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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Concert Reviews: Seattle, 10/22/07


At 10/24/2007 02:18:00 AM, Anonymous said...

My quick two cents (leaving the setlist to others) on the Seattle show, which ended just a bit ago:

Neil's voice was mostly great. Hearing him, even when he doesn't quite nail it, is like going to church. Guitar playing was mostly on, and the sound was was quite good in what is otherwise an odd venue. There was some good Neil banter with the goofballs hollering from the crowd (I'll let somebody else recount it.)

Setlist was full of infrequently heard gems and a couple new ones (same as PDX, I think). Overall, it was Neil doing his Neil thing, and that's always good.

However (and I say this with a lot of love), I think the man might have been phoning it in a bit. Maybe he was tired from Portland. I'd like to hear from people who were at the previous shows as well as Seattle, to hear how the shows compared. I enjoyed the setlist, but it was such a mishmash that it never really gelled. I think pure Horse shows or pure acoustic shows work better. To my ear and eye, the show never really took off, despite commendable efforts during "No Hidden Path" and a couple others (and damn, how I was wishing for the Horse during those songs, even though Rosas/Keith/Molina were more than serviceable). After "Hurricane," the band seemed ready to continue, but Neil waved them off and had them take bows. (I was close enough to read Neil's lips, and I think he told Rick Rosas that he was "getting hot up there" or something like that. Rosas sort of rolled his eyes in disappointment and relucantly took off his bass. Neil really looked beat. He looked every one of his 61 years, and I've never seen him look that way before.

For any other performer, this show would have been one for the books. For Neil, it was just pretty good. Anybody else have that experience?

At 10/24/2007 12:24:00 PM, Anonymous said...

Notes from Seattle...

Neil does look like he's getting tired these days. Like the previous Seattle reviewer, I think the band was ready to play more at the end, and Neil nixed it. I recall the Weld tour with Crazy Horse, and back then it was the band who were ready for a break and Neil just kept going and going...that said, Rick, Ben and Ralph all sounded great (especially harmony vox), and everyone was in great form throughout. Neil did his typical grimacing and body heave during some of the jammier parts in electric songs, so he's still got it, albeit for only one set as opposed to all night.

So the setlist appears to mirror Portland's...

The WaMu theater, while new, is basically a cement box. Heard some disapointing reviews from earlier concerts there, but this was my first time at WaMu, and had no complaints with the sound except for the Hurricane sound seemed to get louder during that song and I got a sense of overall distortion as this happened (like Rick's bass and even "fuzzy" sounding drums) so perhaps the house sound crew are still working it out. During the acoustic set Neil's guitar and vox were a little low in the mix, and his harmonica overpowered all. That needs to be turned down.

Neil's comments between songs were pretty funny. Not going to go into all of them here, but suffice to say that he must get tired of the yahoos who yell and whistle and catcall during his songs...I know I do. Between acoustic songs you should yell all you want, but during the song why can't people shut the fuck up? In any case, once or twice Neil tried to distinguish what people were shouting (cupped hand over ear, stopped walking toward piano, leaned out toward audience, asked "huh?")...but after Goldrush (I think) some idiot yelled out "Play Hurricane!" and Neil quipped "ya, great's the segue" and then made a bunch of storm sounds with his mouth and had his hands up over his head with fingers wiggling simulating rainfall...the audience cracked up and Neil rolled his eyes...funny!

WaMu theater security were employing a policy of seating people between songs...unfortunately this more often resulted in seeing the backs of people standing up to let these fuckers in while half of the next song was playing...the WaMu floor is not sloped, so if this occurs you get to see the t-shirts of a dozen people milling about in front of you while the song plays on...bummer. Kudos to WaMu security & staff though for allowing people to rush the stage during Spirit Road...about 20% of the people did this, and security only wanted people to keep the aisles clear, so just basically squished them into whatever rows they were standing by.

