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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Manchester, England - 3/11 & 12/08: Concert Reports

"Winterlong" on Gretsch White Falcon - 3/11/08
Photo by breezehilllpete

From | Live Reviews - Manchester Apollo, March 11 2008 by ROB HUGHES:
"Much has been made of “No Hidden Path” this tour, and rightly so. It’s an immense, spectacular thing. But for pure rock’n’roll dementia, head-buckling riffs and roaring solos, “Spirit Road” is its equal tonight. Huddling up to Keith and Rosas, riding the exchange like a tempestuous bull, Young is cutting loose. “Down By The River” is colossal too, Young turning his back, hunkering down and rocking so wildly you fear he’s going to topple into Molina’s lap. It’s a huge ball of knotted noise. At one point during a similarly frenzied “Hey Hey My My”, it sounds like it could easily smash the place to pieces."

From Manchester Confidential by Rob Haynes:
"Playing 1969’s legendary ‘Down By The River’, he indulges himself in a guitar solo in which a visit to the bar and a leisurely stroll to the toilet can be comfortably accommodated. In other hands this would usually be a cause for a small death of the soul, but in Young’s it is as though the audience’s collective astral body is being taken for a flight in the sun-soaked California sky. He lurches around the stage as if pursuing electricity itself, and the thought that this a man in his 60s recovering from a brain aneurysm just makes the spectacle all the more stunning."

Amusing review thread on RedIssue Forums - United Fanzine.

Thanks breezehilllpete and iFarah!

Neil Young will be performing tonight at Manchester Apollo, Manchester, England.

Got a report? Drop a comment below. No registration required.

Check Sugar Mountain for setlist updates. Also, see Statistics on Numbers On The Site and Grid Chart on Rust Radio.

Also, see Neil Young 2008 Europe Tour and Concert Reviews, Europe Tour Highlights and the right, middle sidebar for updates.


At 3/11/2008 09:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got back from the gig, was amazing. Neil didn't disappoint. I'm 21 and have been a fan for 6 years. The anticipation was huge and the atmosphere was tense. Great venue, great sound. Was in the third row. Neil pulled out Love in Mind and it was glorious. Down by the River was insane with some crazy soloing. No Hidden Path blew the roof off. I loved Try and Sad Movies, truly vintage Neil and what a bunch of great memories. Saw Neil after the gig at the stage door too, very friendly and signing programmes. Thank you Neil for a superb night and for making a dream come true.

At 3/12/2008 06:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A rockin' Hey Hey, My My.

At 3/12/2008 07:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Full Setlist:


From Hank To Hendrix
Ambulance Blues
Sad Movies
A Man Needs A Maid
Love In Mind
Mellow My Mind
Love Art Blues
Don’t Let It Bring You Down
The Needle And The Damage Done
Heart Of Gold


Mr Soul
Dirty Old Man
Spirit Road
Down By The River
Hey Hey, My My
Too Far Gone
Oh, Lonesome Me
No Hidden Path

Roll Another Number (For The Road)


It was such a pleasure to see Neil perform so many rare tracks, especially Helpless. Fantastic night.

At 3/12/2008 08:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a joy watching the synergy between Rick Rosas and Neil, in fact I would rather see Rick than Billy - but what a well deserved applause Ralph Molina got - can't wait until tonight again - hey Shakey what about Fuckin' Up tonight?

At 3/12/2008 11:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What time did he finish in Manchester?? wondering if the shows are a little shorter due to the gigs being near a residential area??

At 3/12/2008 11:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gig finished around 11:35-11:40

At 3/12/2008 11:56:00 AM, Blogger writer1 said...

I noticed a video camera being taken away when they were clearing up. Probably normal, but it'd be awesome if they released a video of it or even a recording, do you think they will?

It was an amazing performance by the way, both the acoustic and the electric.

Charlie -

At 3/12/2008 01:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great night indeed, but i was disappointed with the audience, specially during the electric set.. Everyone sat down during the entire show, not even to get on their feet at the end of the songs. No wonder he only played one song for the encore, and that being Roll Another Number (not bad though). Hey hey, my my was absolutely massive! But most people sat down, even when applauding. And those who stood and danced like neil, got a flashlight from a security woman in the face. Now that's a turnoff.

