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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Concert Reports - Minneapolis, MN - November 8, 2007

Photo by Tony Nelson

Neil Young will be performing tonight at the Northrop Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Check Sugar Mountain for setlist updates.

Got a report? Drop a comment below.

Photo by Daniel Corrigan (Minneapolis, MN - 11/8/07)


At 11/09/2007 10:06:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great concert, no surprises. The set list was the standard (as listed on sugar mountain). Neil was a bit less talkative than reported at other shows (maybe it's because of Minnesota reserve). He did make reference to having "grown up" just a few miles north. At one point he said, "You have a lotta ducks here. Lotta geese, too. Used to be the sky was black with geese. That's what granpa said."

Couple of notes: After Hank to Hendrix, Neil kind of shook his right hand a bit. My wife (a doctor) said, "He's got something goin' on with that hand - carpel tunnel or something." After Hurricane, Rick asked if he was going to do 'Cortez'. He shook his head and looked at his right hand and shook it a bit. Wondering if he's having some problems with that hand. Didn't really notice it in his playing, though.

As reported by others, he plays two of the new songs with a (new?) mahagony Les Paul Junior - single P-90 in the bridge and no Bigsby.

Also noted (for you gear heads out there) that (1) the Baldwin Exterminator was not on stage (2) the tweed Tremolux was on stage (along with the Maggie 280) and it was outfitted with a second Whizzer (never realized he had two of these things). As usual, Larry Cragg was back of the rig periodically with a flashlight doing maintenance. (Larry played the electric sitar on one song with Pegi during the opening act).

Neil seemed to grow younger as the concert progressed. During the extended jamming on No Hidden Path, he seemed to look 20 years younger (great guitar on this song). Ben Keith played a new-looking black guard telecaster for most of the second set (the exception being a lap steel during the Loner). He played a gold top with two P-90's and a Bigsby for Cinnimon Girl (not sure if that's Niel's or Larry's) and the winged keyboard that comes down from the ceiling for Hurricane.

IMO, Ambulance Blues was worth the entire price of admission. Other highlights: the Loner, Bad Fog of Loneliness, No Hidden Path, and an awesome Oh, Lonesome Me. Also loved seeing the 6137 White Falcon up there for Bad Fog and Winterlong.

Crowd seemed a bit sedated, by typical standards - Thursday night, auditorium that a lot of them graduated from college in, Minnesota-midwesterners. Kind of Neil people.

At 11/09/2007 10:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No surprises" is a great way to sum this show up ... and don't get me wrong, it was a FANTASTIC Neil show. But I can't help but think, that if I didn't know the sets, didn't know what was coming, wouldn't I have been "just blown away" by this show.

I remember going to my first Neil show in 1983 (okay, so it wasn't the 60's OR the 70's), the Trans tour, and getting hit with Old Laughing Lady, Motor City, Revolution Blues ... who saw that coming!?!

So in this "Computer Age" we sacrifice the gift of the jaw dropping surprise gem from Neil (what if you didn't know Love is a Rose was coming and Neil is in the wrong key and has to stop and insert new harmonica like last night ... if you didn't know the set, the off key thrash he produced would have left you with a few moments of "Wonderin").

That said, this is NOT a show to be missed by anyone with any love for Neil whatsoever. Sure I was hoping for my own little Minnesota swerve to the set list but Neil was in good voice and, in my opinion, more talkative than usual. I think Hank to Hendirx is being overlooked as the quentessential opener for a solo Neil set. Neil looked into the crowd on several key lines ("I never blieved in much, but I believe in you.")

I concur with the growing younger during No Hidden Path ... antoher great moment in that extended jam was watching Ben strum along and, after all these years, still looking mesmerized at Neil working Old Black and shaking his head and glancing at Rick.

And yes, Ambulance & Oh Lonesome Me were deft and priceless.

