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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ottawa, Ontario Concert Reviews - 12/2/08

Photo by John Major - The Ottawa Citizen

Neil Young will be performing tonight at Scotia Bank Place, Ottawa, Ontario, 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 12/03/2008 05:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Easily one of the best shows I have ever seen in my lengthy concert-going life: much better than the MTL show on Monday. He was just in a zone - in complete harmony with his guitar. Some of the best guitar playing I have seen - ever. And congrats to the sound man: everyone around me agreed they could not recall a better sounding show. Strangely, the Ottawa crowd was much stronger and louder than the MTL crowd. For a lesser artist, this show would have been legendary, but for Neil, it is just another day at the office. Well done!

At 12/03/2008 07:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an energetic performance.
And with Wilco opening, it was a great night for Guitars in Ottawa.

At 12/03/2008 08:30:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also at the Neil Young concert last night! It was truly amazing and yes indeed, we were in the presence of a living legend. I first saw 'Neily' 30 years ago....and he is just as good now as he was then. Can that man ever rock! I have to say it was one of the best concerts I have ever gone to.

At 12/03/2008 10:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great show! Neil mixed in some old with new, acoustic and rock. Faves for me were Powderfinger, Cortez and Rockin' the Free World!! The whole arena was singing along all night long. Aye karumba, my throat is sore this morning...

Doug from Ottawa

At 12/03/2008 11:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wondering- are there any posters for sale at the concerts?

At 12/03/2008 11:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comments are bang on. What a great show. The classics and the new stuff were brought together by a tight band and incredible guitar playing from Neil. Get Back To The Country was awesome..Just Singin a Song is shaping up to be a great tune. As for posters, I saw a lot of people leaving with posters of the official tour photo.
Steve in Kanata

At 12/03/2008 12:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Powerful show - I managed to get up to about two people from the rail to the left side of the stage looking right at the wooden indian. If you're on the floor, the left side is a good place to be if you want to see Old Black as Neil faces that direction almost the whole concert as he jams with the others.

Highlights for me were, believe it or not, Spirit Road (heavy, loud and fast, it's a great new song live), Mother Earth (he was way back on the stage on the organ so I was killing my neck to see him on the big screen but the quality of that song is astounding and the whole arena was silent witnessing something truly special), Needle and the Damage Done (just beautiful Neil and guitar and 13,000 voices), Cowgirl (he just destroyed that song, like the tazmanian devil buzzing through a tree, I saw flames on Old Black), and RITFW (a really sweet fast version - you just look around and see so many happy people standing and singing you can't help but go "please Neil don't stop" and then like he understands, he extends the chorus again and the place goes beserk).


At 12/03/2008 01:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a show!! I have been going to Neil concerts since 1986 and this one is near the top of the list. Thanks Neil.

At 12/03/2008 01:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was the timing of the concert? When did he come on? Thanks.

At 12/03/2008 01:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wilco came on around 7:55, ended around 8:45 - Neil came on about 9:10

At 12/03/2008 02:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great show last night here in Ottawa.....strong and intense for sure!
I had the opportunity to meet him after the show.
Although brief, it was great to shake his hand and thank him for all the years of great music!

At 12/03/2008 02:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how soon after the doors open, that the general admission started to fill up?? thanks...

At 12/03/2008 02:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

G.A fills up quick! Like real quick, get there early if you want a good place to stand.

At 12/03/2008 03:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could anyone figure out what the pin he was wearing said? Also, how did you manage to meet him?? We hung around for awhile but the nazi's at scotiabank eventually kicked us out! I saw him at Massey Hall last year, and although nothing will ever beat getting to see Neil singing Ambulance Blues, this show was amazing!

At 12/03/2008 04:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a fantastic performance, as everyone says. I never saw Neil before so this was quite a night for me. I can still hear the intensity in my head! When he came out and struck those first few chords it was as if a towering giant was teetering back and forth, sending shockwaves into the crowd! What an amazing artist and what an amazing night! I was overwhelmed by the ferocity of his playing, plus his vocals were as if he was back in his glory days!! What am I saying, he's still inj his glory days!! Everest and Wilco opened. Unfortunately, the Everest set was plagued by bad sound and Wilco were just boring, but it just made Neil sound all that much better. Sorry Wilco fans but they just put me to sleep!

