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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Brisbane, Australia Neil Young Concert Reviews: 1/21/09

Photo by adamweathered

Last night's setlist contained Harvest Moon. Thanks to everyone who made a wish for Harvest Moon! And thank you Neil & Pegi!

See comments below for more details.

We have received a lot of very touching messages recently and are beyond thrilled for Danielle and Steve. We're so happy to be part of this Neil community and help one another.

After being part of making history yesterday and then to wake up to this news....

Well, it's a beautiful day and great to be alive. Like our friend Tim says, it does make you think about livin'.

You can make a difference if you really try.


Photo by adamweathered

Neil Young will be performing tonight at Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Be sure to make a wish for Harvest Moon!

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 2009 Australia & New Zealand Concert Tour & Reviews and the right, middle sidebar for continuous real time RSS feed updates.


At 1/21/2009 08:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the reports of Harvest Moon getting played are true, then that's just awesome! :-)

Davie from Scotland

At 1/21/2009 08:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems true. Respect.
Thank you so much Neil Young.
This is really so beautiful.
The biggest respect in the world.
Please, no more bad words about this great man.
It feels good to be a Neil Young fan.
Love and Peace. B.S.M.

At 1/21/2009 08:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sugarmtn is listing Harvest Moon as being played before Unknown Legend.

If true, hats off to NY. A great gesture.

Al (from Scotland!)

At 1/21/2009 08:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

01 - Love And Only Love
02 - Hey Hey, My My)
03 - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
04 - Powderfinger
05 - Spirit Road
06 - Cortez The Killer
07 - Cinnamon Girl
08 - Oh, Lonesome Me
09 - Mother Earth
10 - The Needle And The Damage Done
11 - Heart Of Gold
12 - Light A Candle


14 - Unknown Legend
15 - Old Man
16 - Get Back To The Country
17 - Just Singing A Song
18 - Sea Change
19 - When Worlds Collide
20 - Cowgirl In The Sand
21 - Rockin' In The Free World
22 - A Day In The Life

At 1/21/2009 09:07:00 AM, Blogger QueenslandChopper said...


At 1/21/2009 09:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil Young & your band..Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! are such a good person and such a Great Canadian!, playing 'Harvest Moon' for Steve's family!...Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!...'Come a little bit closer, hear what I have to say'... Glenn in TO!

At 1/21/2009 09:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great concert. LOUD!!

Harvest Moon was played, and sounded just like the version from unplugged

My ears are still ringing though...those guitar solos man..Wow..

At 1/21/2009 09:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the concert tonite, as i was when Neil played Big Day Out at the gold coast. They were my first Neil Young concert experiences.

Both times Neil was on fire. Hit absolutely every note with precision, seemed very comfortable, very strong in the voice and very fit.

The music was great. Tonites show however lacked one thing: AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION!!!!

It was the most pathetic audience effort i've ever encountered! 95% of the people in the audience sat in there seats with there arms folded. This was obviously getting to neil as he continually mocked the audience by sitting on the stage durign songs and standing arms folded in between some songs. He even pretended to call someone to ask what was happening.

I mean, the man played one of the best concerts i've ever seen, and all the audience could do muster was moderate appluase (with the occasional couple of fans standing up and cheering)

Harvest moon received the rowdiest welcome, however i must give special mention too Cortez, which was my standout song for the night, behind rockin in the free world.

Rockin in the free world was blistering. Yet only ten or so people were actually on there feet!! I got so fed up with the crowd I stood up, ran around to the aisle yelling for people to get up and then tried to get close to the stage. Neil saw what i was doing and as the ushers were grabbing, pushing, spitting on and yelling at me to sit down; Neil stopped playing and pointed at me. I put my hand in the air, he put his hand in the air. I did devil horns, he did devil horns. I put 2 thumbs up and he put 2 thumbs up and then he returned ot his guitar work and proceeded to play another blistering solo. It is definatley my best concert memory of any gig, and i will never forget it.

I'm glad me and about 10 other people actually had fun tonite - or at least, remembered we were at an electric rock concert -- not an intimate solo gig.