As for Pegi's set, the strength of her music lies in her backing band. As a friend said last night, if we were at Bumbershoot and heard her singing without knowing who it was, we would not have stopped to listen. Only two really listenable songs, and again, I think the band carried her. I applaud her for trying to make a name for herself...I just hope her sophomore album and songs reflect her growth as a singer/songwriter.

Overall a really good show, not a superb one. I think Neil played it conservative in some ways, but it was grwat to see a mix of acoustic and electric songs, many of them from the 70's era. Catch him on tour if you can, it's $$ well spent.

From Glen "The Rockologist" on Blogcritics:
"I've read some other reviews of this show on the internet — mostly linked over on Thrashers Wheat — where it has been suggested that Neil looked old, or that he otherwise was 'phoning it in.' I don't know what show they were at, but from my 14th row vantage point Neil both looked and sounded great to me."

Babbo B. posted:
Just for the record, "Campaigner" was dropped between Boise and Spokane, making it 22 total songs instead of 23; for Portland and Seattle, "Journey Through the Past" and "Tonight's the Night" were replaced by "After the Goldrush" and "Like a Hurricane," so he's holding steady at 22.

See also:
- Portland Concert Reports
- Video: Spokane, WA - October 20, 2007
- Neil Young Tour Kicks Off - Boise, Spokane Reports and Photos
- Tour Dates: Chrome Dreams Continental Tour
- Chrome Dreams II Videos
- Chrome Dreams II Reviews
- Chrome Dreams II history and background on Chrome Dreams I
- Chrome Dreams II Cover Art and tracklisting

See also,
- Sugar Mountain setlists
- Numbers On The Site ~ The Neil Young Tour Statistics
- Tour Map on Rust Radio

Check the feed links in the middle of the right sidebar for the most up to date info.

Photo by Scott Eklund/Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Excellent photo gallery on by Scott Eklund on Seattle Post-Intelligencer!


At 10/24/2007 04:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reviews-very interesting. Just a couple of observations-it's still early in the tour so Neil and the band may need a week or two more to "gell." (BTW, does the band have a name ala "Chrome Dream Flyers" or something like that?) Also, Neil turns 62 in a couple weeks (on 11/12, I believe) so I'm looking for "Old Man" or even better "Here We Are in the Years" to turn up one of these nights.

I'm looking forward to the DC show-"It's So Hard to Wait."

At 10/24/2007 05:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point about the band needing time to gel, Set List Thief. Hope they find their groove before landing in D.C., and you get one of those life-changing Neil shows.

Minor point: It was Neil's policy, not the venue's, that required people to be seated between (not during) songs. He did the same thing on the solo acoustic tour some years back. Problem was that the venue didn't give we lobby-laggers any heads up (a quick dimming of the lights is the usual signal) before each set, so we were caught off-guard when the music started, resulting in logjam at the entrances. I stood in the doorway for the first song of the first set and for the first two of the electric set because of this. Frustrating.

Finally: There are some nice pics from the show accissible from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's home page: (at least as of 2:30 PST).

At 10/24/2007 06:40:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10/24/2007 06:47:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

The seating thing was annoying, my friend and I both went to the bathroom, and sent her a text message to meet me by the doors. Apparently she never noticed so she just went back, while I got to hear The Loner from outside. :(

I don't know what the hell people are talking about with Neil being tired. I mean this was my first Neil show besides seeing CSNY from the lawn, but god damn. I saw all these pictures of him and thought "Damn, he's old" but when he was playing electric he might have been 40 again. The music was incredible, the energy was awesome, and as one of the first stage-rushers I only had about two people between me and the stage. During the acoustic set I was blown away by Ambulance Blues and Mellow My Mind, as well as a stellar Gold Rush, but the highlight was easily No Hidden Path. And I have to say, ending the set with a 20 minute version of a new song? That's balls, man. That's Neil.

Also, I almost lost my mind when I came in and saw the wooden Indian from the Tonight's the Night tour. That was SO cool!

At 10/24/2007 09:05:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Listened to the bootleg.

Nothing special for Neil.

Hurricane was disappointingly uninspired and boring.

