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‘Concert Reviews’ Articles

Neil Plays Dallas – first night

Neil in DallasWhat the fuck is wrong with these people attending Neil Young’s solo acoustic shows?

Dallas Morning News music reviewer  Robert Wilonsky attending Thursday night’s first of two shows in Dallas as had this to say: (Neil plays again Friday night)

I would love to share with you the story Neil Young told Thursday night about his Martin D-28, which once belonged to Hank Williams and shared the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center stage with him on what was for the most part a very special night. But I can’t, because Young wasn’t allowed the opportunity to share the tale. He tried. He held “Hank” in his hands and began recalling that trip to Nashville, when, from the balcony, to Young’s left, a man began shouting: “Play it! Play it!” At which point the 68-year-old who’s been making music since high school reminded the crowd that no one tells Neil Young what to do.

“I don’t think I’m gonna play it,” he said. Beneath his black wide-brimmed hat, he grinned a little. But you could tell: He was not pleased. The heckling continued, because this is just what some people do: spend hundreds of dollars to see their heroes, only to steal their spotlight.

“What, do I work?” Young said, the good humor now completely gone from his voice. “Is this a job? I’m trying to recall the last time I did something expressly because someone told me to do it.” The rest of the crowd cheered, almost as though it were trying to distract Young or jolt him back into the jovial mood he’d been in moments earlier, following a version of “Mr. Soul” played on a pump organ. Instead he just played the next song: “Harvest Moon,” one of the more beautiful entries in a canon filled with tenderhearted melodies. But Young strummed the guitar a little harder than usual, and didn’t so much sing its simple, sentimental lyrics (“When we were lovers/I loved you with all my heart”) as he did spit them out.

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Booker T. flashbacks touring with Neil

Booker-TBlogger RJohnson writes about the merging of Booker T. & Neil Young for a nationwide tour in 1993.

MySA, San Antonio’s homepage, features a story

The article states: “Keyboard legend Booker T. Jones has seen it all in his six-decade career, from landing a hit with the instrumental ‘Green Onions’ in 1962 at the tender age of 17 to trying to coax Sinead O’Connor into singing the song she was supposed to sing at a Bob Dylan tribute in 1992 to finally winning a Grammy in 1995, some 30 years after his tunes were all over the radio.

But maybe one of the strangest, and potentially most perilous, of his undertakings came in 1993, when he and the MGs hooked up with Neil Young for a nationwide tour.”

The Booker T show (set list here) was pretty much everything a Young fan would want — a career-spanning effort that began with Buffalo Springfield’s “Mr. Soul,” traveled through the likes of “The Loner,” “Heart of Gold” and “Like A Hurricane” and touched upon the best of Young’s more recent work (“Rockin’ in the Free World,” “Harvest Moon.” )

It didn’t hurt to have one of the greatest backing bands of all time, either. Besides Jones, the band included legendary guitarist Steve Cropper and veteran session players Donald “Duck” Dunn (bass) and Jim Keltner (drums). If I remember correctly, Young played well with the rest of the guys rather than going off the guitar-freakout deep end like he had done with Crazy Horse two years earlier.

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Neil Young Invites Us Into His Living Room, But It’s Not Cheap

A review of Neil Young’s Dolby Theater concert by Emily Zemler for The Hollywood Reporter who writes that the bottom line is: The acclaimed folk singer offers an intimate, homespun acoustic performance that centers on his classic hits, aimed at those who can afford it.

Zelmer writes: “Imagine Neil Young at home on his Northern Californian ranch. Mismatched decorative rugs hang on the walls, a black jacket dangles off a coat rack in the corner. A candle flickers atop an old pipe organ and another drips wax on a worn upright piano. The man himself, now 68 years old, putters around the room in a loose tan suit and black hat, seemingly trying to determine which instrument will best suit an acoustic rendition of one of his many songs. At first he sits in the center, encircled by eight guitars and a banjo, all scuffed by years of use, and selects the right one for “From Hank to Hendrix,” a number off his 1992 album Harvest Moon.

