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Review: Sharry on Massey Hall, part 2

Neil Young Massey Hall by Sharry

MAY 11 SHOW

I previously posted about Neil’s concert at Massey Hall on Tuesday night. I also attended his show on Wednesday night.

Both of these concerts really meant a lot to me. My very first live Neil show was at Massey Hall in 1971 — 40 years ealier. (Here we are in the years. Yikes!) I had also attended two of his three shows at Massey Hall in 2007.

I was really into Neil’s performances. I loved all the songs from “Le Noise” and felt they were the highlight on his setlist. His encore number. “Walk With Me,” was really what it was all about in a nutshell. He was inviting audience members to “walk with him” on his musical journey. I loved the big sound and the sonic-like endings of the songs from “Le Noise.”

Massey Hall by Sharry

I must admit that I enjoyed Tuesday night’s performance more than Wednesday’s. I had a decent seat on the floor for Tuesday, but had an obstructed seat in the left balcony for Wednesday. (A pillar was directly in front of my line of vision. I had to lean over to the left or right to get a clear view of the stage.)

To add insult to injury, I had the misfortune of having two stinking drunk guys sitting right beside me. (They were much worse than the two drunk guys I had sitting next to me on Tuesday night.) I heard them walk into the left balcony area and stumble around lookng for their seats. In my mind I was thinking, “Please don’t let them be seated beside me, please don’t let them be seated beside me.”

My wishes were for naught, because they did have tickets for the seats directly on my left. The guy sitting beside would not shut up the entire evening. And it got worse as the evening progressed. He was talking loudly during Neil’s songs, shouting out requests, clapping loudly and singing, and voicing his general disapproval that Neil wasn’t playing his “greatest hits.” And this was after Jonathan Demme politely asked audience members to refrain from doing exactly what this drunk guy kept doing. He tried to engage me in his conversation, but I would only say “Sh-h-h-h!” as a response. When I did that it prompted him to say aloud, “Why is that lady saying Sh-h-h-? Whoever heard of being quiet at a Neil Young concert?” He also reeked of beer and kept leaning over towards me. I tried to disregard him the best that I could and try to focus my attention on Neil.

On the whole, I think the audience was better behaved on Wednesday night. You could hear other people saying “Sh-h-h” if someone else in the audience shouted out to Neil. Unfortunately, one of the worst offenders seemed to be sitting right beside me.

I also noticed that a lot of people around me were attempting to take photos with their cell phones. There were also a number of people who seemed to be  continuously checking their e-mail or sending text messages. It was as if they couldn’t go for five minutes without checking their e-mail. I thought that was very disrespectful and rude. The ushers were kept very busy watching out for any camera flashes or for people taking photos with their cell phones.

I was very respectful of not taking any photos and, consequently, I only took photos at the Rustfest on Wednesday and some exterior shots of Massey Hall.

I felt quite embarrassed about the crowd’s behaviour on both nights.  (Although Wednesday was generally better than Tuesday.) On Tuesday night I recall that someone yelled out loudly to Neil during one of his quiet songs and it made him lose his concentration and flub a line. (I think he repeated one of the lines or missed a line.)

I also felt very bad for Neil. It was an honour that Neil selected his two Massey Hall gigs to be filmed by Jonathan Demme. He was expecting the audience to appreciate the shows in a respectful manner and I felt that we had let him down.

It wasn’t like the Toronto audience I recall from attending his 1971 gig. I remember when I was at that show that you could hear a pin drop when Neil was singing. (I recall that this was most distinct when he was playing “Journey Through the Past.”)

I hope that Jonathan Demme is able to piece together some decent footage that isn’t marred by noisy disrespectful audience members’ call-outs, loud whistling or lame requests.

<END OF RANT>

Sharry (Up in T.O. keepin’ jive alive)

Neil Young tour bus in TorontoSharry in front of Neil Young's tour bus at Massey Hall 2011 [click on all images to see them full-size]

goto Sharry‘s review, part 2.

Review: Sharry on Massey Hall, part 1

Massey Hall 2011

MAY 10 MASSEY HALL SHOW

I had a great time at Neil’s show tonight at Massey Hall. The setlist remained the same as at his recent shows. No complaints from me since it was the first time I had seen one of his Twisted Road Tour shows.

I had a seat in Row I on the floor off to the left side.  (I was seven seats in from the extreme left aisle.) One of the cameras was set up a few rows behind us in the aisle.

Just by chance another Rustie sat next to me; Gerry Peters who also attended the Rustfest at the Pickle Barrel.  We had 12 people attend and expect about the same number tomorrow. It was great seeing everyone and I look forward to the Rustfest tomorrow. My seat is in the centre balcony area, Row J.

After the lights went off and Bert Jansch began his performance I noticed a person wearing a familiar looking white jacket with a few colourful (red, green and grey) horizontal stripes walking up the extreme left aisle. My Bob Young radar was finely attuned and I knew it was him as soon as I got a glimpse of his jacket (in the dark yet! 🙂 ). He was wearing the same jacket that he wore when he dined at the Chemong Lodge in Bridgenorth (near Peterborough) with Neil last October when he also paid a visit to the Youngtown Museum.