Res Ipsa Loquitor - KK in MN

At 11/09/2007 11:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, great show! Not much to add that the other comments haven't addressed. I, too, noticed the hand thing with Neil but I'm not sure it's a big deal. I can tell you one thing, he didn't mail this in. There was honesty and passion that made everything seem so fresh.

For the acoustic set, Neil was surrounded by a lot of guitars - including two of his 12-string Taylors, which he didn't play. Makes me wonder why they're up there (Larry Cragg made sure they were tuned and functioning during the sound check). I'm thinking that he wants to be prepared in case the muse moves him to mix up the set list on the fly. Maybe we can expect some surprises in the future shows?

At 11/09/2007 11:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking forward to seeing Neil here in Chicago on 11-12-07. I am
bringing my 82 yr old Dad. I know Neil has not been playing Harvest Moon this tour but would dig it if
he played it on 11-12 as it my Dad's favorite Neil tune. Can't wait til Monday!!!!!!!

At 11/09/2007 01:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was that thing with the red phone attached to Ralph's drum kit? Neil picked it up and was "talking" into it after The Loner. Prop or a tap to a higher authority?

At 11/09/2007 01:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that "From Hank to Hendrix" is really being overlooked. It absolutely framed what the two sets were about last night.

The review in the Minneapolis paper (Star-Tribune) - Bream - was a bit luke warm in his review. He's actually a huge Neil fan but he thought Neil lacked some passion and he was a little critical on the set list (disappointed less than very serious fans). Lacked passion - no way! May have disappointed the casual fan - yep, I can see that. But, hey, why the heck would Neil wanna do a greatest hits tour (I think he once said he would just hire a tribute band to do that for him)?

This morning, I was talking to a guy at work who went last night with his wife (first Neil concert) and they know the so-called hits but not the deeper grooves. His first reaction was, "I wish he played Rockin' in the Free World" What do you say to someone who can't appreciate sitting in front of Neil playing a fantastic rendition of Ambulance Blues?

At 11/09/2007 01:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody down in the pit see what kind of beer Neil was sipping last night?

At 11/09/2007 01:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering about the beer, too. How about the "endorsement" of whatever was in the aluminum flask? (This note's for you?) Funny as hell.

At 11/09/2007 02:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought Neil was pretty good. Played hard, as always. Seemed to miss the highs on Man Needs a Maid and After the Goldrush. Did he forget his harp in Goldrush? Looked like he went to play the harmonica after the first verse, realized it wasn't there, then he sorta stumbled through the second verse, paused, grabbed the harmonica and played on. Thought Everyone Knows this is Nowhere highlighted the electric set, and Spirit Road. Loved the feel of Old Black rumbling in my stomach and up through my chest. Like many, Ambulance Blues dominated the acoustic portion. Bored with people shouting requests. Thought I heard Neil say, "I'm going to play my show," or something to the effect.

At 11/09/2007 02:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was an absolute honor to get to hear Neil Young play and sing. And yes, I was there in the '70's. And like Neil I'm still here. Lots to look at on the set and great fun. Wonder which concert the Mpls. reviewer went to. Must not know Neil Young's music. This was a sold out show, guys, and the tickets were not cheap. So if you weren't a real true blue fan, why were you there takin' up room? I was with my son (a lawyer) who grew up with Neil Young always playing in our house. And for all you "fans" and "reviewers" who didn't get the show...well, "take a look at my life. I'm a lot like you are." Thank you, Mr. Young, and Happy Birthday!

At 11/09/2007 03:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in the pit last night. It was my first Neil concert and my dad got very lucky and managed to get 3rd row tickets in the pit. Words cannot describe how I felt sitting that close to Neil, being able to hear every was amazing. It was a spiritual experience. And I was very happy to see I wasn't the youngest person in the pit (I'm 18). There were a few kids, probably 12 or 13 down there, too. It was great.

As far as the beer, it looked like Amstel, but I'm not sure what the silver flask was.