“It’s all very intimately wrought, except Young isn’t in his home; he’s onstage at L.A.’s Dolby Theater for the first of a four-night stand. An excitable crowd, many of whom paid extraordinarily high prices for their tickets to see Young’s acoustic tour in this 3,400 capacity room, has been screaming song titles at him. There is a sense of entitlement among these fans, as if the $400 ticket price tag has guaranteed them each a personal selection on his set list. One fan shouts, ‘Welcome back to LA, Neil!’  Young, seemingly trying to decide if it was the best move to invite all these people into his living room, simply replies, ‘It’s good to be back in L.A.'”

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Just in- LA Times review of Dolby Show

Neil Young performs at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

Neil Young performs at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Neil as Jesus? Ok!

“Still brimming with his signature sense of spontaneity, of mercurial artistry alive in the moment, that makes Young such a hallowed figure to so many.”

Neil Young’s run at the Dolby continues with shows Sunday night, Monday and Tuesday. All are sold out.

Randy Lewis of the Los Angeles Times offers this review of the Dolby Show:

He writes: “It wasn’t a big leap to wonder during Saturday’s opening night of Neil Young’s four-night run of solo acoustic concerts in Hollywood whether Jesus, if he returned to address a modern-day audience, would have to contend with a steady stream of shouts from the back for ‘Sermon on the Mount!’ ‘Water into wine’ and ‘Free Bird!’

“Young fielded a similar barrage of requests (“Cinnamon Girl!” “Down By the River!”) and comments (“You’re the man!”) from the sold-out crowd at the Dolby Theatre good-naturedly.

“At one point he tacitly acknowledged the tone of almost spiritual pilgrimage in the air by shaking the water out of a harmonica onto folks sitting in the first few rows, a rock ’n’ roll priest anointing his flock. He even shifted into request mode himself after another outburst from fans, mock shouting “The Beatles!” “The Rolling Stoooooones!” “Free Bird!””

Read more at:,0,4537800.story#ixzz2xTdB1KwD

Review of Dolby Show by Michael Thomas

Michael ThomasA true Neil Young fan, Michael Thomas sends a review of last night’s Dolby Show in LA.

Neil plays again tonight, and Tuesday, April 1, and Wednesday April, 2.

Wow. Just came back from seeing Neil Young do “Thrasher” for the first time in 36 years. His greatest song in my opinion. (though I’m awfully fond of ‘Will to Love’, which he’s never performed!)

I was at the first public performance of that song at the Boarding House, as well as the last, during the final “Rust Never Sleeps” show at the LA Forum.

A master class in the poetics of song lyrics it tells me more about friendship, about death, and the commitment to life that we must make in the wake of loss than any work of art I know. And it reminded me of so many friends gone that Neil & I both shared…Larry Johnson, Jack Nitzsche, Bruce Palmer…

And the rest of the concert was damn powerful too, “Here’s a song I wrote while I was living two blocks from here,” he prefaced a gorgeous rendition of the Buffalo Springfield ballad, “Flying on the Ground is Wrong.” And an evocative performance of his Oscar nominated title song for “Philadelphia”  brought the house down as did a surprisingly effective cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind.”

But it was “Thrasher” that reduced me to tears, I recall it was the day we buried my grandfather when I flew to San Francisco to hear it performed for the first time. It was first time I ever met Neil, he came out and sat in the audience after the second show. “I liked that song about Elvis,” I told him, referring to the debut of “Out of the Blue.”

It would take me awhile to absorb the vast sprawling canvas of “Thrasher,” a far more complex song. It reminded me of Terrence Malick’s “Days of Heaven,” which would have made a great alternative title. I performed once in public with my late pal, Steve Esmedina, at the Spirit Club in San Diego. The poetry of the lyrics, and the life-lesson it teaches, is truly sublime.

Nowhere else I’d rather be than at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood last night. It was a religious experience, balm for the soul.

Random Quote

You just never know what kind of wreckage there is when something happens.
by -- n young; Copenhagen, 4/27/03.

Neil Young on Tour

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Sugar Mountain setlists

Tom Hambleton provides BNB with setlists, thankfully. His website is the most comprehensive searchable archives on the Internets about anything Neil Young related setlists. Goto Sugar Mountain.

Other Neil News

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Oh My Darling Clementine

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