Neil Young Edinburgh Playhouse 3rd March 2008
Thirty five years after I first saw Neil Young in concert, David and I went to see him at Edinburgh Playhouse on a cold Winter evening. We drove up through Jedburgh, stopping for a coffee along the way. The Playhouse is a beautiful old theatre, and was completely sold out for this concert. Neil played two sets, and this time he played a lot of old favourites. There was no support act; rather he was accompanied by an artist who painted as Neil played. From the Guardian review of the London concert (2008): “For reasons known only to Young, an artist paints canvases at the rear of the stage and announces songs by placing interpretative pictures on a large easel stage right. The unexplained visual art theme extends to Young’s paint-spattered suit.” The first set was acoustic, during which Young performed old favourites including “Heart of Gold” and “Old Man” much to the delight of the crowd.
After the interval, Neil became Mr rock’n’roll and grunge, and we were treated to an excellent and powerful electric set, with some amazing meandering guitar solos. The encore included “Cinammon Girl”. Classic.
The snow was falling as we drove home. This time we followed the A1 through Berwick, which is a slightly longer route, but a safer road, given the winter conditions. A great concert by a legendary artist.
Set 1: From Hank to Hendrix; Ambulance Blues; Sad Movies; A Man Needs a Maid; Try; Harvest; After the Gold Rush; Mellow My Mind; Love Art Blues; Don’t Let It Bring You Down; Heart of Gold; Old Man
Set 2: Mr. Soul; Dirty Old Man; Spirit Road; Down by the River; Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black); Too Far Gone; Oh, Lonesome Me; The Believer; Powderfinger; No Hidden Path
Encore: Fuckin’ Up; Cinnamon Girl
Archive for the ‘Neil Young’ Category
Neil Young Edinburgh Playhouse 3rd March 2008
Neil Young & Eagles Newcastle City Hall 9th November 1973
I went along to this concert on spec, hoping to score a ticket outside. The City Hall sometimes used to let fans pay to sit on the choir seats which surround the stage. These seats are on the stage itself, facing the back of the performers. On this occasion, there was quite a queue of ticketless people hoping to see Neil Young, so they decided to let us into the choir seats. Support came from the Eagles, who were simply on fire, and in many ways upstaged Neil Young. This was the original Eagles line-up of Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner, at the time of their second album “Desparado”, and their set featured songs from their first two lps. So that included classics like “Take it Easy”, “Tequila Sunrise”, “Witchy Woman” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling”. Stunning. I became an Eagles fan that night and remain one to this day.
Neil Young was touring with backing band the Santa Monica Flyers, who were Billy Talbot (bass), Ralph Molina (drums), Ben Keith (pedal steel) and Nils Lofgren (guitar, piano). Now Neil is a pretty uncompromising performer and for this tour he decided he would play his forthcoming album “Tonight’s the Night” in its entirety. A brave and crazy move, but then Neil Young plays what Neil wants to play; even today. The stage was set out as a beach, complete with sand and a palm tree, and Neil was drinking from a bottle of Tequila throughout the show. We were all expecting tracks from “After the Goldrush” and “Harvest” but instead we were treated to a set of unfamiliar tunes, much to the annoyance of most of the audience. After he had finished playing the new songs, Young did play “Cinnamon Girl” with a crazy, meandering guitar solo, which got a great reception from the crowd; who were pleased to hear something familiar. Published setlists suggest that he also may have played “Southern Man”, although I don’t remember him doing so, and I think I would have remembered if he did, as it was one of my favourite songs at the time. A great gig, with Neil Young on great form, even if the set wasn’t what we had expected or hoped for.
Setlist: Tonight’s the Night; Mellow My Mind; World on a String; Speakin’ Out; Albuquerque; New Mama; Roll Another Number (For the Road); Tired Eyes; Tonight’s the Night; Flying on the Ground Is Wrong; Human Highway; Helpless; Cinnamon Girl; Southern Man??; The Losing End; Don’t Be Denied
Neil Young & Crazy Horse Newcastle Arena 10 June 2013 The Alchemy tour
Support: Les Lobos
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. 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