No wonder he wants to play at festivals this summer where the crowds are young and wild like him!

All an all a great night though. Wish i could stay another night.

At 3/12/2008 03:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great gig. Completely disagree about the audience - how many gigs have you been to where there is a standing ovation before so much as a single note is played?

The acoustic set deserves special mention - for most of it you could have heard a pin drop. Fantastic selection of songs.

At 3/12/2008 03:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another display by a reserved English audience.....

I'm English myself and I was surrounded by inanimate, silent statues; apparently arm-chair critics. I didn't let it detract from the experience, Neil was infinitely more alive than any of them.

At 3/12/2008 04:02:00 PM, Blogger writer1 said...

Hmmm, I agree a little about the lack of atmosphere, but for the acoustic set it was perfect.

I do think it could've been more lively for the electric set, but there's not much you can do when security flash people with torches for being a live, (furthermore, it all being seating somewhat limits the movement!).

Again, great gig.

Charlie -

At 3/12/2008 04:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't blame the audience for god's sake. I mean they were loving in their very special British way.

For the record, I had someone directly in front of me who was on something that clearly agreed with him. He was jumping up and making spontaneous outbursts that justs dispapeared as quickly. he was very funny.

I've got some photos I took of the gig. You can see them at

At 3/12/2008 04:48:00 PM, Blogger writer1 said...

Ah, thanks for sharing those pictures, it's great to have a look back again. I got a video of nearly the whole 'Roll another number' which is good quality, but probably not really allowed on the Internet etc.

I'm not blaming the audience, I wasn't really jumping around or anything mouthing/singing along etc, but nothing excessive, and it was still incredible!!!

Charlie -

At 3/12/2008 06:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've only just found your site, after going to see neil young at manchester appollo last night (11th march).
it looks a fab site.
reading the comments about last night, i felt i had to add my thoughts. yeah it was quiet; during the acoustic part i sat hardly breathing, it was such an intense experience. tears were rolling down my face when he even walked onto the stage at the beginning. i felt awed by the whole experience, not because of his 'starry' ness, but because this man has written such powerful songs, that were the soundtrack to much of my life, especially when i was a teenager 35 years ago. to be there, with him singing them in front of me, in such an intimate setting was wonderful. it felt such a privilege to be there, especially with all the health scares he's had. and the electric half was fab too. i personally would've liked 'like a hurricane', what with the fan blowing at the back of the stage...i thought for sure it was gonna be on the list.
but i don't feel short changed, it was a classic neil young gig, as far as i'm concerned. he was fit and well, and had his family around him, both on and off stage. i felt a lot of love a goodwill going towards him from us in the audience, and i hope he felt that too.
a wonderful night, one of the best gigs i've ever seen, and i've been going to gigs for 35 years.
i've loved his music all that time, and last night was just life laid out in songscapes. powerful, raw, reaching amazing heights, touching something else outside yourself. thank you neil.
a lotta love jan

At 3/13/2008 03:59:00 AM, Blogger Des said...

Just woke up after 2nd Manchester night - what a night again.

The first night was magical - he pulled some fantastic surprises for the acoustic set - never thought we'd get Stringman - for the electric set he was on fire - never heard Powderfinger played that well before - hey only one encore but what a surprise with Roll Another Number and what a tight set - hope it was filmed - I saw Larry Cragg filming a bit towards the end of the second night although I'm sure they record most nights.

He didn't talk much although it does seem part of the 'act'.

The second night was totally different - audience were more well behaved early on and were suitably rewarded later on - acoustic set was great again - with a fantastic Journey Thru The Past. He seemed happier tonight & you could tell he was on top of his game - he was very talkative in complete contrast to the night before.

We didn't get Down By The River , but No Hidden Path must have been twice as long as the first night - awesome - he was totally lost in the song last night.

Its interesting about the crowds - it would be best to stand for the electric set but I can see why some people sit - its a tough balance when we get two differing sets. The loud kn#bhead behind me was tying to be clever shouting 'its a rock n roll show Neil - why can't we stand' but the same guy was talking in the middle of Oh Lonesome Me - you can't have it both ways chump - and how dare you talk through that song - I forgot how beautiful that song was and especialy the way he's played it on this tour.

