New York City Concert Reviews: 12/15 & 16/08
Photo by Jason Decrow
From Music Review - Neil Young - Songs Old and New From a Familiar Face at Madison Square Garden - NYTimes.com By NATE CHINEN:
"At 63 Mr. Young is a figure of blunt efficiency himself, and a man comfortable with his own contradictions. Here in the first of two tour-ending New York shows, he presented himself not only as a stubbornly craggy survivor but also as an avid early adapter, a holdout hippie idealist, an evenhanded pragmatist and a sharp-eyed cynic."
EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS SOMETHING - New York Post By DAN AQUILANTE:
"At 63, his raw onstage energy is striking. Strapped into his guitar, Young writhes like a Pentecostal snake handler - head banging, hair flying and his already ugly kisser as distorted as the notes he plays when he gets lost in a musical trance."
Even Old, Young is Grand - NY Press Posted By David Callicott:
"Arena concerts aren’t necessarily my thing. But when Neil Young plays Madison Square Garden, and has Wilco open up for him, I try to buck up. So, for the past two nights, I’ve stood, or sat, in the “world’s most famous arena,” listening to what is arguably some of the best rock n’ roll music being played today."
Neil Young, Wilco / Dec. 15, 2008 / New York (Madison Square Garden) - Billboard.com by Lavinia Jones Wright:
"The floor of the Garden was almost completely cleared of seats to accommodate a standing audience, and the thousand fans who were devoted enough to stand for four hours straight were rewarded with an experience so intimate it seemed unreal. When Young finally took the stage in a paint-splattered blazer and Frank Zappa [ED: Emiliano Zapata] t-shirt, diving immediately into a fuzzed-out, energized of 'Love and Only Love,' it felt like being transported back in time to a crowded club."
New York - Live: Neil Young at Madison Square Garden - Sound of the City - Village Voice by Jesse Jarnow:
"Pity the bros stuck in the assigned seats 'cause down on the Madison Square Garden floor, it was a real rock show. While Neil Young shredded and warbled for two-and-a-half hours, dudes passed out down there (one during the stoner-doom jam of 'Cortez the Killer') and security guards sang along. Also Pity the bros confined comatosely to their chairs because the pace of Young's night--silver shrapnel jams from an eight-foot (!) Magnatone amp, classic strums, and long stretches of plodding songs about fuel-efficient cars--was well-served by being able to wander. That's exactly what Young did musically with his non-Crazy Horse combo."
Neil Young’s Journey Through the Past Takes a Detour: Culture and Celebrity: vanityfair.com by Michael Hogan:
"Needless to say, Young didn’t skimp on the classics during his protean three-hour set. (“We went long, but that’s O.K.,” he said toward the end. Tomorrow morning’s coming and there’s nothing we can do about it.”) Sticking mainly with Old Black, his beloved 1953 Les Paul, and playing through an amp the size of a small building, he blasted through “Powderfinger” and “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” in all their crunching glory and summoned hypnotizing sequences of bent and serrated notes on solo-heavy jams like “Cortez the Killer” and “Cowgirl in the Sand.” For anyone who has ever picked up a guitar, it was a seminar in how to combine technical prowess with the loose-muscled spontaneity that keeps rock ‘n’ roll from ever dying."
Photo by Joey "Feelin' Young"
EARVOLUTION: Young At Heart: Neil Young At Madison Square Garden By: David Schultz:
Time has taken nothing from the feisty Canadian. Numerous times during Monday night's show, Young bounded away from the microphone and careened across the stage, his guitar going through wild tremors as if trying to escape his grasp. No one would ever mistake Young’s voice for another but his incisive and defiant guitar style can be heard constantly in the artists that followed him. On “Cinnamon Girl,” “Cortez The Killer” and “Powderfinger,” Young reestablished himself as the Godfather of Grunge and the ancestor that atop the family trees of bands like My Morning Jacket and Dead Confederate.
Young has always been able to find beauty in the noise and he’s never flinched at the prospect of commercial or critical failure. That reckless spirit still lives within Young. To close the night, Young and his band tackled the nearly The Beatles’ nearly uncoverable “A Day In The Life,” finishing the song with a wall of feedback that became a backdrop for a revival of the song’s dreamy harmonies as a psychedelic peyote chant. Even when venturing into sacred and familiar ground, Young continues to find a way to transform it into his own inimitable style.
From jukeboxgraduate.com » neil young, msg, december ‘08 by caryn:
"I think a lot about the fact that Neil’s one of those people that I will just go see no matter what I think about their particular recorded output of the moment. That he has put out some, well, albums of dubious quality, and I still went (although I deeply regret passing on going to see Trans at MSG with the stoner guys from Bayside that were in my ethics class at Fordham and had an extra ticket. They did not know what the hell to make of the show the next day).
We were talking at dinner before the first show and referred to one album as the “I almost died” album, and it’s not funny to say that, because in this case, it happens to be true. But the thing with Neil Young is that he is still a cantankerous, obnoxious and overwhelmingly powerful force to be reckoned with. We saw Ray Davies two days before Neil and all I could think was how utterly fragile he seemed - yes, he was always a glorified stick figure and he looks great and has tons of energy but the fragility came through stronger than anything else.
But not Neil."
From Let's Avoid Neil Young's Next Record - Music - page 1 - Village Voice By Rob Harvilla:
"Look, you don't need me to gas on about the restorative, stupendously surly power of "Hey Hey, My My" or "Cowgirl in the Sand," grouchy and brutal under the expert care of Neil and his pummeling electric band, his wife Pegi's cooing backing vocals the only point of warming light. His own guitar solos are luridly violent affairs—he staggers crazily about like an enraged fisherman who doesn't realize he's hooked the seat of his own pants, his spastic jerks and lurches somehow not corresponding to any sound anyone is making, including him. The effect is profoundly ugly and equally mesmerizing, and initially, it enthralls even when the set list turns away from The Beloved Neil Young Canon: "Spirit Road," off last year's Chrome Dreams II, indulges in bald-tires open-road cliché ("There's a long highway in your mind"), but plays up the horror rather than the romance: The way an endless, inviting horizon dwarfs and overwhelms all who gaze upon it can make you feel like "A speck of dust in a giant world," as he snarls tonight. Somehow it's a fitting ode to the impending death of the American auto industry. But, ah, Neil's made this connection, too, and tonight, amid luscious dips into The Beloved Neil Young Canon, we are also graced/terrorized with multiple cuts from what would seem to be an impending concept album about eco-friendly cars."
From New York City Concert Reviews:
"In between Wilco and Neil, I took advantage of all the people scrambling and moved from the 200 level down to a third row seat right at stage right. I was about 100 feet from Neil. The magnetic pull was trying to take me right on stage but metal bars blocked the way. Luckily, Neil must of felt the magnetic pull. During Cinnamon Girl, he came over to the side of the stage and rocked out the ending screaching notes of cinnamon girl. The couple of people in front of me didnt even bother to get up as I stood up and just got pulled towards old black. I just gave every ounce of energy I had as I slipped into a surreal mental state. My arms started doing these helicopter spins and my eyes were just popping out of my eyes. It did not take long for Neil to spot me and once he saw I was giving him everything I had he gave everything he had right back. His eyes locked in on me he just kept feeding the high pitched solo to me right in front of me. My arms kept just kept revolving at the speed of light as I signaled to Neil to keep it coming. I can't really compare the experience to anything that I have ever experienced before."
A Day In The Life Neil Young MSG 16DEC08
Neil Young will be performing tonight at Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York.
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