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Author: Subject: Neil Young was a force to be reckoned with at the DCU Center Saturday night

Zen Peach





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  posted on 12/15/2008 at 07:37 AM
WORCESTER— The ice storm from hell was not the only unrelenting force that came barreling into Central Massachusetts the past few days.

Saturday night, Neil Young, the Ragged Glory from the Great White North, proved he was a force to be reckoned with as he rocked the DCU Center.

Backed up by his aptly titled “Electric Band” (featuring electric, pedal steel and lap steel guitarist Ben Keith, bassist Rick Rosas, drummer Chad Cromwell and backup singers-pianists Anthony Crawford and Neil’s wife, Pegi), the 63-year-old Canadian rock icon delivered a blistering 2-1/4-hour set (which included a jaw-dropping one-song encore) that craftily journeyed through the past while traveling on the human highway with old and trusty nuggets that are forever Young.

Dressed in a white T-shirt, faded dungarees and a black blazer with splattered paint that made it look like it was steam-cleaned by Jackson Pollock, Young’s solid guitar playing and scorching solos seemed to naturally flow out of him while his silvery mop flopped to the majesty of his guitar.

Wearing his heart on his guitar-strap, which was decorated with peace signs, Young strummed, squeezed, snapped and strangled “Old Black” (his trusty 1953 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop) during the rousing, rocking version of the set’s opener “Love and Only Love” and rarely let up.

With the unruly peppery mane (despite balding) and muttonchops that made Elvis Presley’s look tame in comparison, The Godfather of Grunge ripped into the Crazy Horse-classic, “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black),” which became the first of the evening’s many crowd sing-a-longs. Young’s winsome, whiny voice and power chord crunch were equally matched by Cromwell’s earthquaking drums.

By the time he masterfully sputtered, “It’s better to burn out than to fade away,” it was quite evident Young — who three years ago suffered a brain aneurysm and just recently garnered a Grammy nomination for best solo rock vocal performance — wasn’t going to do either anytime soon.

In case there was any doubt, Young proved to be the consummate storyteller and commanding stage presence early in the set with songs that included the pistol-packing tune “Powderfinger” (which deals with lives shattered by a gun blast), the dissidence-drenched death march “Cortez the Killer” (sung in the perspective of the Aztecs butchered and beaten by the famed Spanish conqueror) and drug overdose ditty “The Needle and the Damage Done,” (inspired by Crazy Horse member Danny Whitten’s heroin overdose death).

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s soothing tenor combined with his hard-rocking riffs on the timeless hippie anthem “Cinnamon Girl” from 1969’s “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere,” Young’s first album recorded with Crazy Horse.

Young brought the volume down a notch (but not the quality) on the Don Gibson cover “Oh, Lonesome Me” and “Mother Earth (Natural Anthem).” With a harmonica around his neck, Young lamented being alone while strumming an acoustic guitar on the former and gave a soulful sermon to save the planet while playing a church organ on the latter.

On a series of new and unfamiliar tunes Barack Obama would love and George Dubya would be scared of, Young sang about unleashing one’s inner light to become beacons of hope (on “Light A Candle”), how “the next generation’s gonna have to pay” for our past mistakes (on “Sea Change”), the praises of the “awesome power” of an electric car (“Fuel Line”) and lashed out about how “Truth is fiction. Truth is lies” (on “When Worlds Collide”). And just when he had us all convinced, Young delivered the best of the new batch of tracks, “Just Singing a Song Won’t Change the World.” Go figure.

Young strummed his acoustic guitar on two crowd-pleasing nuggets from 1972’s “Harvest,” “Old Man” (which he may as well be singing to himself these days) and “Heart of Gold,” his only No. 1 single in the U.S.

Whether plugged or unplugged, Young was electric.

Although released 20 years apart, 1969’s “Cowgirl in the Sand” and 1989’s “Rockin’ the Free World” served as a raucous and rocking, one-two sonic punch to close out the main set. But that was nothing compared to the mind-altering experience that erupted during the encore.

Young delivered The Beatles’ “A Day in the Life” as if it was his last day on Earth. Wonderfully combining the Lennon and McCartney part, Young created a sweeping and majestic cover that intensifies the already intense original. Even after he snapped all the strings from Old Black, Young played the flailing wire by whipping the strands against his guitar pickups creating a bath of feedback to wash over the crowd.

Rust never sleeps but it certainly has some wonderful ringing in its ears.

Love And Only Love
Hey Hey, My My
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Powderfinger
Spirit Road
Cortez The Killer
Cinnamon Girl
Oh, Lonesome Me
Mother Earth
The Needle And The Damage Done
Light A Candle
Cough Up The Bucks
Fuel Line
Hit The Road And Go To Town
Heart Of Gold
Old Man
Get Back To The Country
Just Singing A Song
Get Behind The Wheel
When Worlds Collide
Cowgirl In The Sand
Rockin' In The Free World

Encore

A Day In The Life

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd5Uwk0yrZA

 

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Peach Pro



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  posted on 12/15/2008 at 09:42 AM
Neil was on fire! The passion in the way he attacked his guitar was thrilling ! I feel very blessed to have caught this show,can't wait to see him tonight.
Was that Jim Croce on his shirt?





 

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  posted on 12/15/2008 at 11:55 AM
Glad you enjoyed the show. Neil should be required viewing for all rookie and veteran rock bands. The man can put on a show.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/15/2008 at 12:41 PM
Great review and what a setlist!!! Sounds like you got an excellent Neil show, Sue!

