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Monday, October 12, 2009

Comment of the Moment: FLASHBACK - Concert Review of Neil Young, Williamsburg, October 7, 1978

Neil Young - 1978 Rust Never Sleeps Tour

The Neil Young Comment of the Moment is from FLASHBACK: Concert Review of Neil Young, Williamsburg, October 7, 1978 by BIGCHIEF:
I had already been a hopelessly obsessive fan for nine years prior to the 'R.N.S.' shows which were my first of over 30+ to date.

The thing that stands out to me about the shows was being second in line at the venue (yes, the days when it was first come, first serve for tickets!)when after camping out the night before in the parking lot of the 'Pine Knob music Theater' outside of Detroit, I met another obvious die-hard Neil fan who was wearing a 'Tonights The Night' T-shirt which I was so envious of.

After striking up a friendship after talking all things Neil for several hours, we eventually parted ways with tickets for both shows (two nights-sold out!)in hand, exclaiming "maybe I'll see ya at the show!". Well, several weeks had past when on the night of the first show finally arrived and we were making our way towards the gate when I thought I heard my name called out and sure enough, that fellow was waiting at the gate for me with a brand new 'Tonights The Night' T-shirt for me.

To this day it still blows me away to think about it!

This was the 'analog' version of mutual artist appreciation in ancient times prior to the digital age of blogs,e-mails,cell phones,c.d.'s,and the dawn of 'Ticket Master' was just over the horizon and by the way, as I said, I have since seen over 30 of Neil's concerts in every phase of his career and the R.N.S. shows were by far the epitome of what the perfect Neil concert would be if you were taking someone whom your intent was to convert.

It had it all and he has not since then been able to capture anything remotely close to the same intensity with as much creativity, both visually and and in sheer thunderous volume ... as he himself even said "when they leave my show,I want it to be the loudest thing they ever heard"! and he was able to achieve that, prompting several post-tour lawsuits for hearing loss.

Although loudness in itself doesn't make a concert great, the melodic thunder of Crazy Horse certainly left an impression that sustained ringing ears right up until I got my copy of 'Live Rust' assuring me that the 'roadeyes' and 'coneheads'were for real and not just some sort twisted dream consisting of some hybrid of 'Star Wars' and Sat.Night Live'

No folks, it was all real+ and I know you can't go back, but to those of you, especially recent converts, who rate the current 'never ending tour Neil' amongst the greatest performers ever, at least pick up a D.V.D. of R.N.S's and get lost in a performance of an artist who even then was making a statement towards his contemporaries that he refused to rest on his laurels ..well, even in his 'resting mode' he's still light years ahead of those 'contemporaries'!


More comments on Neil Young's Rust Never Sleeps concerts and reviews of Rust Never Sleeps Tour.


At 10/12/2009 02:49:00 PM, Anonymous SONY said...

When 'introducing' Neil Young to friends and non-believers, I usually get out the Rust Never Sleeps/Live Rust DVD, cue up 'When You Dance...' turn it up to 5 (anything higher shatters windows and eardrums)and leave the room. Not much else needed for true conversions.

At 10/12/2009 03:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you sure that photo is from Rust tour?

it looks more like '81, Live in Berlin era...

At 10/12/2009 03:30:00 PM, Anonymous Simpson said...

I do the same thing! Everytime I have friends come over to my dorm to drink I always put in the Rust Never Sleeps DVD, turn to the electric portion, and crank it up so loud. Out of the 25+ Neil Young DVD's I own, both bootleg and official, RNS is the one I always put in.

At 10/12/2009 03:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The photo is taken from "Rust never Sleeps",the inside dust cover.

At 10/12/2009 06:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the photo is from the Trans Tour era, in the Rust Tour Neil has never worn a necktie

At 10/12/2009 06:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


i knew this wasn't from Rust era.

Thrash, can we get an updated photo put in place?

At 10/12/2009 07:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did he always wear a white shirt and suspenders on the Rust Tour? He had a white suit and even shorter hair during the boarding house gigs.

If he alwas changed clothes as much as he does today, it´s probably safe to say you can tell a tour by what he wears on a pic.

On topic, I always play the Rust Album to people who haven´t heard anything by Neil before.

It was pretty much like for me. I seperatly with some time in between saw the clip from My My Hey Hey on VH-1 and was impressed and then the one for Hey Hey My My and was blown away.

At 10/12/2009 08:13:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks everyone for the photo verfications.

OK, it does look like Neil's wearing a tie so that rules out 78.

Anon @ 6:59: suggestions?

At 10/12/2009 10:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not so much a suggestion, rather an observation-time fades away!

At 10/12/2009 11:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You surprise me Thrash, I would have thought time-framing a Neil pic is one of the easier things to do for a fan. This is without doubt taken from the Trans tour in 1982, probably somewhere in Europe (he did do a couple of warm-up gigs in the U.S, but I'm not sure if he was looking and dressing the same at those).

At 10/13/2009 03:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeez, who said it even HAD to be a photo of Neil on the RNS tour...

If that's all you guys have to worry about, you must be sorted for life.

Thrasher, great site, I visit often, and have never been let down! Don't listen to Mr "If you were a REAL Neil Young fan you could pinpoint the exact day, hour, minute and year from a photo blah blah blah..."

Thing is, Thrasher, you're more of a REAL Neil Young fan than any of us. I don't see any other amazing Neil Young fansites about, do you? Thanks for all your hard work at keeping us up to date on Neil; without you, we'd all have to take guesses...

At 10/13/2009 05:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Comment, Thrasher... I was also at the second night of the Pine Knob gig - also my first NY concert (first of about 15) - I brought along 3 friends who weren't converts to Neil - yet... need I say more? Well, I will, by the end of the evening, my buddies were jumping up and down to Sedan Delivery, Welfare Mothers, Hurricane and Cortez... they went nuts, absolutely beserk on Neil - can't say I've ever seen a better concert (Led Zeppelin at Pontiac Silverdome - front row -- is about the only one that came close)... I remember getting a cool RNS T-shirt, with the fake bib overall straps -- still wonder where it is! would love to have it back...
Keep Rockin'

At 10/13/2009 06:07:00 PM, Anonymous BIGCHIEF said...

Thanks Thrasher for posting my comment on my 'Pine Knob' Rust Never Sleeps experience. I believe on both nights of the shows at that venue, Neil wore the customary white painter pants with suspenders and a white 'Jackson Brown' T-Shirt. He wore the same through out the tour although the T-Shirts varied from venue to venue. I also purchased the yellow with red suspender R.N.S.
red suspender 'R.N.S' tour T-Shirt (my wife still wears hers to his concerts to this day!)Ah, the Day's That Used To Be !

At 10/14/2009 10:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrashers Wheat - The daily dietary Fiber!

At 10/14/2009 11:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget about this stuff that did or didn't happen back in 1978.When and is Dreamin' Man,The Trunk Show and Toast comin' out?!!I'M HUNGRY!!

Rancho Relaxo

At 10/14/2009 03:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...give us this day our daily WHEAT!

At 10/14/2009 07:35:00 PM, Anonymous kaba said...

2009 Annual Bridge School Benefit Lineup !

At 10/15/2009 10:56:00 AM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

I'm with Anon 11:42... particularly with regard to the ever-elusive Toast.

What's up, Neil, you've only released like 14 discs this year! Get on the ball, man! Bring on Toast!


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