Concert Review of the Moment: Neil Young @ Melbourne 2009 Big Day Out - 1/26/09
Photo by Tim O'Connor
The Concert Review of the Moment is from Neil Young at Big Day Out, Melbourne, Australia - 1/26/09 by Marcus on thevine.com.au:
All of the conjecture about whether Neil Young was the right choice for the country's biggest rockin' yoof festival is swept aside the second that guitar sound hits the air. Shit it's good. (I've even spent the last half an hour reading about how he gets it it's so good. And weird.) A big, majestic, sonic tunnel of apocalyptic sound that, unlike your run-of-the-mill pedal-heavy bands, sounds like no instrument. It sounds like mountains, thunder, a wave. Yeah, all that hippy shit. Am I making myself clear? It was BIG, and unlike anything I've ever heard before. Mogwai would wee themselves.
That he then 180s and throws in a trio of acoustic classics like 'Needle and the Damage Done', 'Old Man' and 'Heart of Gold' is goosebump stuff. I profess at this point, I'm not even a Neil fan. More a passing observer. But these songs are inside people through a lifetime of radio/car stereo/friend's party osmosis, and to suddenly have the harmonies of 'Old Man' ringing out over the showgrounds is otherworldly. Neil is on fire, and by the time he finishes with a cover of The Beatles 'A Day In The Life' that ends with a warped, feedback wig-out, I know exactly why he should be headlining the festival. It lacked the bug-eyed spectacle of last year's Rage Against the Machine madness, but exceeded it and maybe every other Big Day Out headline performance I've seen by sheer musicality and sonic wonder. Not to mention a glimpse into the songbook of Rock n Roll history itself. The groups of oiled up singlet wearing dudes now all standing motionless around the fringes with their arms folded, soaking it in, might quietly agree.
After Neil Young, The Prodigy seem - ironically - hilariously old hat. Where the execution of Young's songs are timeless, The Prodigy seem dated and tied to an era long gone.
More on Neil Young at 2009 Big Day Out, Melbourne, Australia - 1/26/09.