At 12/03/2008 07:01:00 PM, Blogger Rasputin1981 said...

I'm sure the show and all the recent shows have been great. I'm still bitter about not being able to see him in LA because of that whole Forum debacle. But is anyone else on here the least bit worried that Neil has basically stopped changing the setlist. The Europe tour got way better setlists.

At 12/03/2008 08:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why should neil change up the setlist...for the small percentage of people who see more than one show? he has put together a collection of songs that he want people to hear, so that's what he plays at every show. you have to understand that most people just go to one show.

-archives guy

At 12/03/2008 09:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

is that really the archives guy?
-archives guy


At 12/03/2008 09:40:00 PM, Blogger Rasputin1981 said...

Sure... I totally get that. But Neil has been a constant setlist changer. And it's not like the only people hearing these songs are the people at the actual shows... Plus, a lot of people follow setlists and go to a single show and still hope to hear a certain song... Now it's like you go to a show and you already know what he's going to play... I can't be the only person who follows setlists

At 12/03/2008 09:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear ya...he did change it up a little more..most times I go to more then one show...Greendale was pretty much the same every night..if you go over the set lists through the years the are pretty consistent..with a little variation...
I cant complain about the set list but us hardcore fans wanna hear what would be more obscure stuff to casual fans...wish I could hear vampire blues, for the turnstiles, LA, Dance, dance dance, Stringman, etc.
But you must admit...ITS A GREAT TIME TO BE A FAN...the live shows, sugar mount, archives, linc volt....I love this isnt everyone a huge fan?..going to my 15th show in like 2 weeks!!

At 12/03/2008 10:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the event he rekindles songs from the Europe tour I hope they include 'Words' and 'Too Far Gone'.

At 12/03/2008 10:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes...but not in place of cowgirl...14 times I've seen him..never once heard cowgirl live...i'm so glad he's playing it every night... I did hear Words though...fantastic!

At 12/03/2008 10:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a quick review of last night’s Neil show…

I have now seen Neil seven (7) times, and this was by far the best that I have ever seen him!

Totally intense, totally loud, and with an emphasis on his electric stuff, which is my preference.

Most people love his acoustic, and I like that too, but to me he really shines with his electric material.

He also had a nice acoustic intermission.

When I saw the lineup (Ben Keith, Pegi, etc), I thought this was going to be like his Prairie Wind tour.

Was I ever thrilled when it turned out to be an electric-fest!

Heaven! Absolute heaven, I tell you!

Best show I’ve seen this year, by far.

And probably my Neil Young concert-going highlight. Check that – the best. By far!

Were we ever lucky to catch this show, on this tour. Man!

Oh yes, Wilco had a very nice set as well.

Double blessing. I like Wilco a lot as well…

Here is a set-list breakdown, and a few comments…
A-Channel Morning (Kurt) reported this morning that Like a Hurricane was played. I just about had an aneurysm trying to remember that... Was I that drunk? Couldn't be... And wasn't. No Hurricane.
No loss - look at the bounty below!

Love And Only Love – he opened with a really powerful version of this. Right from the first chords it was pure power, and I knew that it was going to be a great night! I’m smiling so hard it hurts!

Hey Hey, My My / - OMG! Can’t believe that he played this! As hard, heavy and loud a version of HHMM as I’ve ever heard. Every bit as hard and heavy as on Live Rust. My face hurts!

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere / OMFG! I love this song! Can’t believe my luck! What a great version!

Powderfinger / OMFG x2!! One of my favorite Neil songs, played loud electric! I’m in heaven!

Spirit Road /

Cortez The Killer / OMFG x3!!! Another all-time favorite song! Neil is in a total groove!

Cinnamon Girl / OMFG x infinity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m standing up, pounding my head up and down so hard that my wife thinks my head is going to pop off. And everyone else in the row thinks I’m retarded. I don’t care.

Oh, Lonesome Me / Ok, now an acoustic intermission.

Mother Earth /

The Needle And The Damage Done / Love it!

Unknown Legend /

Heart Of Gold / Yeah, baby!!!!

Old Man / - last song of the acoustic set. About 13,000 people singing in unison!

Get Back To The Country / Yeah!!!!! Can’t believe my luck! I love this song! Singing along to it!

