Johnny Cash Concert: November 8, 1996

Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium in Santa Cruz, CA

reviewed by John Kyle

From: John Kyle (

Subject: Johnny Cash in Santa Cruz, Nov. 8 1996

Just got back from the Johnny Cash concert at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Booker T from the MG's opened with a crowd warming selection of fine originals as well as covers of Smokey Robinson's "Tears of a clown" and someone else's (sorry) "Midnight Hour"... and of course "Green Onions"...

The audience was charged and when the Man in Black strode out, we all jumped to our feet and roared! A huge standing O! He seemed truly grateful and slightly taken aback throught the whole show for the power of the audience's reaction: the place was rockin! People rushed to the foot of the stage and the grooving mass remained for a couple of songs until security cleared them away. People were on their feet after almost every song! June Carter Cash got a big standing ovation at the beginning and end of her appearance, and the audience sang along with "Will the Circle". There was alot of audience sing-along and response, especially during "A Boy Named Sue", and Johnny pointed the mike to the audience at "MY NAME IS SUE! HOW DO YOU DO! NOW YOU GONNA DIE!!!"

Too Cool.

By the way, I'm 29 male, a punk rocker, hardcore music fan, and I have loved Johnny Cash since I was three and my bad-boy dad gave me a tape recorder and the "Live at Folsom Prison" tape.. I listened to it constantly, knew all the songs, and my relatives thought it was funny how I'd pretend I was Johnny Cash. There is a picture of me at three with a little guitar and I know I'm saying: "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash..." My uncle called me on the phone and said he was Johnny Cash , and I was (like any three year old would be) cool with Johnny calling me; I told him I dug his music, especially "Give my Love to Rose".

Anyway, here's the set list from the show:

  • Folsom Prison Blues
  • Get Rhythm
  • Sunday Morning Coming Down
  • Ghost Riders In The Sky
  • Cowboy's Prayer/Oh Bury Me Not
  • Rusty Cage
  • Ira Hayes
  • Ring Of Fire
  • Southern Accent
  • I Never Picked Cotton
  • Unchained
  • Big River
  • I Walk The Line
  • I Guess Things Happen That Way
  • Keyboard Player Sang/Played a Gospel Song "Jesus" something??? sorry
Duets with June Carter Cash:
  • Jackson
  • If I Were A Carpenter
June Carter Cash:
  • Wildwood Flower
  • I Used To Be Somebody
  • Will The Circle Be Unbroken
  • Orange Blossom Special (with a cool train film behind him ala REM or Butthole surfers)
  • I Still Miss Someone
  • (At this point he said he was about to play a request from his his American Recording album, then some chiselhead yelled "BoyNamedSoooo!" and Johnny smiled, put down his acoustic, grabbed the mike and tore into "Well my daddy left home when I was three....." The audience went wild, but that was his last song! What was he gonna play? "13"? "The Beast in Me?" I'll never know! Agggh!
  • A Boy Named Sue

This was the first and hopefully not the last time the Man in Black played Santa Cruz. It was really great.

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