(See Bob Young wearing the same jacket below.)

at the www.chemonglodge.com

Bob Young was seated a row or two behind where I was sitting, but more towards the middle of the audience. (Note: Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo was sitting nearby and I saw him chatting with Bob Young. At Neil’s last shows at Massey Hall in November 2007 I saw Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo in the audience and spoke with him for a few minutes and got his autograph.)

I decided to go up to him after Bert Jansch’s set and thank him for his work as one of the Executive Producers, along with Jan Haust, on “This Wheel’s On Fire.” I got his attention, introduced myself, informed him that we had met previously, and thanked him for his efforts as the Executive Producer and told him that I really enjoyed “This Wheel’s On Fire.” I then shook his hand, smiled and left to use the washroom facilities and get a fresh bottle of water.

Back to Neil… He came on-stage at about 9:10 p.m. He seemed really engaged with the audience and was very gracious with his waves, smiles and hand gestures. (He made the Namaste gesture where he bowed a bit and held his hands together in the inverted “V” shape after playing “Cinnamon Girl.”)

He made some really amusing comments while introducing “Leia,” which he said was for all the “Little People.”

His references to Ontario and Toronto went over very well and received a lot of enthusiastic applause. (“There is a house in North Ontario” and “You didn’t see me in Tarawna when I first tried out some hash.”) There were numerous shout-outs by audience members of “Welcome home, Neil!” and the like.

There were also some boorish audience members who shouted out requests, whistled and hollered during inapproriate moments and talked when Neil was playing. I had a few of them sitting beside me to my left and they were really irritating. They had obviously had one too many beers and one of them got up at least three times to exit the hall and then return, making everyone stand up to let him get back to his seat.

I noticed that Neil was really into using the “Le Noise” sonics at the end of this songs and I thought it was very cool. “Hitchhiker” was really powerful and amazing. I also really enjoyed “Love and War,” “You Never Call,” and “Peaceful Valley.”

I didn’t take a camera along because I thought Massy Hall might be really strict about allowing people to bring in cameras because of the filming. That turned out not to be the case. It appeared that they weren’t checking very thoroughly at all. I plan to bring my camera tomorrow. (I won’t use it during the show — just at the Rustfest and for some exterior photos of Massey Hall, Neil’s bus, etc.)

I discovered that cold bottles of water were also being sold at the Coat Check downstairs. (Instead of having to line up at the crowded bar downstairs.)

After the show I went downstairs to the merchandise table and purchased the Le Noise Flip Book and a black baseball back for Bob. I showed it to Bob when I got home and he really liked it.

I’m looking forward to the Rustfest and Neil’s concert tomorrow night.

Sharry (Up in T.O. keepin’ jive alive)

Sharry at Toronto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

goto Sharry‘s review, part 2.

Demme Wrapping up His 3rd Neil Flick

Does Jonathan Demme have an unusual fixation or what?

By: Tom Lanham 05/11/11 10:01 AM

Last night and tonight, at Massey Hall up in Toronto, the Academy-Award- winning director will be filming the final shows of Neil Young’s “Le Noise” tour for his concert pic that’s hitting theatres later this year. But it’s his third Neil Young-based movie!

Even the lovably eccentric – and garrulous – Robyn Hitchcock couldn’t hold the guy’s attention for this long. But the perpetually productive Young – whose new Juno-winning “Le Noise” album also snagged a Grammy for Best Rock Song, “Angry World” – is always an interesting subject.

And Demme has chosen different slants – and points in his career – from which to analyze Young. His first effort, “Heart Of Gold,” followed the CSNY legend on his “Prairie Wind” tour back in 2006.

His next, “Trunk Show,” revolved around Young’s “Chrome Dreams II” stop at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Penn., in 2009.

So capturing his performance of the Daniel Lanois-produced “Le Noise” songs is probably a whole new animal entirely. Will Demme be satisfied with just a trilogy of Neil Young films?

Hey – George Lucas didn’t know how to quit when he was ahead, did he? For more: www.neilyoung.com.

read moar at the San Francisco Examiner.

Throw Your Hatred Down


Maybe Neil will change his setlists in the wake of the death of the long sought “Let’s Roll” evil one and play:

THROW YOUR HATRED DOWN

or maybe A MIDEAST VACATIONS.

Buffalo Springfield plan tour

pix, or it did not happen. Actually they will do this tour:

Neil Young tour bus

photo courtesy of Michael Borkson

Toronto Sun:
Neil Y
oung’s classic rock band Buffalo Springfield are to tour for the first time since 1968.

The supergroup, featuring Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay, reunited to perform at the rock star’s annual Bridge School Benefit concert in Northern California last October – and now the band is hitting the road.

Young has announced a six-date California tour in June, which will serve as a warm-up for the band’s set at the Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee on June 11.

Young’s longtime bassist Rick Rosas will take the place of the late Bruce Palmer on the road and drummer Dewey Martin’s spot will be filled by Crosby, Stills and Nash drummer Joe Vitale.

A statement from Furay reads, “It’s hard to believe 42 years have passed since we played together as the Buffalo Springfield. Over the years, music never stopped flowing from each of us, and it’s come full circle, if you will. And now, we get to share our hearts with you again.”

:: tour dates so far: here.

Random Quote

This reminds me of Neil\'s recent interview with Sylvie Simmons where she also queried Neil about his methods for writing a song. Neil talks about going to the \"rabbit hole\" and waiting for the rabbit to appear.
by Sharry (Up in T.O. keepin\' jive alive)

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.

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