For the encores though we were spoilt, Cinamon Girl, Fu#ckin Up before Tonights The Night - and thats with the first ten rows or so sat down?!! Magic - then he came back for the Sultan. All the band were on such a high - it was a great night.

The way he played it looked like he go on and on for years - we'll hopefully get a similar Archives 2 tour in two years or so.

One last thought - hope he keeps the same band for the summer gigs - they're on fire and Ralph is just loving it at the moment.

At 3/13/2008 04:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an incredible gig last night (12/03/08) I was absolutely blown away! Both sets were perfect, Neil was simply outstanding throughout. Personal highlights from the acoustic set include the fantastic version of ‘Ambulance Blues’, ‘Love Art Blues’ and the moving ‘A Man Needs a Maid’ (one of my all time fave Neil tracks). As for the electric set I especially loved ‘Fuckin’ Up’ and ‘Hey hey My My’, but there really wasn’t a performance that was anything less than outstanding. Neil was on fine form and it was great to see him jumping around the stage like a man possessed. Fantastic stuff. I didn’t get home till about 12.30am and I had to be in work for 7am this morning! But it was well worth it, I’d do it all over again tonight and tomorrow night if I could! Neil is the definition of a true musical legend.

Note to the idiotic woman near the front who thought it would be humorous to scream random nonsense at Neil throughout the gig: - Do everyone a massive favour and don’t go to any more concerts…ever! You’re clearly not a real Neil fan are you? You’re not funny and I was this close to finding you and throwing you out myself!

At 3/13/2008 05:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An awesome evening. The great man just gets better. He truly enjoyed himself and the audience last night. I'm not sure why the front rows sat for the encores, but hey it's their choice. So many changes to Tuesday's set was a real treat.

Bring on Malahide!!

At 3/13/2008 06:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may have broke the bank at the time to bring the entire family but last hight was the night and from Row B, it was worth every penny and to be all together for the experience made it unforgettable. The spirit lives on in the new generation - Neil and SAFC!

I think the audience got it just about right as Neil usually responds when our British reserve accounts him respect to play what he wants to play and we are happy to be there for the ride. Thus Neil was talkative, smiling and definitely enjoying himself, more so as the show went on. It was great to see him so close up and feel the intensity and the energy. Many did stand for the encores and I think all wanted to but there was a bit of thought for the people behind - no bad thing is it?
Highlights for me were the long anticipated Ambulance Blues - I knew it was coming but I still could'nt quite believe it. Spirit Road was fantastic, Mellow my Mind for Danny was another classic reborn, but the extended encore took nearly everyone by surprise - he was enjoying the show and he wanted it to go on! We got a bit worried about Ben Keith - looking more like Sergeant Wilson, who is happier seated at the pedal steel than backing the powersurged solos we all enjoyed last night - what a trooper!
11.55 finish! Back to Sunderland via Leeds Uni for Jake at 3am - work and school as usual for the rest of the gang - wouldn't have missed it for the world. Is it the grand farewell - we hope not but if it was, what a way to go.
Finally, many thanks for all the info, build up via this website - NY fans everywhere have reason to be very grateful to you and NYAS of course. 98

At 3/13/2008 07:09:00 AM, Blogger cleandemon said...

I went to the second Manchester show last night and was utterly blown away.

It was a majestic performance throughout, but particular highlights for me were the mighty Powderfinger followed by a volcanic version of Hey Hey, My My and then the superb encores. I let out a ridiculous yelp of delight when Tonight's the Night began.

I've been to a lot of gigs over the years but have never seen anything like last night. The whole vibe and stage set up was just perfectly "Neil Young" and it was great to see him being catapulted around the stage while he wrestled with his guitar.


At 3/13/2008 09:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's a Neil Young review on that helped me to put all the modern rock'n'roll into the right perspective.

come to say hello (and to discover a great italian musician)


At 3/13/2008 03:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could hunt high and low and never experience a show like Wednesday night at the Apollo - never heard him talk so much in my life - another golden moment - a memorable rock and roll show - Im just gonna rust forever.