No Hidden Path was definitely the highlight, and the only time Neil really got "jamming" hard.

Sad Movies, No One Seems To Know, From Hank To Hendrix and Mellow My Mind were the only standout acoustic performances, even so, they weren't spectacular.

I agree, the band and Neil need time to warm up, it's only 3 shows in, give them 5-8 and they'll start to get in a groove.

And yes, the acoustic set does not gel at all, it's too hodge-podge. A switch of the song order might help, but honestly it's just way too flat, he needs to vary it up, a little more piano and maybe some slightly more melody-heavy tunes (IE, Dreamin' Man, Fallin' Off The Face Of The Earth, Razor Love, something with a little more life in it, preferably latter-day).

The Loner was pretty good, as was Winterlong and EKTIN, Neil and Ben really have a great set up with the dueling guitars on that one.

But, again, overall, a lackluster show for Neil, I don't know what kind of "energy" the previous poster is referring to beyond No Hidden Path. Most of the show was definitely feeling like it was in the "phoned-in" category. Once the band got out, things heated up a little, but again, they never really got on a huge power roll.

Hopefully later performances will get them in the same groove, especially with Ralph, that guy knows how to pump up any song, the way he drums.

At 10/24/2007 11:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RDR, how did you manage to listen to the bootleg? I've been dying to hear a live "No Hidden Path" and a 2007 version of "Hurricane."

At 10/24/2007 11:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Inexhaustible Spirit says: Wamu theater sucks!! The sound is good. There's no signs directing you to your seats. The lines to get food or refreshments were terrible, the prices are outrageous. I stood in line forever to get a $4 pop, when I tried to take it to my seat security said no. I had to throw half of it away. I went to go sit down security said no I had to wait until Neil was done with the song. There was a twenty-five minute recess for Neil to switch gears. I stood in line for fifteen minutes, just to learn the credit card swiper wasn't working. I went to the Wamu Vip section stood in line again. Got there was told it was cash only. In the friggin'bank give me a break. So they sent me to the empty cash machine. I finally got a complimentary bottle of water. Thank You!! What ever happened to Ain't singing for Pepsi Ain't singing for Coke. I'm Singing for Wamu now!!! That's a Fuckin' Joke. $157 tickets, $40 T-shirts. Capitalism has us all by the Balls. One Free Spirit Said Where's The Marijuana!! They Probably Killed him or gave him the One who flew over the Cookoo's Nest Treatment. Pegi Young's band was good. I only cared for a couple of the songs. Anthony Crawford guitar was buzzing on a couple of the songs. The sound was very good all in all. Neil Young was awesome, old and tired, and all. I was told by security that it was Neil's Idea to make us stand in the hall between songs. I felt punished getting thirsty or having to pee. I thought Neil the Nazi for a moment. What happened to all the free spirited, open minded, stand up for themselves, hippies of the sixties and seventies? You've all turned into a bunch of commercially grown yuppie consumers , chasing the dollar around. I loved the music, but was very disappointed in the state of human beings. Everyone is too caught up in their own bull shit to have or make new friends. Take your Psyche back America. Corporate/Government has taken over your minds. We need more free music!!

At 10/24/2007 11:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ben: Agreed that Neil dug deep on "No Hidden Path," but compared to other Neil shows I've seen, this one was just less energetic, less "on." To me, Neil's indecisivenes (that he commented on) during the acoustic set, when he was wandering around wondering what to play (more than usual), kind of captured the general feel for the night -- he was all over the map, but never quite found a fresh groove. Still, even on an OK night, Neil rocks.

RDR: I don't know what Thrasher's policy on trading/bootlegs is, so forgive me if I'm speaking out of turn, but I'd love to hear/download this show. There must be at least a few out there -- the guy next to me last tight was recording. I used to frequent Rust, but haven't for years. Where do the traders meet online these days?

At 10/25/2007 01:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're into bit-torrenting, go to or You may have to try dime for a few minutes as they are constantly at their capacity, but they also delete vacant accounts every 5-10 minutes or less.

