Saturday, April 24, 2010
Today was a Day for "Weld" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse (1991)
The live album Weld was released not that long (6 months) after the 1991 Neil Young & Crazy Tour wrapped up on April 27 in Los Angeles. All the tracks were recorded over the 13 weeks of 1991's "Smell the Horse" tour which took place during the first Gulf War. Also released the same day was a third disc Arc which is 35 minutes of feedback and guitar crunching compiled from some of the more distorted moments of shows on the tour. I guess the story is that Arc came about thanks to Thurston Moore's suggestion to Neil.
I was fortunate enough to catch the March 15th show at the Convention Center Arena in San Antonio, TX with opening acts Sonic Youth and Social Distortion. It was quite the evening of music.
One of the more fun aspects of the night was sitting next to a couple of old hippies during Sonic Youth's portion of the show. Our seat neighbors were pretty freaked out by the distortion and the feedback during the zanier moments of the Sonic Youth set (and this was coming from some dudes that had seen The Horse with Neil back in 1970 and 1978). Likewise, in the concourse bathroom right before Neil Young hit the stage, there were two other old hippies that were talking about the ear-piercing amplifier feedback that Thurston Moore was getting by rubbing his guitar all over his amp and the drum riser. The one turns to the other and says "Man, I've never seen anything like that before...not even in the 60s." The night was off to a good start.
In the show I saw, the Neil Young & Crazy Horse tour stage setup had an oversized microphone, yellow ribbon, and peace symbol backdrop. Additionally, there were several effects and props that were clearly harkening back to the stage design on the 1978 "Live Rust" tour (oversized faux amps towering above the band members and weird troll-goblin folks that came out and made exaggerated stage adjustments occassionally between songs.)
Gulf War I had just officially wrapped up a few weeks previous. It was very good to hear all the loud guitars that evening...