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Author Topic: Neil Young Gig Review  (Read 634 times)
rockhound
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« on: June 26, 2009, 07:14:51 AM »

As posted earlier, I had the pleasure of seeing Neil Young this week.  Here is a brief review of the show I scribbled, for those interested.
Cheers,
rockhound

At 8:25 on Wednesday night, Neil Young sloped onto the stage in Aberdeen, looking more than ever like someone you would see sleeping in a cardboard box under a bridge, strapped on his Bigsby-equipped black Les Paul and launched into a ferocious Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black).  Two hours later, after playing 4 seemingly random notes on a xylophone and with a wave to the 7,500 awestruck fans, he walked off stage – his Les Paul sitting in its stand, all the strings broken, having been used to beat the pickups during a feedback frenzy at the end of the encore, a stunning version of the Beatles’ A Day in the Life.  I had never seen Young live before and, despite having most of his live recordings, I was totally unprepared for the aural assault of his electric guitar playing.  Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black) was actually one of the standout songs – played and sung with real feeling and with a power that really hit you in the guts.  Neil’s band were incredible – keeping with him through seemingly random solos and multiple outros (I counted 5 for Down by the River) and providing the soundstage for his huge guitar sound.  This assault continued through the first part of the set, which included the highlight song for me – Cortez the Killer – and Cinnamon Girl.  The contrast with the few acoustic songs he played next could not have been greater – played and sung with a deftness and sensitivity that was total counterpoint to what had just gone before.  A section with Mother Earth (played on an organ), The Needle and The Damage Done and Comes a Time was really special – the feeling and tenderness with which he approached The Needle had the crowd completely silenced (that beat-up Martin sounds gorgeous by the way!) and Mother Earth is the best environmental song bar none.  After a couple of songs from Harvest Moon, again beautifully played with the band, it was back to the Les Paul for a 15 minute rendition of Down By The River – he was really in a guitar groove, pounding away with his back to the audience, obviously enjoying himself thoroughly.  The main set closed out with an unruly Rockin’ in the Free World (again with several false endings) which had the crowd singing along wildly at each chorus.
   It was a truly jaw-dropping performance (particularly from someone the wrong side of 63).  I had expected to be impressed, but I was absolutely stunned by the power of it all – both the sheer ferocity of his electric guitar tone and playing style and the impact that songs like Mother Earth and The Needle and The Damage Done have when you hear them and see them up close and personal. 
   Finally, support act Laura Marling also delivered a first class (and far too short) set – she is such a talent, and I can’t remember the last time I saw a support so enthusiastically received.  A special night.
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fongie
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2009, 08:01:55 AM »

Rockhound, man that sounds awesome night. You sounded like you had a blast of a night  +1 Good for you buddy, I'm soooooo jealous
cheers
fongie
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BenF
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2009, 11:01:07 AM »

Rockhound, thanks for the review.  I am very jealous that I couldn't go last night.  Sounds like an awesome gig.
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Ben
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2009, 11:09:59 AM »

Rockhound--

I'm glad you had a great time; that Neil Young put on a wonderful show.  He strikes me as one of few artists who've continually challanged himself.  I saw himn once thirty-five years ago, and would love to see him again.

         DAVE
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jimmy buffett
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2009, 12:33:53 PM »

Rockhound--

I'm glad you had a great time; that Neil Young put on a wonderful show.  He strikes me as one of few artists who've continually challanged himself.  I saw himn once thirty-five years ago, and would love to see him again.

         DAVE

As someone who is going through another Neil Young phase, I am green with envy.  I go by the house where Neil was raised every day on my way to work, but somehow the mojo just doesn't rub off.

jimmy
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Chasjax
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2009, 01:59:54 PM »

Hey Jimmy - you should have loaned him that JCL-40 and let him break it in a little!!

I've always been hot and cold about Neil, but this review sure makes me wish I could catch him live -

Chas.
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markyboy
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2009, 08:06:08 PM »

Sounded like a great show. I keep checking his website to see if he'll play in the SF bay area. Because of the Bridgeschool benefit he has every year at Shoreline, he usually doesn't play here that often. I did see his Greendale show about five years ago, which was pretty cool but it was not your typical concert.. At least I thought.  At the end of the show, he and crazyhorse came out for an encore that was a complete set that rocked the house.. I've been craving a Neil Young show eversince. Glad you had a good time!
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BenF
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2009, 04:34:55 PM »

I just watched his Glastenbury performance on BBC iPlayer - not sure if you can get that service outside the UK, but wow, I see what you mean Rockhound.

A Day in the Life was spectacular!
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Ben
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2009, 09:28:27 PM »

If anyone wants to try it, this is the link.  A day in the life is about 20 mins from the end of the programme, but it is all good

http://www.bbc.co.uk/glastonbury/2009/artists/neilyoung/

Hope it works.
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Ben
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rockhound
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2009, 10:02:42 AM »

I just watched it - brings back good memories of a great show - thanks for the link, Ben.  I don't think it is available outside the UK, though.
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2009, 06:27:53 PM »

I had the pleasure of seeing Neil perform almost 2 years ago.  It was an amazing performance. He started with a solo acoustic set which was phenomenal.  After an intermission he did an electrified set with his band that sent shivers down my spine.  Incredible talent.
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