At 10/25/2007 10:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Boise, Portland, and Spokane shows are now up on dimeadozen. As the previous poster noted, it may take a while to sign up, but just keep trying. There are also tutorials on how to download and convert torrent files to wav files (so you can burn 'em to disc).

The main thing to remember with these performances is that they're to be shared only. Do NOT sell them (or buy them, for that matter). The torrent community works because we believe "Live Music Is Better!" and we encourage purchasing the artists' official releases, as well.

Thrasher, please let us know if you'd rather us not have this discussion here.

At 10/25/2007 11:18:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I've seen Neil about a dozen times since 1976 including the rust tour and CSNY etc OK if I want to be a whiner I guess I could say non of the shows since that 1976 show have been as good...but jeezus frickin christ I keep going back because every time I see Neil he has given me some magic that I can't find anywhere else. And one more thing...I have never heard him play Ambulance Blues! I was peeing my pants when he did that one and he nailed it perfectly. or how bout Oh lonesome Me? I mean come on you whining losers. The guy is 62 years old and I am frankly shocked at how good he still is and what a bunch of jerks some of his fans are. I will be taking my daughter to the LA show for her first Neil concert and I am so excited for her to see such a remarkable performance with so many great songs. That show will be 31 years since my first show (which was also in LA) and I am thrilled that after 31 years he can still touch the void like no other. Take your whining hippy bs and your dreams of endless guitar solos and hits to the Eagles reunion tour. To anyone reading these reviews that is trying to decide whether to go...ignore the bitchers and nitpickers. GO SEE NEIL NOW before its too late.

At 10/25/2007 11:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Hilltop. Thanks for that thoughtful, intelligent response. Enjoy the Kool-Aid. And be sure to wash your hands after touching your void.

At 10/25/2007 01:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can also download the Chrome Dreams shows from this site and there will be no problems signing up - very small, little known site.

Try it!

At 10/25/2007 02:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What side of the stage (when you are facing the stage) is Neil on during the show? I have right of center 3rd row - just wondering

At 10/25/2007 03:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Seattle, Neil was mostly smack in the middle, though during the acoustic set he was off to the right and left to play piano/keyobard for a couple songs (I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen the set list.) During the electric set, he stayed put in the middle. The crazy stage clutter doesn't give any of them much room to roam. :-)

At 10/25/2007 07:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can download the Portland show on the site below. I'm downloading it now as I'm typing this. I cannot wait to hear "No Hidden Path" and "Hurricane!"

At 10/26/2007 04:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really over much of the last ten years, I have noticed that Neil's composure and energy level hasn't changed to much. But boy, between Farm Aid 06 and Farm Aid 07... I don't know what happened. I don't think Neils present composure is permanent. I think he just has lack of Crazy Horse Syndrome. I really hope he bounces back a little. Maybe he should have left more time in between shows. His touring schedule as is would be hard for anyone.

At 10/27/2007 05:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been wanting to see Neil Young live for over 20 years now. I finally made it to this event at the WAMU Theater in Seattle. The venue surprised me, it was more upper middle class and polite than I would have expected when I first got my NY jones on. The one that started with Live Rust playing on Nightflight TV, back in the day.
I saw a few throw backs, but even those seemed a bit more polished than the type of folks I've met in life that have identified themselves as "rusties" to me. More the long haired, flannel shirt, carharts and workboots crowd that sing Farmer John on a barstool with me, or crank out Powderfinger in their garage with a beat up Peavey. I caught one whiff of refer, it wasnt' in the smoking area being carefully eyed by more than enough of the police. Totally surprised, but confirming my thoughts, because I never expected merlot and mixed drinks in the lobby. Then again, I paid about $180 for my ticket and CD. I should have expected it.

