middle of an earlier song (MMHH ?, or another one earlier ?). Then, arm in arm, they're bowing down and are swallowed into their dressing rooms' intimacy. End of show music is played, the one we only heard at Vancouver 2000.

Oops, I forgot to tell you :

1) Neil is very talkative -- I mean more than me.

2) Behind me, a guy played harmonica (! ! !) while Neil was getting ready for Pacahontas. I was afraid Neil would have a bad reaction. Did anybody in the seats hear him ?

3) As a final goodbye, Poncho waved to us in the front row : you are the best !

4) I had a hoarse voice for more than 36 hours. But, I didn't account for that immediatly (see #1).

5) I haven't been able to listen to any music since that night. Just blues symptoms, like Yotha's.

6) Good artists never give the same show twice. You Rusties will have to figure out new tricks at Vienne if you want Neil to like you (France, not Austria - don't take the wrong road, Neil !).

My mind is set : I won't clean my ears anymore until Christmas, Neil cleaned all the dirt from them at Bercy tonight. A question is hanging in my head (please answer me) : How can you listen again to the Loner's CDs (official or bootlegs) after having taken part in a show ?

A great disappointment tears my heart : Astrid disregarded my rendezvous (so did Peggy with Francois Fisson's). I just simply wanted to take her in my arms and cover her with kisses. My intentions were good, Parisian nights are so cold and hostile.

Well, now I need the night's t-shirt, medium size. A very charming salesgirl shows me what's left : large. She unfolds it ; I can't wear that ! It's twice as big as me ! I ask her to look for a medium t-shirt in any pattern. Then, she gets a bit stressed. But, she comes back, glowing with happiness, a joyful spark in her eye. She proudly shows the *M* on the label, it's the exact t-shirt I'd asked for ! !

Now, the LGOs and other Rusties meet at Bercy Square. My legs are aching and my throat is dried out. We have a hard time making our way to the nearest bar. This is a sweet, warm night. Here we are now, sitting in a large bar with low prices (7.77 euros for a beer, and 3.96 euros for a Coke or a fruit juice). We get to know each other better, while discussing the fabulous show. Donna keeps saying that Birmingham was better, but she admits that she'd never heard such a version of F#$@in' Up (a smashing version, needless to say it again). Julia from Frisco, CA, shows me her watch and says we shouldn't miss the last tube train. Indeed, four minutes later and we'd have missed the last train. We say goodbye. After a little tourism through Europe, she'll be in Stockholm and Oslo for Neil again : that will make 6 (7 ?) European shows ! A roady Rustie girl !

I am overjoyed and enthusiastic about this day : I was close to Crazy Horse, the LGOs, and other Rusties. Thanks to all of you. Thanks to Neil Young. I hardly slept that night !

Denis Between The Rusty Words

PS : From this text, I wrote a very short review.
IDDN 2005

----- Original Message -----

From : Passenger <fg@ >
To : <rust@rustlist.org>
Cc : LGO
Sent : Sunday, July 15, 2001 7:38 PM
Subject : [gens] 01-06-24 Paris show review

My original text 

Setlist :  Don't Cry No Tears / I've Been Waiting For You / Love And Only Love / Piece Of Crap / Going Home / Hold You In My Arms / From Hank To Hendrix / Don't Let It Bring You Down / Pocahontas / After The Goldrush / Only Love Can Break Your Heart / Standing In The Light Of Love / Gateway Of Love / Hey Hey, My My / Sedan Delivery / Like A Hurricane // Fuckin' Up