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November 02, 1995 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-11-02

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6B -The Michigan Daily - Weuel,4 4c. - Thursday, November 2, 1995

Springsteen: Through a set darkly at Young's show

Los Angeles Times
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - You
usually know that it's time fora concert to
start when the stage crew finishes check-
ing the last of the microphones.
Not so at Neil Young's acoustic
Bridge School concerts at the Shoreline
Amphitheatre.
One sign of the warmth and infor-
mality of the star-studded event is that
no one expects anything to begin until
the final wheelchair is rolled on stage.
Young and his wife, Pegi, started this
concert series nine years ago to help
finance educational programs in the
San Francisco Bay Area for children
with severe speech and other physical
impairments - and students remain
the top priority. They are seated in a
place of honor behind the performers.
This generosity of spirit carries over
to the performers, who use their 25
minutes to either preview new material
orto revisit old songs in often revealing
ways.
Though Saturday's edition also fea-
tured stirring performances by the Pre-
tenders, Emmylou Harris and Young,
the focus was on Bruce Springsteen
because he previewed two songs from
his "The Ghost of Tom Joad" album,
which will be released Nov. 21.

Comedans Malone and
Nootcheez hit Mainstreet
D.C. Malone and Hampton Nootcheez don't Just have crazy names. They also offer
up an Insanely funny musical comedy act that drew "nine thumbs up" from
Mainstreet Comedy Showcase employees. The funny part is that Mainstreet only
has two employees ... (That's our attempt at a joke, of course).
If you're looking for REAL humor, laugh experts Malone and Nootcheez have been
performing their unique brand of comedy since they met in Toronto 13 years ago.
From their days in a 12-piece electric band called "Voodoo Bar Mitzvah" to the
stripped down duo they travel In today, the two comedians have been perfecting
their stage banter and verbal choreography.
The polar opposite personalities of the comedians may have something to do with
their appeal. Malone is tall where Nootcheez is short. Nootcheez Is clean-cut where
Malone Is "hipple." Malone was raised by African pygmie wolves when Nootcheez was
raised by Mongolian pack horses. (That's our second attempt at a joke).
The San Diego Beach News even threw caution to the wind and dubbed Malone
and Nootcheez "supremely talented bastards." We prefer "excessively humorous
baboons," but you can make up your own name for them after you see them
perform.
The duo will swing into town tonight with an 8:30 p.m. show at Mainstreet and
continue Friday and Saturday with 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. shows. Tickets are $12;
call 996-9080 for additional information and reservations. Come by and see these
"sumpremely talented" comedians. No joke.

This is an important album for
Springsteen because many critics and fans
complained about a lack of direction in
his pair of 1992 albums, "Lucky Town"
and "Human Touch." There were excel-
lent songs on the albums, but the works
overall hadthe feel ofa man searching for
his place in the'90s pop-rock scene, some
observers felt.
The direction is clear this time, and
the trail leads back to the uncompro-
mising spirit of some of Springsteen's
most acclaimed work.
"The Ghost of Tom Joad" and
"Sinaloa Cowboys,"the two songs from
the album that he played Saturday, com-
bine the stark, simmering social obser-
vation of his landmark 1982 "Ne-
braska" album and the poignant sense
of solitary struggle chronicled in his
1993 Oscar and Grammy winning song
Bridge School
Benefit
Shoreline Ampitheater
Mountain View, Calif
October 27, 1995
"Streets of Philadelphia."
"Tom Joad," which he dedicated
sarcastically to House Speaker Newt
Gingrich. evokes the name of the main
character in "The Grapes of Wrath,"
John Steinbeck's celebrated 1939 novel
about Oklahoma farmers who migrate
to the promised land of California only
to find themselves at the mercy of bul-
lying police and inhumane employers.
Accompanied only by his own gui-
tar, Springsteen sang the update of the
Joad tale with the determination and
bite of a '30s folk balladeer: "Shelter
line stretchin' 'round the corner/Wel-
come to the new world order/Families
sleepin' in their cars in the Southwest/
No home, no job, no peace, no rest."
Though the microphone sputtered at
several points, Springsteen seemed very
much a man on a mission as he wove the
new songs around some equally de-
spairing tunes from his past, including
the similar social protest of "Seeds"
and the more internal conflict of"Adam
Raised a Cain."
He seemed reinvigorated and ready to
tackle head-on (both with the album and
a companion solo acoustic theater tour)
the charges that he has lost his relevancy
and will in contemporary rock. The cre-
tive fire was in his eyes.
Yet his set was far from the evening's

Neil Young and wife Pegi organize amazing concerts that benefit all who listen.,

only highlight. Emmylou Harris and the
Pretenders' Chryssie Hynde are arguably
the most captivating female singers ever
in country and in rock, respectively, and
it was thrilling to hear them on the same
program, even if in separate sets.
Daniel Lanois, who produced Har-
ris' new album and who adds a more
rootsy and sophisticated edge to her
music, joined Harris in a set that was
more a partnership than a Harris solo
affair - a move that is fresh at times,
but which also sacrifices some of her
individuality.
Hynde and the Pretenders also had a
partner, but the string quartet that ac-
companied them accentuated Hynde's
vocals rather than competed with them.
She dedicated a stinging version of
Young's "Needle and the Damage
Done" to Shannon Hoon, the Blind
Melon lead singer who was found dead
in Louisiana on Oct. 21. Blind Melon
had been scheduled for Saturday's bill.

Hootie and the Blowfish, which was
well received by the crowd of mope
than 20,000, is as unpretentious as it is
ordinary, which means its success is as
inoffensive as it is inexplicable.
Beck, a young singer-songwriter wbo
is hip enough to go from Lollapalooza
to "The Larry Sanders Show," can be
engaging at times, but he opened the
nearly five-hour concert with a ram-
bling and listless set.
Young, in closing, was joined by the
Crazy Horse trio for passionate ver-
sions of some of his best-known tunes,
including "Tonight's the Night," be-
fore leading the entire cast through a
spirited "Rockin' in the Free World."
As the musicians left the stage shortly
after li p.m., the audience yelled for
more, but you knew it was hopeless.
The stage crew had already begun.
wheeling the young students off the
stage. Rock's most rewarding annual,
concert affair was over.

Chryssle Hynde honored the late
Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon.

i

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