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Monday, December 01, 2008

Montreal, Quebec Concert Reviews

A ferocious Neil Young electrifies crowd in Montreal | The Burlington Free Press By Brent Hallenbeck:
"That's what struck me from the moment he started, how ferocious he is. This was electric Neil, not the acoustic Neil from the sedate Jonathan Demme film 'Heart of Gold' a couple of years ago.

When he plays, with his body swaying and writhing violently, it looks like his electric guitar is trying to escape from the otherworldly sounds this possessed man and his trusty tremolo bar are working so hard to extract from it. It's man vs. machine, and in this case, man always wins.

Hearing the slicing guitar chords of 'Hey Hey, My My' in person for the first time after hearing the recorded versions again and again over the past 30 years felt like having some legendary yet strangely distant land all of a sudden in your lap. Imagine Halley's Comet crashing through your roof into your living room, famously familiar and white-hot."

Neil Young will be performing tonight at Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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

Check Sugar Mountain for setlist updates. Also, see Grid Chart on Rust Radio.

Also, see Neil Young 2008 Fall North American Tour and Concert Reviews and the right, middle sidebar for continuous real time RSS feed updates.


At 12/02/2008 04:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First show I have seen on this year long tour. Full house - 15,000 strong. the only "dud" of the night was "worlds collide". the other new songs were quite good, actually. cortez stood out with a perfect sound mix and amazing guitar work. the beatles cover was even better than I though it would be. 62 years young, indeed. Bell centre struggled a bit with acoustics, as usual - Scotia bank place will be better - it always sounds much better for some reason. keep on rock'n.

At 12/02/2008 09:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My first Neil Young Show, I was just in front of the stage, I hate the sound in the Bell Center but when you're at the front of the stage the sound's pretty good.
All the grandfathers were in great shape, especially Neil!
The best show I've seen so far, maybe cuz it's my first NY show!!!
Who was the guy "Anthony" on the guitar ?
Cortez the killer was my favorite song.

At 12/02/2008 09:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Cortez the killer" was absolutely exquisite. Had seen Neil Young in 1986 and 1991. Great show.

At 12/02/2008 09:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My first Neil Young concert.
Awesome, but the Bell Center does not have what it takes to stage such an event.
I thought he balanced it really well. It was a good mix.
Enjoyed singing Happy Birthday to Pegi. It was kind of a special moment.

At 12/02/2008 10:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is anyone knows what was the teeshirt Neil was wearing during the concert at the bell centre last night?

At 12/02/2008 10:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have tickets for both Toronto shows and can't wait until Thursday! Does anybody who went to the Montreal show know a rough schedule for when each band started?...

At 12/02/2008 10:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live near Buffalo and will be attending both nights in Toronto. He had His custum tour bus (ZUMA)? for the 2007 fall tour last year. Wonder if he has it for this tour. Hope the weather is better than last year. Last November 30th He left Buffalo in high winds and freezing rain. This will make the 30th time I have seen him since 1968. Can't wait.

At 12/02/2008 10:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doors - 6pm
Everest - 7:05pm - 7:40
Wilco - 8:05pm - 8:55
Neil - 9:20pm

At 12/02/2008 11:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could have passed on Everest and Wilco....guess I'm just too old for that stuff. Sound was pretty crappy from a lodge....but hey cant have it all...the drinks were good. When Neil did finally make it to the stage, looked like he was going to stay in the same groove as the openers, but then he finally gave us a little acoustic stufff from way back when and then things seemed to come alive. The place really rocked when he did "Rockin in the Free World". Fisrt time I'd ever heard a chanting like that to bring on the encore...good scene. All n' all...pretty good show.


At 12/02/2008 11:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incredible energy from Mr. Young. Great that he did 'A day in the life' in his inimitable way (I also heard it last summer at the McCartney show in Quebec). Hard to pick a favorite moment but I will go with 'Mother Earth'!

At 12/02/2008 01:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

on, it lists "Happy birthday" in the montreal setlist. What was that ?

At 12/02/2008 02:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering what his shirt was too. At points I thought it was a picture of Jerry Garcia but I wasnt sure. Great show though. Cortez the killer was unreal!!!

At 12/02/2008 02:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds Awsome. Living in Amsterdam and heading to states next week. Just happen to be in NYC Monday night.....will see him 4th time this year....All shows have been amazing.

At 12/02/2008 03:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it was a Zappa t-shirt.

At 12/02/2008 04:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The t was Emilio Zapata, a Mexican revolutionary along with Pancho Villa from the turn of the 19th-20th century.

At 12/02/2008 05:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me preface this by saying that one of the watershed moments of my life was the day I bought my first Neil Young record, way back in 1979, when I was a 17 year old kid. There was something about the man and his music that immediately resonated within me. I quickly became a die-hard Neil fan, and I'm proud to say that, even after all these years, I still am.