Ps. the reverb trick and the d-stringing and crosswiring etc of old black = very rock n roll. I think these brisbanites have lost their ability to appreciate good musicianship. -- similar things happened when i saw Sting and Smashing Pumpkins. If you want to hear just songs off your favourite album, stay home and listen to the album. Don't sit angry or depressed at a concert and walk out if the artist doesn't play a setlist exactly to your liking. His setlist tonite was near perfect for me, right mixture of new and old, hits and treasures. I'm sure Neil enjoyed himself tonite, if only for the fact he saw me displaying my right to be free and dance at a rock concert.

At 1/21/2009 10:00:00 AM, Blogger Steve L said...

Yeah...Neil said he had an internet request for Harvest Moon and added something along the lines of when he started out never imagined he would be doing internet requests. Anyway, great show. Seen Neil's last 3 shows in Brisbane 1989, 2003 and last night. Man, wonder if he will be back again. If not, last night will be a great memory. Cowgirl in the Sand followed by Rocking in the Free World...nothing more to say...

At 1/21/2009 10:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He also said something about Harvest Moon getting requested over the internet. Wasnt me, but whoever it was - good thinking.

I was shocked to hear it actually. the set list above is spot on. Thats a pretty good line up of songs. Respect to the old bugga.

We got lucky in Brisbane, thanks Neil!

At 1/21/2009 10:10:00 AM, Blogger Steve L said...

Anonymous....yeah, my experience is an open festival (no seating) is always different to a (seated) venue show...but I was 2 rows from the stage just off centre and the crowd was into the show around me....particularly hundreds on their feet for Rocking in the Free World...Neil also seemed relaxed and appreciated the crowd......I hope you enjoyed the show....

At 1/21/2009 10:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve i loved the concert. Just thought the rest of the crowd could have been more involved. The ushers were a lot to blame for it too. Being very overbearing when you tried to move around or dance. I didn't go to the concert so i could sit staring at the back of heads. I wanted to get in on the action of rocking out. I was in the front row, 2nd section back on the right hand side. The only people who seemed to be getting into the concert were a bunch of people in the front left seats. When i stoop upat the start of rockin in the free world and turned around only ONE other person was standing i kid you not. If not for the ushers i would have walked up to the stage and joined you and the other people getting in on the action. But as it were i sgot manhandled and told i needed to sit down because i was 'out of my area' - i payed for the gold tickets, just as much as the people in the front row. i reserve my right to get up and dane at a rock concert. Great gig. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as me. perhaps a bit more audience participation next time... maybe i just got a dud section, nobody around me even sang along to day in the life.

At 1/21/2009 10:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ps. please excuse my spelling mistakes, i'm not drunk - just extrememly tired from all the jumping around i had to do :)

totally worth it.

At 1/21/2009 10:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi everyone. My name is Danielle Adams. This is quite incredible but earlier tonight, on 21 January 2009 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, I heard Neil Young perform "Harvest Moon" in memory of my father, Peter Adams, who passed away on 22 September 2008. As I type this, on 22 January 2009, it is four months to the day since we lost my Dad to cancer.

I do not know how to express how incredibly grateful I am to Neil and his band for performing "Harvest Moon" tonight. It sincerely was one of the most emotional experiences of my life. For all of us, it was not just a song - it really was a moment in time and one that will stay with me and my family forever. Nor do I know how to express my sincere thanks to everyone has been touched by my Dad's story - your kindness and support is truly overwhelming.

We all absolutely adored Dad and we miss him every day. However, I know he was there tonight, singing along with Neil and dancing with us again on his Harvest Moon.

Finally, I would like to thank my wonderful boyfriend, Steve, for sharing this story with Neil and his many fans. I just don't know what to say. I love you so much. Dad would be so proud of you.

Love to you all, and thank you again,
Danielle xx

At 1/21/2009 11:09:00 AM, Blogger QueenslandChopper said...

It was an awesome show tonight. I think we saw something special from Neil.

Someone asked me before the concert which songs do I really want to hear? Of course the first was Harvest Moon, and few others... they all got played!

The guy is incredible. The showmanship and feeling he puts into everything he does is phenomenal.