At 11/09/2007 03:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think this is the "Neil can do no wrong and is always stellar" site, you're wrong. That would be the rustlist. Honest opinions including criticisms of Neil are allowed on this site.

At 11/09/2007 05:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prior reviews summed it up well re: Mpls show. Interesting comments by poster re: Neil's hand - and Cortez getting shot down. That is virtually my only complaint, I thought we needed one more encore, and I was hoping for Cortez or TTN.

Wonderful setlist variety, to hear Oh, Lonesome Me and Maid was unbelievable, as was Bad Fog - very under-rated tune. What a treat to see a real legend, doing it his way. I also think Ben Keith is a great, versatile player who adds a lot to Neil's sound live.

At 11/09/2007 07:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in the 16th row center stage. I thought Neil was great, however, the crowd could've used some sort of stimulant. Minnesota fans make me bored. I mean, there was barely a reaction when Neil broke into "Heart of Gold." This isn't my favorite Neil song, but a good one and one of his more mainstream songs. When listening to other Neil concerts, the fans get into it and sing along or at least react when he begins. My song picks were" Maid, Believer, and Hurricane. Money well spent, just get out of Minnesota to see it!

At 11/09/2007 08:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was there and I had more fun than anybody! i could have had more fun, but the crowd didn't want people to stand and dance. My friend even got her arm pinched from a guy behind us, with a sit down threat. What is this? I have thought about it today and I think maybe because it was soft seats and everyone is getting soft, getting older and softer? Who knows, but rock and roll means dance and I for one, can dance in my chair, but I prefer standing and dancing. Amen

Pegi Young was a nice opening act. i would like her to be more clear with the words, I couldn't understand some of the lyrics, and it may be that I can't hear after 31 years of rock and roll, but I am not complaining! Rock the rollers is what I'll say when I need a walker with wheels, that and turn it up, it's Neil!

Neil and his band, so full of life and energy, thank you my friends!
I sang every song I knew and the group in front of me got use to it! The gal beside me was a mystery. This woman never once applauded! I never seen this. Has the world changed? Something she can give back, give for free and doesn't. I asked her if she was enjoying herself and she said yes. Funny.

My favorites.. hank to hendrix and no hidden path, and then all the rest.
Like I said I had more fun than anyone! Thanks again friends!

At 11/10/2007 01:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Innaresting discussion. Set aside the critical analysis, the beer, the hand, and consider what one of Rock-Country-Grundge-Folk’s most prolific songwriters chose as his artifacts of the evening: the setlist and the set. He’s telling us a story about himself and where his life is at the moment while he’s surrounded by people that are really important to him onstage, backstage, and in front of the stage. Favorites of the night would then have to include spending Neil Time with my brother, a few friends, and about 4500 NY fans. Musically – ahhh, the music – FHTH, Ambulance Blues, Maid are all NY at his most raw, and it’s just pleasurable to sit back and take it all in. Give the muse its space. Or, maybe we’re all just pissin’ in the wind. I hadn’t heard Hurricane live on guitar since the Rust tour 30 years ago; it still energizes me as much now as it did then. And with No Hidden Path and Spirit Road, is it hard to imagine Neil playing these songs as encores in 10, 20 years? I’m The Believer, babe.

At 11/10/2007 09:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been seeing Neil shows since the 1970s and loved this one. It was his tribute to those he is coming to treasure - his collaborators, his wife, his fans.

I agree with others that Ambulance Blues was a stand out in the acoustic set. Those lyrics carry so much more weight now than they did a few decades ago.

I thought Jon Bream phoned in his review - bland vocals during the acoustic set? Not what I heard. I heard a spinal tap of Mr. Soul. And the electric set, what a pleasure. Who wants to live on sugar mountain when you can be 61, with a lifetime's worth of experience (not to mention guitar practice), and be able to draw on all of that along with the unique gifts he began with. What fun to see him playing new music, like the 15-minute long No Hidden Path, that sounds every bit as great as his old stuff.

