Neil Young & Crazy Horse Newcastle Arena 10 June 2013

Neil Young & Crazy Horse Newcastle Arena 10 June 2013 The Alchemy tour
Support: Les Lobos
neiltix Went to see Neil Young last night at Newcastle Arena. This was the first time I have seen him with Crazy Horse in 40 years, which was also the last time he played in Newcastle (at the City Hall; with the Eagles support). The place was packed, and Neil played for over two hours. Great power, passion and his voice is in excellent shape. The guy doesn’t rest on his laurels. The set was drawn from across his career, with a few old favourites, but this time there was heavy emphasis on heavy, grungie riffs with lots of jamming and drawn out solos and endings. The first four songs took up over an hour, with one song ending with what seemed like ages of feedback, and doomy dark noise. A short acoustic set featured Comes a Time and a version of Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind. Then it was back to the heaviest, darkest, most lumbering garage psych that Neil and the Crazy Horse guys could squeeze and wrestle from their axes. neilyoungprog The visuals were pretty fun; the stage was set with a group of mega towering Fender stacks, and a massive mike. A group of mad scientists (or were they alchemists?) took to the stage in white lab coats at various points in the set. At the start Neil and Co came on stage, saluting to the National Anthem and a large Union Jack; very patriotic! And at one point we were transported back to Woodstock, complete with rain and clips from the soundtrack “get down from the towers”. By the end Neil relented and gave the crowd a few favourites: Hey Hey My My, Cinnamon Girl, and Rockin’ in the Free World. I went with Marie, Laura and David and we all had quite different views of the show. David and his mates lapped it up and thought it was great; Laura was less sure, and Marie (who was a big Neil fan years ago, but has never seen him in concert before) was a little disappointed that he didn’t play all of After the Goldrush and Harvest! Me; I’m not sure. I certainly enjoyed it. And I guess I knew he wasn’t really going to play Southern Man and Alabama. You have to admire the guy; there aren’t many from his generation who can still deliver a set so uncompromising and powerful. Setlist: Love and Only Love; Powderfinger; Psychedelic Pill; Walk Like a Giant; Hole in the Sky; Comes a Time; Blowin’ in the Wind; Singer Without a Song; Ramada Inn; Cinnamon Girl; Fuckin’ Up; Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleaze; Mr. Soul; Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black). Encore: Rockin’ in the Free World

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10 responses to this post.

  1. Been a fan for 42 years but bitterly disappointed by the show! Thought it was a pile of self absorbed crap. We were bored senseless. Didn’t feel Neil interacted with his audience well at all. Would have loved him to have said a big “hello” to everyone.

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  2. Been a fan for 42 years but bitterly disappointed by the show! Thought it was self-indulgent dribble. We were bored senseless. Didn’t feel Neil interacted with his audience well at all. Would have loved him to have said a big “hello” to everyone.

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  3. Posted by Barry Bifter on June 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    He seemed to be a bit too angry to be opening with a big smile and a cheery wave! The only comment I can remember from hiim came as a real snarl when he heard someone shout out for him to ” Keep it real”.
    This is obviously something that he gets creative energy from. He was doing the same thing at the City Hall gig in the 70’s apparently. The band seemed to be having a great time and looked really happy at the finale.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the night and felt I was seeing one of my musical heroes on really good form. No, he didn’t play all of my favourites either, but there were plenty of magic moments and I’ve been digging out the old albums to remind myself of the ones he missed playing live.
    Rock and roll will never die!

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    • Posted by vintagerock on June 12, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      I was at the City Hall gig in 1973, and although I enjoyed Neil’s performance that night, it was also in some ways a pretty controversial show. From memory, he played a lot of new, yet to be released, tracks which would end up on On the Beach and Tonights the Night. He did however play Cinnamon Girl and Southern Man during the encore. Strange how one performance can generate so many different reactions. I guess we each see a gig through our own lens, and take from it what we will. However, I think I’ll stick it out now with Neil Young, Dylan, The Who, The Stones, Van Morrison; Springsteen, McCartney, etc. I intend to see it through to the end (theirs or mine, whichever comes first 🙂 ) Peter

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  4. Enjoying this blog very much. I loved the show. Was knackered from standing for three hours but this will live long in the memory. After hundreds of gigs may have seen a new entry into my top ten. Reminiscent of the Arc/Weld album(s). Hey! I finally got to see Neil Young!

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  5. I saw him on Tuesday in Birmingham – pretty similar gig by the sounds of it – I’ve seen him numerous times over the years & I think this was probably the best performance I’ve seen from him since the Phoenix Festival back in 1995. The guy just gets better & better, no one can make a guitar sound like he does!
    Seen some really good gigs over the last couple of years & this one was right up with the best – probably enjoyed Tom Petty more last year, but that was probably because we hadn’t seen him for so long, plus we tied it in with a motorcycle trip to see him in Cologne.
    Next up, George Thorogood – always an brilliant gig!

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  6. Posted by vintagerock on June 14, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Good man! I had a ticket to see Tom Petty at the Albert Hall last year, but couldn’t make it, as my wife was not so well at the time. I wish I’d seen him, as the last time I saw him was at Knebworth in the 70s. I hope he comes back to Europe so I get another chance. Enjoy George Thorogood! My next gig is The Who next week Peter

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    • That’s a real shame you missed him – Tom Petty was magical last year – still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up thinking about that gig! The only time I saw the Who was in the 70’s at Manchester Free Trade Hall – they were OK but they were totally eclipsed by the support – the James Gang, Joe Walsh’s guitar playing & overall performance was amazing that night – shame the Eagles softened him!

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  7. Posted by Barry Gibson on September 24, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    I was also at the great 1973 City Hall gig (hi, Gordan Mackay if you are out there!!) …actually it was, technically, The Stray Gators and NOT Crazy Horse. Audience definitely split, some expecting Harvest, Goldrush etc…did they get a surprise. Cut to 2013..proud to have taken my 17 year old son..and guess what, some still expecting Harvet, Goldrush etc. Did they not buy Pill? Do they not “get” the rust never sleeps ethos? OK, so it would have been nice to have a”Hello Newcastle” but if I had wanted a conversation I would have talked to friends.

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