I've heard a lot of people bagging his set lists of late... each to their own but I have thought about it quite a bit tonight... He plays the set lists he does because he knows they work. He takes you on a roller coaster and plays with you, all of it building up to a massive climax with that version of A Day in the Life... the crowd eats it up.

The guy that just put a post on before about running to the front and getting manhandled by the security guards... We saw you and we were cheering for you all the way! Good to see!!! However, it has to be said that nearly everyone was standing during that song... I reckon your effort may have helped!!!

We all has a great time tonight, it was fantastic to hear our song played.

Hopefully, Neil will make it back again, and not play at Boondall! :)

It has to be the worst venue in Brisbane for live music, pity there is anywhere else for that size crowd... Unless, Neil wants to do 15 shows at the Tivoli! :)

OK now thats wishful thinking!


At 1/21/2009 11:41:00 AM, Blogger Five Hairs High said...

It was very cool to hear that Neil played Harvest Moon. We played it before the opening of our Tuesday Night Hootenanny. Steve, great job requesting the song. Danielle, we are proud that Peter Adams was remembered at the concert.

At 1/21/2009 03:36:00 PM, Blogger Greg McGarvey said...

congratulations, Danielle! that was very sweet of Neil.

At 1/21/2009 03:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im a 21 year old man, and I'm crying right now. Neil really is the coolest guy.

At 1/21/2009 03:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

was an awesome night...

back the brisbane crowd may have been a little bit tired to stand up... maybe the floor shouldnt have seats!!!!....
shame on them...

neil is a god, cortez nearly made me cry, and harvest moon was also special knowing the back story...

keep on rockin in the free world

At 1/21/2009 04:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Danielle & Steve, please post an email address up here, I'd like to contact you and send you something.

At 1/21/2009 04:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any recording of harvest moon?

i would really like to see neils announcement before and the song being played on this occasion.

its truly great he played it. i am very moved, didnt expect that.

At 1/21/2009 04:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heart of Gold? I can't remember that. I agree with the Brisbane Crowd bit. Great show, but almost all shows I've been to at Boondall the Bris crowd is lethargic. Same show in Sydney and the roof comes down. Don't know what it is, feel embarassed for artists.
Got home at 3.00am (NSW time) and the ears were still ringing, sensational.

At 1/21/2009 05:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Send me something? Wow, thank you!

...and yes, I can't remember Heart of Gold either. I thought I must have been getting old!

At 1/21/2009 05:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Steve, I thought I'd missed something. Did anyone notice someone painting next to Neil's wife?

At 1/21/2009 05:23:00 PM, Blogger QueenslandChopper said...

No? What was it?

(and to save any confusion that was me that made the last comment as Steve, two accounts)

At 1/21/2009 06:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil Young .. thank you for a fantastic night! Backing up after seeing Neil in Vancouver in October 08 I can only agree that the fun police control our concerts ... the BEC sucks but Neil rocks!!

Peter and KHGF from Mooloolaba

At 1/21/2009 06:27:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Well have just read all your comments and am very envious of all who saw Neil last night including my sister and a good friend who I will catch up with tonight and get the 'low down' on the concert. Have been a Neil Fan for over 30 years. Did not make the concert last night due to spending money on Byron Bluefest Tickets and hoping Neil might play there at Easter time. What a blast it would be if he did play there. Byron Bay Bluesfest would be a great venue!!!!!. Have been playing Neil on Ipod for the last 3 days, just to ease the pain of not going. Great to hear about Harvest Moon. Neil.......please come to Byron!!!!!!

At 1/21/2009 06:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw that painting thing happening as well.

It was some kind of live art/create art statement I believe. Also Neils jacket was paint splattered.

Brisbane crowds are always subdued. Its the heat. And lack of drugs i suspect.

At 1/21/2009 06:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the guy Painting at back of stage as well! I thought we may see the fruits of his labor at the end of the show but no...anyone know what that was all about? Maybe Bill Leak has a new series on the way!

At 1/21/2009 07:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anybody see Neil on the 7:30 Report last night? I watched it with my Dad and Neil was good. They showed a lot of old and more recent footage while talking about his past, Linc Volt, Bush, Obama and even the Archives. He said the new album would come out before the Archives because new is better than old.


