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Thursday, June 08, 2017

REVIEW: Solo, Electric "The Needle and the Damage Done" by Neil Young @ Molson Park (Barrie, Ontario), Aug 31, 1996

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
From Concert Film Year of The Horse (1996)
Directed by Jim Jarmusch

As Neil Young’s 2017 self imposed sabbatical continues and (updated here), we continue our journey into the past of the TW Archives and other sources.

Of late, we here @ TW have explored some of the rarer versions of traditionally solo, acoustic Neil Young material played electric. For example, see "Electric "Pocahontas" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse - 1996" and "Electric "Natural Beauty" - Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Hamilton, Ontario, 1996-10-31".

All of which inspires to go looking for a version of the legendary 1996 solo, electric version of "The Needle and the Damage Done" by Neil Young at Molson Park in Barrie, Ontario, Canada on August 31. Partially motivated by completing a trifecta to go along with "Pocahontas" and "Natural Beauty" above, but primarily to re-expereince the drama we felt when we first realized what we were hearing that night .

So we're Duck Duck Go Go-ing and lo and behold but a review we wrote pops up from our dearly beloved and inspirational

So without further ado, our posting to rust@death 21 years ago...

Molson Park (Barrie, Ontario), Aug 31, 1996

review by Thrasher
Back home again in Virginia after another major Neil roadtrip.

This was my sixth show on the N. American tour. The short story -> TO [Molson Park (Barrie, Ontario), Aug 31, 1996] was the best show so far. Even judging from the handful of Europe 96s I've heard of/or about, Toronto's show was the tops-- so far.   ;)

I've always wanted to see Neil in Canada so I was looking forward to the trip across the border to a town in Northern Ontario. Barrie -- Molson Park to be precise. A gorgeous day. So many great familiar Rusties like Shakey, Jennie L., Rick from MI, and Leo. Also, all the new Rusties -> Zain, Andy, Kato, Mary, and all the others I'm not listing. The
RUST@DEATH sign was most excellent for rounding us up for the pre-show.

Maybe it was great because it was the first General Admission show for me on the tour. Resrved seats are great - if you have them. GA was so totally cool - if you could handle the mosh pit...

This was the 2nd time we've seen Oasis this year. It was a total mosh afair and not for the faint of heart. Leo had to go over the stage barricades to get out -- it was that intense. Thrashette and I only made itup to the sound board for Oasis.

During the Oasis set, Liam (the lead dude) was actively encouraging the crowd to hurl items at him. When we were at Fairfax last spring it was mostly shoes folks threw onstage. In TO, the weapon of choice was the plastic water bottle.

After a few hundred projectiles piled up on stage, I was kinda flashing back to Atlanta where Neil cut the show short after a light stick came at him. All it would take some Oasis nut to throw a bottle at Neil at wreck things. Fortunately, the trend didn't continue.

Anyway, main event. After Oasis ended and their fans left we surged into the vacuum. Made it to about 10 yards from stage. As it got closer to Horse scene, the crowd pushing got so bad that Thrashette had to fall back, and we re-grouped.

Got situated and on with the show. As I'm sure has been noted before -> ***electric*** TNATDD. ["The Needle and the Damage Done"] Unbeleivable! Off walks the Horse to begin what has always been the solo segment acoustic set. But Neil's still got Old Black?! And so begins electric TNATDD. It was a rather straightforward version with an added dimension of some rather unearthly notes. Shakey confirms that an electric version of TNATDD has never been done before.


Then came Helpless. The crowd sings "There is a town in Northern Ontario" and folks hold up lighters. Later the moon would rise. Quite magical, I must say. The first time my spine truly tingled on this tour leg.

FU was intro'd by "Tyrone, this note's for you". Go figure?

And then the Tonight's the Night! Wow. About 10 minutes. It cooked.

If this wasn't enough for one night, there was more. After Roll Another Number, the lights went up and the house music came on. Folks started milling out. Up on stage I had caught a glance of what I thought was Randy Bachman. I was going, maybe Randy will play? I later learned it was former Buffalo Springfielder Bruce Palmer. Neil and Bruce walked off
stage arm and arm.

But suddenly Neil and the Horse returned! We rushed even closer to the stage. Didn't quite make it to Shakey on the rail but close enough to be out of range of flying bodies during RITFW. First time I've seen serious crowd surfing at a Neil show.