I bought one ticket for myself with a damn fine seat, even if they were a bit cozy. I would have paid more to get an all access, or to meet Neil for even a second, or whatever. No regrets, at all. I'm still jagged, and have Bad Fog of Lonliness, Ambulance Blues, Dirty Old Man, and No Hidden Path burned into my skull. I've got the version of Like a Hurricane from "Year of the Horse" in my mind as the most phenominal live Neil there ever could be, so it didn't meet my expectations, but other than that? I got some so so pics, and MPGs from the show, off my digital camera. I kept it close to my chest and the backlit screeen covered so I wasn't screwing up other folks experience. Hopefully I didn't. I can probably edit some of it, to make som nice brushed up mini clips.

My life is so screwed up now. I'm ready to sell all my other boxed sets, to try and but tickets to see him in another venue, with better seats. Time to cash in my 401k and follow Neil. Sounds nutso, eh?

Did anyone get the meaning or code to the letters "randomly" hanging on the back of the stage? How about the song paintings that went up with each song, and when there wasn't one, you had to wonder is this was freestyle on the set list?

The first bit with it just being Neil, 8 guitars, 2 pianos and a harmonica was so pure,Neil, how can you mess with that? It set the stage for the rest of the evening.
The shift from acoustic to plugged in, and how the clothes changed with the sets was great, it fit all my perceptions of NY living vicariously through others visons.
There were NY songs I've never even heard before, totally jagged on that too.

Now for my rambling diatribe on it all.

I went to school in a speck of a town in Manitoba, and for a fraction of time Neil looked me in the eye, and it seemed as if he knew me, and I knew him. (yeah I know he was probably just peering into the bright crazy stage lights, and couldn't have seen me from the thousand other yahoos out there) The kinda thing where you could go fishing with a guy and not say a word, but understand everything. The past two decades I've been thinking, this guy knows me, gets my soul, kindred spirit, frankenstein guitar madman, he gets me, and I know and completely understand everything he sings about . In that fraction of a second, I believed that. Hey it's my gig.

Just like all the idjits yelling out songs for Neil to play. What does Neil play? What he wants to, he has so many songs at the tip of his fingertips and lips, an entire culture, and sub-genre of music has grown out of it.

So for me this was life altering, and monumental. The best concert I've ever been to in all my life, only thing better would have been to be able to shake his hand and say thank you for keeping me company over all these years. I think he would dig the shirt I made, a negative of a WTO riot police line with the words "Neil Young & Crazy Horse" in large gothic lettering at the top, then at the bottom of it, cursive script "Still Rockin' In The Free World". I think he'd chuckle at the irony, and thought behind that. I'd hope so.

I'll admit the t-shirt gig was weird, not what I expected, but even Neil calls his own online store "The Greedy Hand". Concert shirts were better quality shirts than I found in the past few years of concerts, but one I got had a bad transfer on it. I didn't noticed it until I got home and got it under the light. The lighting was so low in the lobby, the vendors couldn't see the buttons on the register. Had to buy a bag for all the crap I picked up, they didn't have bags for anything. At that price I would have expected it, for as much as I got seeing as none of it was available at anywhere but the tour? I'm not sure, I've looked but to no avail. I've got cool NY t-shirts ( the orange tye-die RAWKS!) and a bag now though.

The warnging to head in at the end of intermission was too short too. Could have even dealt with a 45 minute break in between sets, barely time for the restroom, and all that.

It was all about the music for me though, so I remain impervious to the rest. Could it have been harder hitting during the electric? Hell yeah, No Hidden Path had some monster rifts and Neil was getting into it, even if the rythm with the rest of the band was there like I've seen video of with Crazy Horse.

I know it's a bit of a disjointed ramble, and almost a week after the concert, I haven't edited myself at all. This is how I see it, and feel about it all from the heart, I'd pay twice as much as I did, and do it again.

At 10/31/2007 05:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have attended every NY concert since Rust Never Sleeps tour. The show at the new Nokia ranks as one of my least, if not total my least favorite. I was left wondering "what the hell" - For $132.00 I hoping that he would throw me one bone or two. I was not expecting his greatest hits collection. He seemed tired and slow and peaked at Tonights the Night....nonetheless, I still love the Man!


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