Just Singing A Song /

Sea Change /

When Worlds Collide /

Cowgirl In The Sand / OMFG x4!!!! Another one of my all-time favorites!

Rockin' In The Free World // About as good as the version he did on Saturday Night Live! Amazing! I’m going totally insane! What a great show!

A Day In The Life - What a nice surprise ending! Some powerful feedback and psychedelics to go with this number as well….

If you can in any way get to this show - GO!!!

At 12/03/2008 10:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will this show be in the Archives?

At 12/03/2008 11:08:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Yeah, Neil has prettimuch kept the set list stagnant over a month now. Which to me says he's probably getting bored or just wants this tour to end (By the time he's done with Australia he'll have been touring a solid year and a half with few breaks).

I'm sure he's still giving it his all, he rarely gives less, but I am saying you have to consider aside from switching out Ralph Molina for Chad Cromwell once the US leg of the arena tour began, he's been with the same band quite a while. Also, have the new songs See Change/Just Singing A Song/When Worlds Collide got any better?

Because every version I've heard thus far has been mediocre at best, these songs just seem like total duds (like Fool For Your Love on the '00 tour).

Anyway, I imagine we might not see any set list changes on the rest of this tour, maybe a surprise Sultan here and there, but other than doubt, I don't see it getting changed.

At 12/04/2008 12:15:00 AM, Blogger Greg McGarvey said...

Veg, I respectfully disagree that the stagnant setlists are a result of boredom, especially after listening to recordings of the inspired Winnipeg and San Diego shows this week. I think he's just been too busy with LincVolt/etc. to bother spending time doing rehearsals with the band.

At 12/04/2008 04:04:00 AM, Blogger pobreshka mafija said...

It was a good year for Neil Fans (actualy still is for the ones state side:) ). saw 2 concerts in Europe this year (both truly amazing), saw Seperate ways (yeah) and a bunch of songs too good to forget and too known to even mention. And archives 00 and the high probability of the archives comming out in a month...
Just effin great :)

At 12/04/2008 06:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A nice Cinnamon Girl from Ottawa on YouTube:

At 12/04/2008 09:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

See change and "just singing a song" are two of the best songs he has written and performed in this decade. Ben's slide guitar on see change was amazing - a 70yr old playing the really agressive slide is just plain cool. world's collide is not nearly as strong and could be dropped, but the other two songs bring a real dynamic to the show and keep Neil happy. This set list was very fluid and this was the best Neil show I have seen - and I have seen every tour since 1986, so please, no dribble about set lists - he is 63 and the best rock artist touring today - a pretty amazing feat if you ask me.

At 12/04/2008 11:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

see change is just ok. not a great song and way too repetitive. worlds collide is funky, and i think it's a better song. also, ben keith is 71 years young. grizzled doesn't even begin to describe these guys.

-archives guy

At 12/04/2008 12:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome show in Ottawa, I loved every minute of it and I had this wonderful smile on my face during the whole show! My fav NY song is Powderfinger, which I was elated to hear live for the first time, but I must say the highlight for me was Old Man, with the slide guitar and that cute little man playing the banjo...AMAZING!! PS to whoever asked what his pin said, it said "Hippies For Obama" SO COOL! And I think he was wearing a Frank Zappa T-shirt under that cool jacket - not sure though.
I was so very happy to be there, one of the best shows I've seen in a long time and I have been to a gazillion concerts! Rock on, Neil! We LOVE you!

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

I was thinking also recently about the lack of change inthe setlist. This is very unlike Neil as he usualy changes a few songs along the way. Saw him 3 times within a week last year in the small hall tour and every show was different. But now he's been playing exactly the same show for a long time w/o even one change ! Becasue of that, since I have seen him on this tour, I sold my overpriced NYC tickets. If it;s gonna be the same exact show that I;ve seen several time already, I;d rather pass. One reason I buy tickets for multiple shows is that in the past, Neil always changed things around......always suprises. I think he is either not into it or he is just too busy with Linc Volt
to be rehearsing songs with the band. I think he is just not focused, so it;s easy for him to just play the same songs every night. Too bad.