At 1/21/2009 07:23:00 PM, Blogger QueenslandChopper said...

At 1/21/2009 07:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to satisfy my curiosity about the guy on stage left and found this.

At 1/21/2009 08:11:00 PM, Blogger Shadow said...

For person wanting to hear Brisbane concert you might try Rust Radio this next couple of weekends . Rustradio . org. Super thing Neil did for those people . I think her dad heard it up there . Peace to all.

At 1/21/2009 08:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry all, Heart Of Gold was included by me by mistake. I was getting texts of the setlist and one said HOG tappers and I thought Heart Of Gold and people tapping their toes.

Since been told that that term is used for Harvest loving audiences who just sit still and tap their toes.

HOG was not played.

and I fell into a dream

At 1/21/2009 08:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And this about the artist

At 1/21/2009 09:31:00 PM, Blogger Kempy said...

Neil did it again with a great show last night in Brisbane. Yeah, the crowd didn't seem to be overtly into it (see other's comment below) and Neil rightly had a go at everyone by sitting down a couple of times, and getting the band to sit down with him. But it's such a sterile venue, we were miles away in row zz until moving to a better empty seat so we could actually see the man, and with the fun police (security) stopping anyone looking like remotely enjoying themselves, what can you expect?

It was funny when the guy got up from his seat to get into it up the front, and Neil was cool in supporting him against the fun police.

The intro and slow build-up in Cortez was awesome, the a really lively version of Cinnamon Girl got most of the crowd going. My highlights along with the last two songs.

Despite the two hitches that made Neil restart songs - the electrical problems with the Banjo in Old Man, and Neil seemingly forgetting the words at the start of Day in the Life, it was worth going to Brisbane from Melbourne just for the gig.

The clarity in the acoustic guitar in Needle and Old Man was pure.

The energy in Rockin' in the Free World was amazing, then the Beatle's number for the encore was a treat!

At 1/21/2009 09:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil, Steve and Danielle-What a beautiful moment. Here's to your love for each other, for your Dad, and all of our love for Neil.

Thanks, Neil.

And Thrasher, how cool is it that Neil drops in here once in awhile?!

Keep on blogging in the free world!

At 1/21/2009 09:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading this just made my day!

- Brent from Colorado

At 1/21/2009 10:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The venue discourages/prevents anyone from getting into the music. Crammed like sardines into seats high above the stage, facing right angles to the stage, a cramp in my neck and fascists everywhere telling you to sit down cos they can't see. I'll never go to BEC again.

Show awesome. One of the greatest sets I've evr seen. The whole musical genre, really was from Hank to Hendrix!

At 1/21/2009 10:04:00 PM, Blogger powderfinger said...

can't wait to see him in sydney - powderfinger

At 1/21/2009 11:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really great concert last night - 4th time I have seen Neil and 3rd in Brisbane (I would rank this 2nd only because I don't anything will top Greendale) - I was really blown away by his energy. For me the highlights were Harvest Moon, I could listen to powderfinger and cortex all night and the last 3 to finish Cowgirl, Rockin and Day in the Life were just an unbelievable mix of jamming, energy and distortion. He is a true inspiration - I think one of the previous comments sums him up "new is better than old". Envious already of people going to see him in Syd & Melb

At 1/21/2009 11:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great features on Neil over on that 7:30 website someone posted earlier. Very enjoyable to hear Neil discuss the past, present and future with great sincerity.

And also, I gotta say, this man really is making a difference. He touches on how "JUST Singing a Song Can't Change the World", and why he is actually DOING something other than just singing about it to make a difference.

Don't know about anyone else, but Neil, I'm 100% on board for high definition portable audio. How else will I listen to my Archives on the go?

At 1/22/2009 12:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice one bloke who got up and tried to get to the front!

i couldn't believe the lethargy of the crowd either.

if you wan't an artist to play an encore then get on your feet and keep clapping until they do, otherwise just leave the venue.

great show from neil but the poor energy from the crowd brought me down a bit, especially since i was on my own (in brisbane for training).

i don't feel like perth crowds are that terrible now

At 1/22/2009 01:41:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't believe it that some complained about "the crowd" and "BEC". Get a life. The concert was fantastic. Neil was tops. BEC is world class. Don't believe me - well get out of Brisbane and head north for a few hours or so. Now you'll have sumpthin to complain about. Many there travelled a long way to see this - the whingers probably had a 30 minute trip to the concert - just one of the many they see every year. Lap it up dudes.

