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Rolling Stone review of Carnegie first night

Neil Young Stuns With a Spellbinding Carnegie Hall Show
The marathon set featured a wealth of Seventies classics

Neil Young performs at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

By Andy Greene
January 7, 2014 11:30 AM ET

When Neil Young walked onstage for the first of his four-night stand at Carnegie Hall, nobody in the audience had any idea what sort of show he was about to present. His previous theater tour in 2010 was a bizarre (and ultimately unsatisfying) mixture of solo acoustic and solo electric tunes, concentrating on hits and selections from his then-unreleased LP Le Noise. The last time he launched a solo acoustic tour was eleven years ago in Europe, and those crowds heard a complete performance of his rock opera Greendale, which wouldn’t hit shelves for another four months. More recently, he played a set at Farm Aid last year that consisted almost entirely of other people’s songs. If the man’s anything, he’s unpredictable.

Thankfully, Neil Young had no such surprises for the capacity crowd at Carnegie Hall. Instead, he treated them to an absolutely jaw-dropping two hour and 20-minute show that focused largely on his golden period of 1966 to 1978. He only deviated from that era for two songs from 1992’s Harvest Moon, the 1989 obscurity “Someday” and a pair of covers by Phil Ochs and Bert Jansch. The opening notes of classics “Harvest,” “A Man Needs a Maid” and “On the Way Home” sent shockwaves of recognition and joy through the crowd, who then listened to them in near silence. It was, without a doubt, one of the greatest Neil Young shows of the past decade, at least when he wasn’t playing with Crazy Horse.

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As the days fly past will we lose our grasp
Or fuse it in the sun?

by -- Neil Young

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