Prisoners was rockin. No harmonica like the previous Prisoners in DC & Va Beach. But still a very fun number. It's so funny to watch these guys go "That's why we don't wanta to be good" when 40,000 folks are going "No, No, no!!" Joyous.

But the ending of RITFW was like no other. It went on and on into unchartered riffing areas. Very cool. Eventually I thought it maybe even - god forbid - a new song it was so unique sounding.

But with a flourish, Neil ripped all the strings on Ol Black for the 3rd - and final time of the night.

Maybe it was the best so far because of GA. Maybe Canada. Maybe No f*&*g curfew. You know the folks in Europe & Canada are right that its kinda riduculous all this total reserved seating. After a bad show in VA Beach where we got into a ruckus over sit vs stand I really needed a mosher for Neil and the Horse. I guess I shoulda surfed?

Hiding behind hay bales...


So what did we ever learn about "Tyrone"? Seems like Sharry tracked this down once upon a time.

Yes, we did seem get pretty excited back in those days ... where did they go ...

More rustie reviews of the Solo, Electric "The Needle and the Damage Done" by Neil Young @ Molson Park (Barrie, Ontario), Aug 31, 1996 on

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At 6/08/2017 08:07:00 PM, Blogger Syscrusher said...

Great story Thrasher! Brought back lots of memories... totally reminded me of that ending. We were standing up the bowl a bit and we stood and watched people pouring up and out of the bowl like a river eddy. Being my first ever Neil show we somehow knew enough not to move and were able to improve our position greatly. Had forgot about that
Many great stories I still tell from that show.
I was 18 that summer and three of us got a ride from someone's dad. I forgot our tickets in TO so we had to hop the fence to get in. So I still have the full untorn tickets. (If that's cool I don't know?)
I remember the full moon off to the right of the stage was just brilliant. I think it rose as he started to play the acoustic numbers.
Unfortunately I had no idea what I was hearing when he played Needle but I can sort of picture him playing it.
Anyway glad to hear it was such a highly rated show by you Thrasher. It was certainly one of my most important musical moments, along with Hamilton '96,

PS if you're looking to continue that acoustic to electric theme try the Crazy Horse Campaigner from the Weld tour. Love that one. It's in the Rock n Roll Cowboy bootleg.

At 6/08/2017 10:57:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

So glad you caught this post Syscrusher.

Trunks of memories. Cool on the full untorn tickets. Yeah, and the mega full moon rising as the sun set while Neil is strumming along. On cue, in sync with the stars and planets. way, way after the goldrush. but check the other reviews posted on hyperrust linked.

back in the day when there would be 20 monologues on a Neil concert.

yes, just located electric Crazy Horse Campaigner from the Weld tour. will post soon.

after these, where to next?

At 6/09/2017 11:33:00 PM, Blogger rolandthompsongunner said...

Really enjoy these. Haven't heard electric Campaigner in ages, so pumped for that.

As for next road? Flip it up. Go with some acoustic Horse from the Bridge Shows (Love and Only Love, Cinnamon Girl or Hurricane) or the wonderful piano version of Manison on the Hill from the Harvest Moon tour.

Or track down every live performance of Cripple Creek Ferry!

At 6/09/2017 11:33:00 PM, Blogger rolandthompsongunner said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6/10/2017 01:19:00 AM, Blogger herbsworld said...

Harvest Moon Tour? spoiled we all once were with a flood of Neil creativity.
was the Year of my wife's wedding anniversary. And what better way to celebrate a honeymoon/birthday than a February date with the the Horse? would eventually meld into Weld. later that year, he announced tix fer the Beacon. '91 pre-internet as we know it today.
EVERYONE in the audience expected a Horse show (even tho tix may have said "SOLO"?) I honestly don't remember. I do remember the Boo Birds tho, as he played what has come to be known as Harvest Moon. Imagine booing Harvest Moon. It happened, I was there.
I do recall some out of time clapping and Neil halting mid song.
To amnnounce "clapping was fine. IN TIME". Audience was throwing him by clapping OUT OF TIME.
oh, how I yearn fer a Journey thru the past......

At 6/11/2017 04:41:00 PM, Blogger John said...

While I guess it's not on YouTube but are there any recordings of this version out there? I'd love to hear it.


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