Concert Review of Moment: Ottawa, Ontario, 12/2/08
The Neil Young Concert Review of the Moment is from Ottawa, Ontario on 12/2/08 by Tony C.:
Neil came on around ten past 9 to thunderous applause. And right from the first notes of his magnificent sounding guitar he was brilliant. When for his second song the opening notes of My My, Hey Hey blasted the rafters there was no holding the crowd. Everybody knew why they were here and were just wallowing in the gorgeousness of what Neil has made timeless.
This is a man of 63 who suffered a brain aneurysm in 2005, has had diabetes since childhood and walks with a limp from polio. Yet this is the best I have ever seen him perform and with such energy. His famous never-ending final chords were well represented. Half way through he took a walk up a ramp to a portable pipe organ, seemed to assume a new persona, and sang (with harmonica accompaniment) what I always call #89 in the green hymn book: "As longs the heart". This was Mother Earth (Natural Anthem), with his words replacing the many other versions. Wonderful.
Unlike most big name concerts I have seen in the last decade, Neil's performances and the support from the marvellous musicians including his wife Pegi Young were far better than the versions on disk, adding musical quality, spontaneity, excitement, dynamic range and visual excellence. And so the evening progressed through his acoustic classics from his After the Goldrush era always returning to the seminal rock numbers that he has contributed to the genre that will never die.
And then came the end - or was it. After several minutes of audience roar he came back to do . . . wait for it . . . "A Day in the Life."
I suffered pangs of pleasure as he recreated a masterpiece cover complete with both orchestral build-ups and the final chord that sufficed us for the evening and made us all proud and joyful and happy to be Canadian with him.
- Tony C.
More concert reviews of Neil Young in Ottawa, Ontario.