At 1/22/2009 01:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have to be in Vancouver on the 24th, the same day as Neil plays Sydney. So we traveled 1,100km’s north to Brisbane to see him in concert there before we flew off to Canada. The blogs about QLD audiences are right; they were so anally retentive when it came to the event of the season. This man Neil Young played himself into the ground literally for you and the majority of the audience just sat! I was in AQ47 and I had had enough, I was up and on my feet and if the people behind me couldn’t see, I didn’t care, I was there to be entertained like the rest of the true believers who don’t care what songs he plays in his set as long as he plays. And he played. Even with the couple of times he did rearrange the words of his songs. Harvest moon was one. “When we were lovers I loved you with all my heart. When we were strangers I watched you from afar”. It was supposed to be the other way around. I thought I’d stuffed up the lyrics as I was singing along. At his age and mine, we’re entitled to a couple of senior moments a day.
Thank you, Neil, Ben, Rick, Chad, Pegi and that unnamed houseguest of yours for another memorable night. You play so hard and so well Neil the rust hasn’t got the time or the inclination to settle on you. Long May You Run.
Michael St J

At 1/22/2009 02:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some INFORMATION on the 7:30 Report.
Great interview with NY.

There are two versions of the interview!
The first one you see is only 6:30.

If you scroll down you see the full version! 22:55!!!


At 1/22/2009 03:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Neil wants some audience participation, he should try coming to Adelaide once in a while! I was up at the BEC last night, having flown in that morning and I was blown away, as usual, by the fantastic music. The last time I saw Neil was on the Greendale tour when I drove to Melbourne from Adelaide, worth all the time in the world but just once I wish he'd remember that there's more to Australia than the Eastern states!
Harvest Moon was brilliant, but the highlights for me was Old Man (once it got going!) and the completely unexpected rendition of Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. A brilliant night.

At 1/22/2009 04:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The musical journey that Neil took us on last night was fantastic and exhilerating. Cortez was awesome. I couldn't give a stuff about the rest of the place, he got to me. A memorable musical night.

However apart from Neil's musicianship, the sound mix for the support act was disgraceful, Neil's lighting was pretty basic, and how in this day and age the promoters and/or the venue managers can't afford a large screen is beyond me. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY! Spare a thought for the cheapies down the back of the hall! Neil could have been doing anything to his instrument at the finale of 'A Day in the life' for all we knew (unless you'd already seen the video clip).

Neil, rock on dude.


At 1/22/2009 05:35:00 AM, Blogger higgy said...

Heya Neil.... a request for Ambulance Blues in Melbourne.. from your best longtime fan from Eureka (saw the 89 show of my fave memories!!

At 1/22/2009 05:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Danielle and Steve,

just want to let you know, that I was so touched by your story with Neil playing Harvest Moon for you and your family, that I thought the German Neil Young fans should also know about it.
So I translated your story into German and put it on the German Neil Young fan site:
"Warum Neil in Brisbane Harvest Moon spielte"
Also I translated your letter with your thank to Neil and to all the readers of Thrasher's Wheat.
It was a very special moment for you and your family, but also for the other fans around the world.
Thank you for sharing this with us.

Liza from Germany

At 1/22/2009 06:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi again everyone - thank you so much again for your kindness and beautiful messages. To be honest, I am completely overwhelmed by this entire experience, but deeply touched that my Dad's story has meant so much to so many. Thank you again.

Love to you all,
Danielle xx

At 1/22/2009 07:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bit off topic here but it needs to be mentioned.

I've just read that the Archives have been officially delayed again and FITR is out on March 31st. Can anyone confirm this?

