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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Comment of the Moment: Pegi Young Concert Report

Pegi and Neil after the show in Big Sur
photo by Jon Iverson

So who would have guessed that a report on Pegi Young's first solo performance would generate more comments than any post in recent memory? Apparently, there is at least one person who can not abide by her music and her husband's support. It is hard to believe that such opinion's come from a Neil fan.

On a happier note, here's the Comment of the Moment on the Pegi Young Concert Report from RDR responding to some of the negativity:
"Neil washed up? hahahah. Yeah, you should've seen him playing the electric sitar last night, you could see ol' Neil's still got a lotta fight left in him, he really got into that thing. He only played on 3 songs at the very end, and only 1 with the electric sitar, the other 2 were with some strange unplugged acoustic where he was just kind of support sound, but wow, the electric sitar song was out of this world. You could see him messing with the knobs and trying to tune around with it between riffs, it was pretty cool. And not till he got on there with that thing did the band really get rockin, I mean it was actually a great song, Pegi was singing well, Ben was all over the pedal steel, and Rick Rosas and the new guy on guitar were really feeling the rhythm. If you're headed to the show at the Little Fox Theater, you're in for a treat when Neil comes on for that song.

The rest of the songs were fairly good, I will admit there were a few annoying ones, but I mean some of the ones she wrote were well done, and with the backing band she's got they sounded good overall. I'm talking about the show at the Attic in Santa Cruz by the way. They played a set of 7-9 songs, or something like that, and then "finished" and 30 seconds later they came back with Neil "look, we found our sitar player", and Neil, not speaking a word, sat down and picked up the sitar, he didn't even crack a smile till the second song when Pegi would look at him occasionally.

The third song Neil assisted on had a few duet parts, and Neil's voice still sounds the same as it has for the past 3 years, a little battered, but still full of that trademark tenor and softness. As they finished up to uproarious applause (they do not stick around for bows or encores), they quickly went out the back and the building emptied out.

Most of what I heard around me was surprise, "wow, she was pretty good" and "didn't expect it to be that good". I tend to agree, while I did buy my tickets when they went on sale, before it was Pegi Young AND her band on a mini tour, I was of course elated to know Neil would be there. However, on her own, Pegi and the band could've held up the show to a fairly high standard, Neil's presence on the 3 "encore" songs were obviously a treat, but one which was not needed in order to get the show to review well.

I'd give the show 4 stars out of 5, if only because it was short (less than an hour of material, but she only does have one album). Pegi was a little stage shy, but she quickly warmed up to the extremely receptive audience, who whistled and cheered her on between every song amid a din of applauding hands.

It was Pegi's night, and I agree fully with Neil's appearance only at the end of the show, she pleased the audience with her own talent, Neil appeared only on the 3 songs where he could be clearly heard on the album.

Bravo Pegi."


At 6/28/2007 11:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo RDR, and bravo Thrasher! I was equally amazed by all the hostile comments and negativity popping up at the site, casused by a couple of low-key appearances by Pegi. Funny to see how the same people speaking out so passionately for freedom of speach and freedom of expression, when the LWW debate raged just a couple of months ago, suddently wanting to silence a woman who, in the prime of her life, has found her musical voice. Being the wife of arguably the best songwriter of all time, it takes extreme bravery to come out with an album at this moment in her life, and with all the negative press she's bound to recieve from narrow-minded critics-(not to mention the balls (sorry!)it must've taken to sing backing vocals with Emmylou at the Ryman!). If her music or her voice is not to your liking, then why can't you give her the same criticism you would've given any female artist who was not the wife of a famous musician? I personally believe that all Neil-fans have a lot to thank Pegi for (just read Shakey and tell me you think it's been easy being married to Neil almost thirty years!), and therefor should have the sense and decency to leave all the mindless Yoko-comments for yourself.

I hereby strongly urge every woman of Pegis age, or anybody for that sake, who has an inner artist, no matter if it's good or bad, to just go for it and get it out there!

PS: Since I'm living in Norway, I doubt there's much hope in seeing her in concert, so I'm really looking forward to the album!

At 6/28/2007 05:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other comment of the moment in my mind was from California Country Girl. She said it best.

In 1994, in a consult about my daughter's needs, I asked about a school that teaches people how to do patterning with their brain injured children. The head of the neurology stops me and says something like "it still hasn't been proven" and then everyone starts in about how Neil Young and his wife tried it but decided to go in a different direction.

After hearing this and contacting other families who tried it, I started talking with local OT/PTs about how to adapt other exercises into our own family routine to help stimulate our daughter.

The point is, that Neil and Pegi have been there, done that, and we all sort of look up to them for inspiration and motivation ... to keep going.

So when I hear Pegi's songs, it reminds me of that mother's sweet lullaby to all of us that everything is going to work out fine for our kids.

Not everyone will understand this, but I expect some will. And some will probably even by her album for this very same reason.

At 6/29/2007 12:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pegi-when you smile & sing, hon, the whole world is smiling & singing back. Love ya under the Big Sky! That dude with the waterfall & choppers in back is a keeper.

At 7/01/2007 07:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are 3 different issues and debates raging: 1. Pegi performing. 2. Pegi's talent. 3. Pegi's special status.

1. Pegi: go barnstorm sing your heart out, have fun. Everyone should do it, with and for, family and friends! That's what open mic nights and coffee houses are all about. Knock yourself out!

2. Can she write a solid disc in the folk traditions like other folkie-based female artists: Patti Griffin, Lucinda, Nanci Griffith, Iris Dement and Gillian Welch? Honestly, not at this point in time. Can she? Only time will tell.

As for her voice... it isn't all that. But this genre doesn't require perfection for success and most
people recognize that. And don't really care.

3. What is bothersome to many is the special status Pegi has received. Yes, most loving spouses would do the same if they only could: crack PR team, kick-ass band, state-of-the-art recording facility, AND a musical legend as a ringer. All leading up to national exposure on Conan.

Neil has always had a nepotistic streak--Mazzeo comes to mind. Astrid is another. However, it has been fariry low-key. 'Pegi's Moment', is at an altogether different level. Was Pegi signing to Vapor/Reprise at the expense of another talented female artist? I rather doubt it.

So what is Pegi's motivation?
Have a bit of fun or launch a career?
You can bet, if it's the latter, real critics will start writing real reviews and not PR puff pieces. Positive or not.

Maybe Pegi will get a stint on Ellen or Regis for that mid-age demographic...

At 7/02/2007 02:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at this way, if we consider a tiny speck of dust (or our chances of being born) next to our planet only a billion times larger (or the chances of not being born) ... or think of ourselves as a turkey presently farm bred for next Thanksgiving platters ... or consider that maybe the world is about things we don't know instead of thing we all think we know ... we just might ... enjoy the ride ... while we still have one ... and this applies not just to Pegi but to most things that make our individual reality spin

At 7/03/2007 04:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks always for the heads up about concerts, release dates, etc.

The line up for Pegi's concert looked pretty good, too. It appeared to be very casual and spontaneous. The way I like concerts to be instead of all the hype, lights, and decibal deafening sound.

Hey, are you on vacation or what? You're leaving us dangling here.

At 7/03/2007 11:40:00 PM, Blogger firehills said...

By the way, what model of Electric Sitar does Neil play? I posted about it at my blog here. Please tell me.


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