Neil's comment about the geese blocking out the sun went over Bream's head, but the people for whom Neil seemed to design this show -- the lifelong fans, not "fanatics," Bream, just fans -- got it. All you had to do is to be vaguely aware of what is on Prairie Wind, reviewer Bream, and the stage references (painter, geese blocking out sun) become pretty evident.

I agree with the comments about the crowd. I like to sit down as much as the next guy, but once the electric set gets going, at least, can we stand up for a few songs? Geezers!

At 11/10/2007 10:45:00 AM, Blogger Will Divide said...

A bartender of my acquaintence told me, from experience, that Neil is an Amstel and Jameson's kind of guy. . .

Me? I have a ticket for Monday night, the birthday show.

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

went down to the concert from thunder bay ontario and believe me this concert was truly great, Neil played like he was a young man, I dont know how anyone could post that he looked old and tired because in Minnie he sure looked good. This was my first young concert and I only wish that i had he seen him several times over the past 30 years. P.S. ambulance blues was a true marvel. Thanks for the show from myself, wife, son and daugher

At 11/11/2007 01:08:00 PM, Blogger Donna said...

Oh, 12th show. LOVE LOVE LOVE all Neil. I concur with all those before me that it is a privilege to sit before the Creator of such a huge volume of work, and always interested in hearing the NEW. Cant believe not a blogger before me has mentioned the PAINT on all of his clothes as a cool set item. The silver flask was mentioned at the Denver show 11/5/07 as "I want to thank my sponsor - water" I couldnt believe that I was the only one standing up on my side of the theater for Spirit Road with Old Black (Sorry for those behind me but I couldnt help it) What has happened to all of those Hippies, bad knees? Donna Steamboat Springs, CO

At 11/11/2007 01:20:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Its great to hear from some folks who really get Neil. I went to the Seattle show and an LA show and found both to be profound performances that I hold up to some of the best Neil shows I have seen since 1976. The "looked tired" and "phoned it in" comments are really missing the point in such a massive way that I can hardly begin to express my thoughts. I do sometimes wish we did not have this internet monitoring of every moment and every setlist, but it is interesting when you look at all his tours. He always stuck pretty close to a certain setlist, with a couple subtle changes here and there. I think this is because he has always been not only an artist of the highest order, but he is a real craftsman. The subtle nuances in his delivery has been amazing on this tour and I remember the same attention to detail in all the other performances I have been lucky enough to attend. I agree wholeheartedly with the comment that Ambulance Blues was worth the price of admission alone...and there you had the perfect example of craft and art...just amazing..that's all you can say. And for that matter every other song on this tour has been delivered with the same care and passion. No Hiddden Path had the passion and intensity of Hurricane, but a new maturity in his guitar phrasing that I was really blown away by. I can't say enough about this tour...its a great one. Ignore the passive audience, the people who came for the hits...just focus on the man onstage. That's all you need. thanks again Neil...for everything.

At 11/11/2007 08:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first saw Neil--unexpectedly--at the Bottom Line in NYC in May, 1974. It was at a Ry Cooder gig (opened by Leon Redbone), and about midnight Ry says "I wanna bring out a friend to play." and who should saunter out but goddam Neil Young. Skinny, long hair, and diffident a hell. My friend and I just jaw-dropped and about pissed our pants at what was happening.

He was amazing. He played til well past the last bus out of town, and it was one of the greatest musical experiences of my life.

I've seen him a few times since, and he's always great, and always provocative...musically and otherwise.

Another friend and I will see him on his first night in Boston at the Orpheum theater, and we both can't wait. If he plays Bad Fog and Ambulance Blues we both will be in Heaven.

Neil Young Rocks.


At 11/12/2007 10:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm gonna say a little something in defense of the audience in Minneapolis - thank you for not standing up for every song! I'm not the tallest guy in the world, but sitting down, I'm like everybody else. But when people stand up, first - i can't see and second, it takes away from the whole experience.