At 1/22/2009 07:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been a Neil fan since I was a kid and first came across CSNY ,and Cowgirl was my first exposure to the rockin Neil.
Last night was my first live experience of Neil and to me it was close to perfection. Thank you Neil.
The mistakes only added to the event , Neil able to laugh at his own expense and , as many have said already , Harvest Moon such a touching tribute and shows that the man truly appreciates his supporters. For myself and my family - even those who are not big Neil fan's - you have gained and truly earned respect for that act of kindness and understanding.
I've been fortunate in seeing most of the 'greats' in concert . Some have disappointed - few live up to the expectation. This legend and great certainly did . Thank you again Neil - long may you run.

And the guy painting ! weird but fun to see

At 1/22/2009 09:51:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Liza from Germany,
You're beautiful! Thanks!
Let's us know if you hear any special replies.

At 1/22/2009 11:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil truly is a great guy for doing this. Thanks for this Neil, and for making a 20 year old cry. This story really moved me :-)

Any more rumours going around about possible Europe dates for Neil?

I noticed Montreux... But it seems that the other supposed headliner of Glasto has started announcing his European dates.

Please, please, PLEASE come back to Scotland, Neil! And not to T in the frickin' Park.

I'd pay anything to see Neil play in Scotland again! He could even keep the Archives locked up for eternity :-)

At 1/22/2009 12:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the post above: Neil was expected to be on a big festival in Holland next summer. They just announced that Bruce S. will be there. No Neil.

At 1/22/2009 02:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm... Maybe they were just rumours after all :-(!

Michael Eavis says "2 U.S. headliners and 2 British"

So if one of them turns out to be Neil, he needs to get his facts right. Thing is, Eavis is a Neil Young fan, he would surely know that Neil is Canadian... leading me to believe... well... :-S

At 1/22/2009 03:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stunning & sublime- I know how to now grow old with style.

At 1/22/2009 05:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was at the show on Weds night. It was fantastic. Whilst I hear people getting antsy about crowd participation, for God's sake, it's a basketball stadium with seat nazi's crawling all over it. Vent your spleen at a) promoters for not finding a better venue or b)qld govt for not building one! Musically the show was exceptional, the sound was A1, Neil was good humoured and generous, and I loved every freakin' second!

At 1/22/2009 07:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree with all the above comments about how great Neil was and how dull the crowd was. The only time there is a great energy in the horrid concrete box entertainment centre is when bands have the floor area general admission. Those who want to sit can buy in the tiered sections while those who want to enjoy themselves can have the floor. An oversight of the promoter on this occasion me thinks.

Another point, this show was Neil's first following President Obama's inauguration. The only reference to this historic occassion that i picked up was Neil
singing, "We've got a man of the people who says Yes We Can", at the end of RITFW. Thought that Neil might have a bit more of a deal of it than this.