Sadly, this is the only the third time I've seen him in concert, but I think that even if I had seen
Neil perform a hundred times before, this would still rank as his best show ever. Yes, the face is older and the hair is grey (sigh), but he rocks like a man half his age. He didn't say a whole lot all night, preferring instead to let his music do the talking. And that it did! He opened with blistering renditions of "Love and Only Love" and "Hey Hey, My My", which were followed by "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere", sweet relief after such a powerful start to the show. After "Powderfinger" and "Spirit Road" came "Cortez the Killer", which has to be one of his most majestic songs. Performed live, it's both hypnotic and thundering, and I was completely blown away by the intensity of it. Just for a minute, I noticed Neil's face looked about twenty years younger! Talk about a bittersweet moment!

It was heartening seeing so many young people in the audience, which I guess means that Neil was right: "rock and roll will never die". The whole audience sang along to many of the songs, and they gave him several standing ovations throughout the night. They even cheered when he brought out the harmonica. At one point, during "Rockin' in the Free World", the whole place was shaking! I was there with a friend who had never seen Neil perform live before, and he was blown away too. It was nice to see the new songs so well-received, and I couldn't help but wonder when they'll be released (soon?!). My favourite song of the night? It'd have to be a toss-up between "Rockin' in the Free World" and "Cortez", although, frankly, they're ALL my favourites! I just wish that writing came easier to me, and I could express myself better. Let's just say that Christmas came early for me this year.

Musically, this was an amazing year for me. First CSN came to town in July (another amazing show!), and now Neil. And if that wasn't special enough, I can say that I've seen--and felt--Neil Young playing "A Day in the Life"! Does it get any better than that? Oh wait, it does! Sugar Mountain comes out today, and it sounds like the Archives are finally going to be released!

Thank you, Neil, for all the joy you've brought me over the past three decades, and for last night's show, one of THE best nights of my entire life!

Wendy from Montreal

At 12/02/2008 08:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sick show! Neil never disappoints. Hey, Hey, My, My, Cortez, Cowgirl In the Sand, Rockin' In the Free World were great and everything else was awesome too. I thought Neil tore up A Day In the Life a little harder at Farm Aid, but who cares ... it was great. Sound was great on the floor.

Seems like the Quebecers are really conservative ... no one was dancing unless you count tapping a foot. Barely anyone was lighting up ... people seemed to be afraid of the guards at the Bell Center which is pathetic ... just be respectful and keep the smoke down low and there is nothing to worry about. For the first time in my life, when I asked politely someone to pass their roach they said no ... pretty poor hospitality. I'm going to Worcester just to compare the scene and the people ... and to see Neil one more time. Wonder if he'll be touring next year as this has been a pretty long stretch for him. I hope so, and I recommend everyone see him as often as possible. Well worth the cash.

At 12/03/2008 06:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No offense to anyone, I love Neil and would pay to see the man juggle...but he has so many songs...why is he doing the greatest hits tour? and why can't he mix up the set list? He could play 5 nights in a row and never repet a song. And lastly, this tour is almost a repete of crome Dreams II last year. Montreal rocked but I'm a little pissed a Neil for not mixxing it up a bit. Don't get me wrong I'll be at NYC so I'm still 100% on board. Jeezz Neil

At 12/03/2008 09:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was there monday december 1st, and I am still speechless of what I have been through! simply Out of this world, I like the "harder" stuff he made but "mother earth", with the Pipe Organ was simply amazing. YOu had to be there to understand the pure power and presence of that thing. je te leve mon chapeau Neil. Bravo! for the one who is saying quebecers are concervative.. naw.. we only respect this force of Nature by letting the music flow. ;0) I have to say for this year. it is my Favorite concert of the "big artits I saw ( madonna, Celine, THe police, Def leppard to name a few)

At 12/04/2008 10:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillbilly Wendell,

geez man, bring your own next time!

-archives guy

At 12/04/2008 01:43:00 PM, Blogger LM said...

Traveling to Detroit this Sun to catch the tour, and need to plan what time to arrive at the venue, so, could anyone tell me at what time did Neil start the show, compared to the time scheduled time? That is, how long were the opening acts? Thanks!

At 12/04/2008 08:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What has the world come to when people won't pass a hog leg at a rock and roll show? What is the mindset that hordes and bogarts from neighbors in need? Sharing makes the world go around! Sharing is a righteous form of communication and one of the pillars of the greater rock and roll community. If 15,000 people can't get together and share, communicate and embrace others around them then some old rock star singing a song surely won't change the world..................... Should the Hillbilly not have bought a beer for the friend he made at the show? Should we all bring our own recording equipment and never share concert recordings? Hospitality makes for peace and content for everyone. Neil shared his very best with us which should serve as inspiration for us all to do the same.


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