At 12/04/2008 01:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read Neil say (as I'm sure many of you have) that with this band he can accomplish much more than with other bands he's played with, ie he can play Crasy Horse stuff, he can play Nashville stuff, he can play the new stuff and he obviously takes the delivery more seriously than the listener might. We may not hear the subtle differences that he does and it won't affect us or piss us off like it might him when things don't sound up to his snuff. He obviously holds himself and his music, and the show he puts on for his fans old and new, to a very high standard. I would guess that is why the setlist doesn't change. He may not feel he's ever been able to do that before. Either way, I ain't gonna second guess him, I'm gonna go along for the ride and love every minute of it.

db in Rochester...headed to NYC 12/15. Yippee!

At 12/04/2008 01:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quick question. At what time did Neil show up at the stage? And what time was the concert supposed to start? Thanks!

At 12/04/2008 03:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see everyone enjoying the concert so much.

I have a quick question though. I have a General Admission ticket to an upcoming show. Some of the people who have been in the front row or on the rail, did you get there really early and wait and then get to go in first when the doors opened? If so, what time did you get there? How did you get so close? Thanks.

At 12/04/2008 04:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been enjoying reading all the comments about how great the shows are!

I have SO much to look forward to!

Only 11 days till Neil is with us @ MSG.

Marian M.

At 12/04/2008 04:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said... have a better picture of the Archives up:

Picture of the "scroll",the box, the dvd case and also the book.


Davie from Scotland

At 12/04/2008 07:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Neil in Ottawa the other night and I was absolutely blown away! So much so I keep reliving it in my mind and I have to let everyone know how amazing it was...Ive seen him with CSN twice and the Greendale show with the horse. I love them all but this was definately the best one. FINALLY I got to see Cortez live!!! It was loud, intense, and had me hanging on every note. Props for the awesome beatles cover. Loved the crazy distorted breakdown. Did anyone else see a guy doing paintings during the set? I was pretty far away, couldn't tell exactly what was going on...peace

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

I have never seen so many people gripe about set-lists when it contains nearly every heavy hitting song that Neil plays- The only two big numbers missing may be Winterlong and Hurricane- Come on-with a set list like the one Neil has assembled and mastered for this tour I would go see as many shows as possible. Neil has respected his entire fan base- some fans like the elements of surprise in a set list and others prefer to hear all new stuff and yet others like a greatest hits tour-Neil has done all of the above over the past 2 years. You obviously can't satisfy everyone all the time.

At 12/04/2008 10:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a die hard Neil fan and I had a special lady with me who is also a Neil fan. Can't get much better.

Set list was perfect. I just cranked out Hurricane on my Fender/Traynor combo myself when I got home as a night cap! (Sorry neighbours)


At 12/04/2008 11:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

let's see it was 48 hours ago and still my whole being down to my toenails feels like it has gone through some kind of epic transformation, i'm re-ignited when I read these comments, but truely , the man is inspired, a force of nature, giving everything through a sustained ferocious electric charge of music that rocks you to your core.

a girl fan

At 12/05/2008 07:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous fender/traynor dude: I'm PRS/double traynor guy. Any chance you could give me a 30 minute lesson on hurricane?

At 12/05/2008 11:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 Dec 2008
Tonight Neil Young played Scotiabank Place during his major North American tour 2008. Wilco, which normally sells out its own headlining tours, was one of two supporting bands, the other being Everest. I had only decided to come when a friend told me that Wilco was on the bill, because I have seen Neil three times before, the first on his 1970 tour in London at the Hammersmith Palais if I remember rightly. So I came early - 6:30 to be ready for the 7 pm, start. After 11 I left, having seen Neil perform as an encore my second favourite song of all. What a night! Rock'n'roll really is here to stay!
There were very few spare seats although the majority, many of whom had paid between $60 and $100 seemed to prefer to sit out the "warm-up" bands. People are strange. As Everest started the arena was about 20% full. And that was a pity because they weren't bad at all. Master tunesmith Young would not have shared his bill any band that hadn't figured "no tune no good." I'd seen Wilco at Bluesfest in 2006 and have lots of their recorded material and am a strong fan. But I have to say that I prefer listening on disk to seeing them last night. Maybe my expectation was just too high. They have so many great songs but the selection tonight only included about three of my favourites. I would have liked Jeff Tweedy to talk to us some more - I don't think he introduced the band members. He has enormous talent and Wilco are a lot better than they seemed tonight.
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 hart" 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.


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