At 1/22/2009 09:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m sitting at my desk finding it hard to concentrate. It’s 1pm and I’m going to see Neil tonight – in just 8 or so hours. My meeting with the CEO in just under an hour isn’t stressing me like it does every other week – I’m seeing Neil tonight.
It’s been over five years since Neil was in Brisbane, Australia. I’ve contemplated travelling overseas to see him before he cuts back on touring, but my wife and two children come first and reset my priorities.
The first time I saw Neil was in the mid eighties. My older brother, who introduced me to Neil when I was quite young, came along with me. The concert was awesome, but the part I remember the most was the downpour that occurred when he started to play “Hurricane”. The rain stopped at the end of the song. I can still see us pulling on our makeshift garbage bag raincoats. My brother passed away from drug-abuse a few months later. I always dedicate “Needle” to my brother, so I hope Neil plays it tonight.
Well it’s the day after. My ears are ringing and my voice hoarse from screaming. Neil lived up to my massive expectations. The concert last night had a few technical glitches and the usual crowd apathy, but contained the best concert performance I have ever seen – in person or recorded.
The first song, Love and only love, had the hairs standing up on the back of my neck. This was Neil, playing in front of me – live. About a minute into this track, the stage right trailing spot blew in spectacular fashion, sending sparks and glass down onto the stage. I don’t think Neil even saw it, but for the rest of the show he wasn’t list-up from his right – which is where I was located.
The mix for the first few tracks was also not great. Too much down low with Old Black and Neil barely audible above the mid-low distortion. I was eight rows back and on stage right, almost in line with the high-mount stack. After the first electric set the mix improved for the rest of the show – I was surprised by this from such a sound-perfectionist like Neil. First show of the tour, so I guess the FOH was still getting it together.
A few songs in, I’ll leave the track list to those more inclined to detail, Neil gave us “A track from recent memory…. For those older folks”. EKTIN. This was the track that set me off. One of my faves, a NY classic, live and done brilliantly. This was special.
Into the brief acoustic set, well Neil on acoustic with the band backing, it came. Needle. I was up, hand on heart and a tear in my eye. The emotional rollercoaster took its second turn, after the exhilaration of the open set.
“Old Man” was off to a false start after a mass of distortion led Neil to stop and comment, “I didn’t know this was electric” of his guitar. A second attempt that brought on similar – but thankfully shorter – distortion was followed by Neil saying, “I’ve disintegrated”. The culprit was quickly tracked to Larry Cragg on the banjo. I assume the pick-up or lead were to blame as they parked Larry in front of a mike and all was well.
Mother Earth of the pump-organ lent another moment of contemplation “Don’t trade away, our children’s day”. Again back to earth – literally. My wife thought too this was excellent – the modern hippies that we are.
After another lightning force electric set came for me the highlight – Cowgirl in the Sand. I’d not seen this live before and it was simply the best live performance on my 28 years of concert viewing. Everything came together on this track, the focus, the power, the history, the abstract content. This was the ultimate trip in music – when Neil, Rick and Anthony were in their triangle driving down the groove they’d ripped open, I was pulled into it with them. Something I’ll not forget.
Following on from this – Neil didn’t let us come down at all – was “Rockin in the free world”. Harnessing the power created from the previous song, this had the whole sell-out crowd on their feet. With hands up high, a peace sign from each singing along to the chorus as the floods lit up the crowd – this was a fitting end to the final set – especially on the night that Obama was officially made president. I was surprised Neil didn’t make any comment on this given his outspoken support during the campaign.
Thirty years on from “Rust” at the Cow Palace, this was indeed a concert fantasy.

At 1/22/2009 09:22:00 PM, Blogger powderfinger said...

I am jumping out of my skin. Travelin' from Wagga Wagga N.S.W. Australia tomorrow to see neil in Sydney!
I last saw him in 1985 at festival hall Melbourne when he had the international Harvesters and Crazy Horse with him! I still recall just about everything at that concert.
Neil has had such a huge effect & influence on my life, I wonder if he has any clue?
If your out there somewhere neil could you please play pochahontas for me in Sydney, ( at the entertainment Centre ) This is one of my favourite songs ever. thanks, - love your work.

At 1/23/2009 12:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The set list looks good. I just wish he'd add Mr Soul when he comes to the Melbourne BIg Day Out. Mr Soul is me and my mates favorite Neil song.

At 1/23/2009 01:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael St J

I wonder if those lyrics were sung the wrong way around deliberately, considering who he was singing the song for...

At 1/23/2009 04:35:00 PM, Blogger stuart said...

neil rocked in brisbane, great version of cortez,,i saw him at roskilde fest in denmark last july also , the guy painting was on the side of the stage there doing many paintings with reference,s to upcoming songs then leaving them sitting around the stage for all to see,,, next time neil. stu.

At 1/23/2009 07:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was like being back with an old friend. Not seen him since '82 since I always seem to be on the opposite side of the world to where he's playing in concert. However, I was magically transported straight back to the eighties and the NEC in Birmingham UK. He sounded much the same and I hope that I'm still Rockin' when I'm 62!!!!

Excellent, brilliant, beautiful. Where did all the time go??