I loved the listening, the quiet observation of Neil at work. I learned a lot - how much he plays without a pick (surprised me on some of the electric work), the intensity of his face.

Why is standing up and dancing in the aisles the bright line for whether or not the audience was into the performer? Gimme a break! I've seen Neil a lot over the years (but never seats as good as these). I've seen him feeding off an audience and I've seen him lagging when the audience wasn't feeding him. Thursday's audience fed him! The man was up for this. He liked the old theatre, he liked give and take (and not that much shouting out), he liked connecting, and he liked losing himself in the extended jams. This was a man on a night when he was doing what he loved most.

At 11/12/2007 11:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right after Ambulance Blues, when people were shouting out their requests, someone in the pit must have asked for the Campaigner (which he has played a couple times after Ambulance Blues). I could see Neil saying matter-of-factly, "The Campaigner", as if acknowledging the request and then simply plowing ahead with HIS show. It was like he was saying to the guy in the pit, "Yep, that's a song."

I think the set list is orchestrated beautifully. From Hank to Hendrix opens with the statement of the dicotomy that is Neil - country/folk and distorted grundge ("sometimes it comes out distorted"). Then, into Ambulance Blues and his story of the folky times in T.O. He's painting the pictures of his life - not necessarily chronologically, just the many parts that makes him Neil.

The electric set does the same thing. The Loner is Neil, as he has said. Everbody Knows this is Nowhere - saying that there has gotta be some place with more substance than this. Dirty Old Man - that's Neil again. And then the spirtual side of him that talks about the place he is coming to now. It would be very difficult to "throw" just anything into that mix. He's painting a picture every night - hope you all get it.

At 11/12/2007 11:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hank in 'Hank to Hendrix' may refer to Hank Marvin of the Shadows who most of the guitar greats, Page Clapton, and of course noteably Young, claim as an influence. He was one of the first electric rock guitarists of distinction and Hendrix, well no one has gone past him yet. But I think that Hank could be the other guy too...

This Minneapolis show was unbelieveably rich...The amount of NY styles covered was amazing and he had an extremely versitile band composed of one stray gator, one blue note and the Crazy Horse drummer. Could you get one shot of Neil that was more varied and true? This is as close as it gets to an a encompassing live experience of Neil as an artist at work. He expresses such deep dedication to getting the music moving through him. The vocal work during the acoustic set was masterful and had wonderful moments of subtlety. The detail of care, expression and intimacy shocked me, having never seen Neil live in an acoustic setting before. Ambulance blues, No One Seems to Know, Sad Movies and Harvest especially got to me...
On the electric side it was pure mastery of guitar, oh how good the Loner and Everyone Knows this is Nowhere sounded. Didn't expect this as a rarely listen to that album, Loved the new material, Believer and No Hidden Path especially! Thats what I've been listening to at home. Never ever ever expected to here Neil play Winterlong live, so I'm glad I did. Finally, the band and guitar work on Like a Hurricane sounded so fresh and new. Sometimes its hard to hearing a old song like that that you've heard a lot before with fresh ears, not this sounded brand new! Oh, if had only played one more song to help us come down from such a high. What an ending!

At 11/13/2007 10:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of dancing. Anyone know who the woman near the front on the right side of the stage in the silver (or was it blue) gown was? She was one of the few people dancing near the end of the show. I think I'm in love. :)

At 11/13/2007 01:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice Neil changing the words for "Hank to Hendrix." He changed the wording from "New 'distance' between us" to "New 'closeness' between us."

Being that this song is from the early 90's, do you suppose him and Peggy were "headed for the big divorce California style?"

After Neil's current health problems, I find him really trying to "adjust" some of his songs so they relate to his current relationships and not his past. Any one else notice this. Just a thought...

At 11/14/2007 05:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here in Florida planning my second show can't wait to go to Boston. Saw Neil last week in Detroit he walks on water!


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