At 3/13/2008 05:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have seen Neil 8 times in the last 25 years. He has always been stunning but last night there was definately an extra bit of magic. I found it hard to hold back a few tears when he went into ambulance blues. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would hear this live. It is impossible to pick out stand out tracks but no hidden path blew me away. This is a great album track but live takes on a whole new dimension. Oh Lonesome me was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. I stood there just like Bishop Brennan after he had been kicked up the ar*e by Father Dougal McGuire. Cheers Neil and gang and cheers to Mr or Mrs? Thrashers Wheat. Your website is much appreciated.

PS. Pegi was pretty good. I was expecting a car crash.

Matthew. The Black Country. England

At 3/13/2008 06:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I stood there just like Bishop Brennan after he had been kicked up the ar*e by Father Dougal McGuire. "

Matthew -Brilliant!!

This tour's been excellent and the Manchester shows were superb, great stuff! roll on summer for the return of maverick genius!


At 3/14/2008 03:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...
Here you can find a torrent of ANTWERPEN show recorded from Rust Radio

At 3/14/2008 05:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw first night of Manchester gigs, just echo what's already been written.
Got some huge Dylan fans as friends but also major Neil fans, and agree that gigs don't compare these days. What NY gives on stage is truly unmissable. Always the same with him, can never quite put into words what him and his usic means, some magic that can't always put your finger on.
Is it just me or do others start to feel melancolic a day or so later about the show and NY? not sure exactly why.
Anyway, thanks o Neil what must be one of the best shows/tours of his career so far, 5th time I've seen him live and have to say it was the best. Then again, suppose i'd turn up to watch him p*ss on a stick!

keep up the great work on the site.


At 3/14/2008 06:03:00 PM, Blogger writer1 said...

Ha, that's quite amazing, I have that exact feeling of melancholy afterward, almost the next day, certainly the day after, I think it's because I genuinely adored the concert, and wanted it again. I'm somewhat over it, but the CDs, even the vinyls, just don't compare.

I'm hoping they bring out a recording video, or sound at least and that Neil returns before resigning from the touring game :-)

Charlie -

At 3/16/2008 06:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the Tuesday gig and can only repeat what all are saying. GREAT.
On the Sitting / Standing, its always hard, because not everyone is fit enough to stand for that length of time. So only the selfish insist on standing but on the other hand, if you do want to dance/air guitar/sing at the top of your voice its frustrating. Maybe they should have seating in the balcony and standing in the stalls.
No matter what though, there is none better than Shakey.


At 3/19/2008 06:37:00 AM, Blogger Berylguru said...

For my friends and I Neil Young at Manchester Apollo on both the 11th and 12th of March was an amazing experience and this man we travelled to see on the stage that he took ownership of, is a true legend and a very wise human being. His ferocity and his gentleness combine to make greatness and he's right at the top of my list along with a couple of other incredible artists. Hop Farm festival, here we come. WOW Neil rules!

At 3/19/2008 06:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well... and i know i deserve it but i got kicked out by the over zealous security during the interval... i lit up a fag in the loos and before i could even take a pull i was jumped on by security - it took seven of them to surround me and usher me out - they acted like i was a serious threat to security or somethin - no amount of pleading would do - loved the first half anyway and cried a good few times - esp at ambulance blues and helpless - ended up talking to some of the road crew in the pub behind who were shocked at me being thrown out and gave me a tour pass as a memento - great night and one that will live with me forever - thanks neil xx

At 3/28/2008 05:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sat beside us during the acoustic set and ruined it with your flash camera and your shouting and singing loudly with no respect for the artist or those around you. After you left we finally could enjoy the show. Thank you appolo security.

At 4/03/2008 02:08:00 PM, Blogger MrBunny said...

Hey Mr/Mrs/Ms/Dr Thrasher! We were there for the Wednesday night . It was hard getting in the mood having come straight from work.

But Neil you are the business.

The last verse of Powderfinger just took me to the zone where you know what art and truth is! Sprit Road has got to be a classic in the making - Neil raging against the compromises of age.

Magic evening. Up there with Brixton Academy and Finsbury Park if not better. Roll on Hop Farm!


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