At 1/25/2009 10:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say this was an amazing set from Neil and the band.Neils voice just blew me away from the word go. This was something I had been looking forward to since I picked up a second hand copy of harvest at the rocklea markets 20 years ago just cus I had seen the album cover so many times and wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Put on the album and 'Think I'll pack it in'.... fell in love. This was as perfect a set as any fan could have wished for in my opinion. Audience participation was just terrible though. We were about 10 rows from front and I should have known things were going to be bad when a couple directly in front of us were standing "stretching the legs" in anticipation of a long sit down during Morning Jacket/ Neil setup. Just before the NY set the first few rows filled up and I noticed one of the punters was guitarist(I think) from Powderfinger. The first 4 rows soon filled up with people who were all talkin amongst themselves from left to right , we're talkin music industry people, everyone knew each other. My theory is these guys were just "way too cool " to stand up and give it up. This in turn caused the block of people behind them to stay seated likewise etc... etc....You shouldn't buy front row tickets and sit on your arse is all I can say... Neil got them all up at the end of Cinnamon Girl turned his back and they all sat down again.....! This could have been that concert I had waited 20 years for..and it was as far as the set list goes but my cringing towards the crowd and the bands reaction towards em really took away from the whole thing. Neil gave it his all that night amazing stuff. highlights for me were 'Cortez' 'Cowgirl'
'Old man' and every fingerbleedin solo I wished would never end.. brilliant ,brilliant , just bloody brilliant... Thanks Neil and band.

At 1/27/2009 10:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’ve returned to Thrashers several times now to read Steve’s and Danielle’s story and the comments of others. That is so cool.

In 2005 we lost a special friend. Later that year, Prairie Wind was released. Not even someone who knew her well could have written a more intimate song than Neil had with The Painter.

We took in the Freedom of Speech show when performed in our area… just because…
But when I found out that Neil was going to play at Massey Hall for Chrome Dreams my mind started turning. At first we were shut down for getting tickets but I finally got two. (That’s another story…)

I felt if I could just send Neil a note or give him a call (How crazy is that?) and tell him our story, he’d surely perform The Painter for my friend. But I thought with his return to Massey Hall, the release of Archives at Massey, Neil’s family in the area, my wish for a personal request was ridiculous. Regardless, as it was, the third show was my show of a lifetime.

I’ve listened to Neil explain how he is open to what inspires him to write, that things just come to him. He accepts that and follows through with it. Moments of inspiration capture us all at times and this event of the season for Steve and Danielle is beyond words. It wouldn’t surprise in the least if there were hundreds of similar requests in the past and yet to come. I had to check out the tape of the show (Dime) to hear it for myself. I think Neil was right when he said it was a bit serious and as far as I’m concerned he doesn’t have to know why, it just is.

Ontario, Canada

At 1/29/2009 07:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the show and I stood up!!!and rocked along with Neil during the ELECTRIC parts and showed some milder appreciation for the ACOUSTIC set.........I left the show......HOT & SWEATY!!
Maybe you saw me 'rockin in row 10 stage left........
Or heard me at shows end yelling to all"I've seen Neil Young and he ROCKS!!!!YEEEEAAAAHH!!!

Mic......a Neil fan.

At 2/01/2009 05:13:00 AM, Blogger MUDGEEPCS said...

This time my wife and I went to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne concerts.

Totally enjoyed them all, but I hear something really different when Neil Young performs his art.

I am a fourth generation farmer on the same land in Central NSW and there is great strength for me in the poetry Neil Young turns to lyric.

The haunting 'Mother Earth' played at all concerts to me is one track sending a strong message that there isn't much time left for survival against climate change, 'How long can you give and not receive And feed this world ruled by greed' this is activist comment which fully fits with my views as I looked out on the land from my plane window at our land the farmers have scoured production from for the benefit of others' and the banks. BTW: We travel utterly carbon offset with 620HA+ of native vegetation preserved - no problem.

He is also telling us that you can't change the World in 'Just singing a song' these to me are deep comments from someone who is environmentally conscious and realises there is not much time left to turn things around.

From watching the crowd, not many people really understood these tracks I reckon and the whole 'Greendale' era, one I love and have seen four times, live. 'Be the Rain' is a massive highlight for me. Dream the farmer in the old heartland "corporate greed and chemicals are killin' the land" just chilling reality to me.

Neil is an activist, he has the fuel efficient car project and annual 'Farm Aid' concerts in the US, he knows all about the survival problems confronting the Earth, just like why many farmers here will be walking off their properties soon.

As for crowd response, yes Brisbane was subdued, but I reckon we need to learn from Scott Young in 'Year of the Horse' who said that Crazy Horse has a developing intensity, it would have been a different gig with Pancho, Billy and Ralph there.


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