 

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  posted on 12/15/2008 at 12:44 PM
I wanted to see this tour so bad. Only 2 US shows left at MSG this week.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/15/2008 at 01:14 PM
I had such a great time. I could believe the sixth song was Cortez!

Did you watch the video in my first post!

 

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  posted on 12/15/2008 at 01:52 PM
That review makes me wish I was there, but because I saw him at Farm Aid this year I'll survive!

[Edited on 12/15/2008 by woodsdweller]

 

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  posted on 12/15/2008 at 02:15 PM
Just got my half priced e-bay ticket delivered on time by FED EX!!!! Off to the Garden in a few hours. Looking forward to this as Neil has never dissapointed me regardless of who his backing band is.

 

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  posted on 12/15/2008 at 02:56 PM
Man, that setlist looks great. I have not seen Neil in a few years after seeing him 3 tours in a row; I am overdue.

How were WIlco?

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/15/2008 at 03:07 PM
quote:
Neil was on fire! The passion in the way he attacked his guitar was thrilling ! I feel very blessed to have caught this show,can't wait to see him tonight.
Was that Jim Croce on his shirt?

It was hard to tell who was on his shirt...

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/15/2008 at 03:11 PM
quote:
How were WIlco?


Jim this was my reply in the Chicago thread for Neil when you asked...

Jim, I was at last nights show and took in both Everest and Wilco. I enjoyed both bands but preferred Wilco. There was one tune with some crazy cord loud weird noise thing going on and I know I'm not describing it very good but that was the only thing I didn't care for otherwise I really got into them. They had many fans there roaring for them. I would see them again for sure. Here are a couple links if anyone is interested...

http://www.wilcoweb.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j2ykHinIPg&feature=rela

http://everestband.com/2008/12/03/ottawa-morning#comment-69

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEdO77PagsY

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/15/2008 at 03:12 PM
NEIL RAWKS!!!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/15/2008 at 07:05 PM
Holy cow, since this morning my video has been viewed 487 times!

 

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  posted on 12/15/2008 at 11:50 PM
So glad you had such a great time. A friend of mine was there too. I think Neil is at the top of his game. Not bad for a 60 something year old. It looks to me like he has the love of a good woman to bring him through. No watered down love there at all. It shows in everything he does.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/16/2008 at 06:35 AM
Very true Ang

He's 63! Pete was going to be at the MSG show last night. NYBarb too!! I am sure they walked away very satisfied! My video has had 900 views now!

 

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  posted on 12/16/2008 at 06:52 AM
I'm really bummed about not getting to see Neil again this tour. This is the most electric tour he has done in a few years. I honestly think Neil is PO'd at Cincinnati. When headlining the Horde Festival here about 10 yrs. ago, he was not watching the clock on the 11PM curfew. He came back for his encore, and remarked that they were cutting him off. It was already 11:05. He played a rushed version of "Piece Of Crap", and finished up at 11:10. Neil was fined $10,000 for breaking curfew ($1,000 a minute), but was not going to let his fans down for his oversight.

 

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  posted on 12/16/2008 at 08:45 AM
And his song Piece of Crap was so fitting for the situation. It's fitting for a lot of situations these days unfortunately.

I would have gone to the MSG show but I knew I would be beat from the Xmas Jam.

quote:
I'm really bummed about not getting to see Neil again this tour. This is the most electric tour he has done in a few years. I honestly think Neil is PO'd at Cincinnati. When headlining the Horde Festival here about 10 yrs. ago, he was not watching the clock on the 11PM curfew. He came back for his encore, and remarked that they were cutting him off. It was already 11:05. He played a rushed version of "Piece Of Crap", and finished up at 11:10. Neil was fined $10,000 for breaking curfew ($1,000 a minute), but was not going to let his fans down for his oversight.

 

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  posted on 12/16/2008 at 11:37 AM
http://shnflac.net/details.php?id=e30649abbcad6b77abf7d06f8d9f9041c2a0994b

This show is being served on Lossless Legs

 

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  posted on 12/16/2008 at 01:17 PM
Another great Neil Young show last night!!! What a great variety of songs he plays!!! Neil never dissapoints!!!


In case anyone is interested in hitting MSG for tonights finalle, scalpers were selling the cheap seats for $20.00 as it got close to Neil's set at about 9:15 or 9:30pm. Neil doesn't hit the stage until 10:00pm. You could actually get a GA floor seat or a seat on the back of the orch for about $100.00 which is over $150.00 less than the actual face value. I saw many lucky people score $250.00 seats for $100.00. Nothing like seeing those scalpers taking a beating!!! If you are anywhere close to MSG I would definetly catch this show for a bargain price!!!

12-15-2008, Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Neil Young & His Electric Band

Love And Only Love
Hey Hey, My My
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Powderfinger
Spirit Road
Cortez The Killer
Cinnamon Girl
Oh, Lonesome Me
Mother Earth
The Needle And The Damage Done
Light A Candle
Cough Up The Bucks"
Fuel Line
"Hit The Road And Go To Town"
Unknown Legend / Heart Of Gold
Old Man
Get Back To The Country
"Off The Road"
Just Singing A Song
When Worlds Collide
Cowgirl In The Sand
Rockin' In The Free World
"Get Behind The Wheel"

A Day In The Life


[Edited on 12/16/2008 by sixty8]

 

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