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Sunday, August 04, 2019

VIDEO - "The Unforgettable Concert": HORDE Festival 1997 Highlights

Neil Young and Crazy Horse's setlist at the World Music Theatre in Tinley Park (Chicago), Illinois on the HORDE Festival tour on August 3rd, 1997 has been called "The Unforgettable Concert".

The video above is a MTV News segment by Music Correspondent Kurt Loder on the HORDE Festival in 1997 featured Neil Young, Beck, Primus, Toad the Wet Sprocket and many other bands. It is known as the "The Unforgettable Concert" because by the time Neil Young and Crazy Horse completed an all time tour de force performance of "Like A Hurricane", a hurricane like storm had just blown through the amphitheater, leaving the audience in the pit up to their knees in water. and the band plays on.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse
World Music Theatre in Tinley Park (Chicago), Illinois on the HORDE Festival tour on August 3rd, 1997

The 1997 HORDE festival started on July 11th at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA and finished at the Suwannee Music Park in Jacksonville, FL on August 23rd. Only a handful of artists played all 28 days of the festival; Toad was one of those artists. Their set tended to run about 40 minutes and were typically filled with their chart hits. The show chronicled on this overview was played at the World Music Theater in Chicago on August 3rd.

Neil Young @ 1997 Horde Festival
Photo by Jay Blakesberg
(Click photo to enlarge)

We always love to hear a great Neil Young concert story.

So here's a story that we recall from years ago that folks who were there say it was a most incredible memory. Last year, Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot wrote about "The concert I won't forget: The night Neil Young rocked like a hurricane":
Fans who attend rock concerts expect the performers to give their all. But they usually don’t expect them to defy death. So when the editors of the Tribune's Sunday magazine asked me to weigh in on my most surprising moment as a concertgoer, there really was only one choice.

On a muggy midsummer day in 1997, Neil Young and Crazy Horse took the stage at what was then known as the World Music Theatre in Tinley Park. They were part of the H.O.R.D.E. festival on what had so far been a pleasant if hardly transcendent day of music. But as the scruffy quartet took the stage, things got ugly.

A storm was blowing in, a nasty one. A roof covered the stage and part of the audience, but it offered little protection. Lightning creased the sky, thunder crashed, wind howled, and rain whipped sideways through the amphitheater, soaking everyone --- including the band. The Jolly Roger flag on Ralph Molina’s drum kit ripped in the wind, conjuring visions of a sinking galleon. Young and the band plowed ahead anyway, but then the lights, public address system and amplifiers gave out. The concrete aisles sloping toward the stage resembled white-water rapids as rainwater gushed through the pavilion. Panic was in the air. You could feel it, and hundreds of people started to sprint toward the parking lot. I was tempted to join them. I’d never really felt fear at a rock concert before --- until that moment.

It was foregone conclusion that the concert was over. It had to be. Any musician with a lick of sense would’ve been in his dressing room by now drinking a beer and toweling off --- a far better option than death by electrocution.

But Young and the band never stopped.
More of Greg Kot's memories of Neil Young in 1997.

More recollections of the "The Unforgettable Concert" @ World Music Theatre in Tinley Park (Chicago), Illinois, HORDE Festival on August 3rd, 1997.

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At 8/05/2019 12:29:00 AM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

I have HORDE memories galore. Big Head Todd & The Monsters. Todd Park Mohr is a hell of a guitar player. He goes Big as his name. Strats and Marshalls. Jimi style. Good songwriter too. Neil + CH. Id heard he would do a solo set on the concourse. He did but I only saw 2 songs. But I tried for an hour nobody knew nothin of course when I asked. He did 9 acoustic. Opened w Cinnamon Girl in main set. Primus also played and were enjoyable. Blues Traveler Im a fan.

At 8/05/2019 09:31:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

NY & CH played at Hershey, Pa during that tour and as they were slashing through Like a Hurricane, lightning played across the sky behind them. When their set ended, it poured and everyone sought cover below the bleachers. When it cleared up, Blues Traveler did a rendition of the Star spangled banner on harmonica.

At 8/05/2019 11:13:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

What great fun HORDE '97 was. The Ordinary People banner was circulating for signatures. The Ted and Ginger midwest Rustfest, year two. In Columbus and Cincinnati, we got two of ten small tent acoustic sets from Neil on the tour. Leo asked Neil about the archives project, and Neil said, "I *am* the Archives!" :) And the train set was cool.

At 8/05/2019 03:00:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Attended all the Horde Festival shows in Indiana. Neil always rocks Indiana, he knows we have it tough! Thanks for all those great moments, Horde was amazing too...Toad, Black Crowes, Blues Traveller, Ziggy and the Melody Makers, so many wonderful jams...

At 8/07/2019 10:07:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Speaking of Big Head Todd & the Monsters, I was at Horde in Portland Oregon and during their set he broke a guitar string in the middle of a solo and his guitar tech came out while he kept playing and changed the string. Didn’t miss a single note...... just amazing stuff!!! Also loved Morphine, Primus and of course Neil & the Horse were on fire that night.

At 8/08/2019 10:59:00 AM, Blogger windsaloft said...

I was there in Chicago. Beck played a killer set on the main stage before Neil and the Horse. It was still sunny then, but during Morphine's set on the second stage things started to get hairy. They shut that set down and people who were watching Morphine either split or sought cover under the main stage pavilion. Neil and the Horse had been sticking to a pretty static setlist, but when the winds started blowing and the rain started falling they ditched the normal and kicked into "Fuckin' Up". During the first solo I heard the sound kind of fart out for a second or two. They went back into the song, then Neil absolutely ripped into the outro solo. The power started to go and they kept playing. Suddenly the whole place went dark! No light at all for 10-15 seconds, then you start seeing some road crew guys on stage with flashlights. Backups lights start coming on, then you notice the band is STILL PLAYING!! They never stopped. The show was briefly stopped, the stage crew turned the stage monitors out towards the dwindling crowd (the PA was blown), and the fuckers ended up playing a full set, throwing in epic versions of "Down by the River" and, of course, "Like a Hurricane". Right after the first chorus line of "You are like a hurricane" there was a huge thunder clap and everyone lost their shit.

At 9/09/2019 02:18:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Probly one of the best concerts of my life. The storm standing in water knee deep and Neil said fuck this were rocking.

At 12/28/2020 11:00:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I forgot all about this show, I was there. Someone tossed a wet towel or shirt at Mark Sandman during the Morphine set, hit him and oh boy was he pissed.

At 2/20/2023 09:12:00 PM, Blogger Kick_Saves said...

I was there! I was 20 years old. I remember Neil walking out of a side door into the courtyards and literally bumping into each other as he walked to the side stage to join Popper. I also remember Les Claypool playing bass on that side stage with Neil. Morphine played the opposite left side stage and it was an incredible site to see front row with lightning and thunder clapping between breaks in songs.
By the time Neil Young and Crazy Horse played the storm was so out of control, winds had to be 65 plus miles per hour. Rain soaking everyone and when the lights and sound kicked off the band still played. It wasn't until I caught a chunk of hail in my mouth while screaming in sheer ecstacy, that I started to fear we were going to be swept out by a tornado and I started joining everyone else in running down to the courtyard to get to the parking lot! Water up to our knees! Such an incredible day and night that show was. I will never ever forget it! And seeing Neil Again 20 years later brought tears to my eyes. I've been a fan since I was a teenager. Memories to last a lifetime! This is why you always go to see a show and your favorite artists! -Jon Valente


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