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Friday, May 08, 2009

Concert Review of the Moment: New Orleans Jazz Festival - 5/3/09

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Photo gallery by ELIOT KAMENITZ / THE TIMES PICAYUNE


The Neil Young Concert Review of the Moment is from the New Orleans Jazz Festival: 5/3/09 by Andrew:
Short review: Best musical experience ever. And I've seen all the so-called "greats" (Dylan, Springsteen, McCartney, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones, etc). I see bands play all the time. This was the best.

Long review: I love Neil Young and have seen him three times (1994 Farm Aid with Crazy Horse, 1999(?) solo acoustic tour, and the Greendale tour). I was super-psyched to hear that he was going to play less than 5 miles from my house at Jazzfest. My wife and I got to the fairgrounds at 10:30 (Neil's set time was 2:55). I was shocked that there were barely a few dozen people staking out their spots. We got a great spot up front and waited.

Here are some highlights:
- Pochahontas was the heaviest thing I ever heard, and I've seen Eyehategod, and tons of other sludge-metal bands, and this topped it all. The band was tight as fuck! When Neil sang, "They masscred the buffalo", the drums and the guitars had this pounding, heavy noise that completely blew me away. I was in awe.
- I loved how he did a 10 minute "Change Your Mind". It sounded amazing and the harmonies were spot on. I love how Neil did not omit this from the set list. Should he play ten-minute long deep cut from an album that was released in 1993 in front of 40,000 people who want to hear the hits? Of course, he's Neil fucking Young!
- This band was extremely versatile. One minute they sound like Crazy Horse, and the next minute they pull off Old Man and Heart of Gold. The pedal steel was loud and crisp. Very impressive.
-Down By the River and Everybody Knows this is Nowhere killed me.
- Some girl got on her boyfriend's shoulders right next to me and removed her shirt during Cinnamon Girl. Deserved a mention.
- Keep on Rockin in the Free World!!! Holy sweet jesus! I'm a 33 year old guy who had my formative years in the 90s, a cynical decade steeped in irony. I rocked the fuck out during this song with my fist in the air. No irony, I was rocking in the free world. He even threw in a false ending and bashed into the chorus one final time.
-A Day in the Life. Spectacular. I've seen Sonic Youth 5-6 times and his guitar freak-out was on the level with anything they could do (I know, I know, Neil pre-dates Sonic Youth by a zillion years, but Sonic Youth specialize in this kinda noise). It was beautiful to hear the whole crowd sing the "Ah-Ahh-Ahh's" after the "I had a smoke and I went into a dream" bit.

I'm still completely blown away by this. I saw Neil on the solo acoustic tour in 99(?), and thought that would never be topped. This was more amazing by a mile. Neil was happy and in amazing form. He seemed really touched by the response of the crowd (even though at times he turned his back to us all and jammed with his rhythm section).


And here's another from Rose K.:
I love Dave Matthews Band VERY MUCH.

DMB played the first weekend of Jazz Fest, Neil the second. I could only afford to go to ONE weekend.

Made a decision that Dave himself would approve and chose to see NEIL! It proved to be a wise choice. His show burned hotter than any Cajun treat offered in the food area and was twice as delicious.

Neil was in a great mood (didn't throw his beer at Larry). He didn't speak much, but smiled often and during one song, blazed from one end of the stage to the other and back again so all could soak up his energy. Storm clouds gathered but politely waited to let loose until 40 seconds after Neil's last song.

Even Nature waits on Neil! Pegi looked more beautiful than the last time I saw her back in Philly. Must be the magic of the music. Thank You Neil Young, Family & Friends! I needed the lift that only fine music can bring.



"Cinnamon Girl" by Neil Young at New Orleans Jazz Festival on May 3, 2009.

More reviews of 2009 New Orleans Jazz Festival.


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6 Comments:

At 5/09/2009 09:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i listened to the recording. sounds to me like neil is coasting at this point. great guitar playing, sure, but...

WHERE'S THE SPOOK? shakey, yer getting too comfortable. you're getting closer and closer to vegas.

-NAG

 
At 5/10/2009 04:26:00 PM, Anonymous dr dip said...

Ya know, I never get tired of hearin' this song...Acoustic,electric.. even been covered(especially by Paul Kelly) OZZ"S Neil Young.

Checkout at the end when Ben looks at Rick and says somethin' like...Fuuuuck here we go again, this ending gets longer and longer!..How long have we gotta hang on to these notes for?

Ahh the joys of followin' Neil !

 
At 5/10/2009 05:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clip, Thrasher!
It's nice to see him playing without some Rolling-Stone-Nikon-Using-Photog-Wannabe bouncing around and blocking my view. I was about the same distance back, but on the left side (stage right). Twas one of the best NY experiences I've had. Great to see Neil & the gang really having fun!

Everyone really seemed to be enjoying the novelty of playing a daylight gig and actually being able to see all their fans.

As for the long endings, Neil's been playing that way FOREVER. Comes w/the territory and is no surprise.

Rose K.

 
At 5/11/2009 03:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've said it before, here, & I'll say it again. Man, Neil is getting fat! (course, so am I, so I can identify even more with the man).

It sucks to get fat. Especially when once you were so thin.

It's better to eat bacon than it is to rust...

 
At 5/11/2009 04:27:00 PM, Anonymous dr dip said...

Thrash,why didn't you edit or delete 'anonymouse's last comment he dared to knock Neil's "Bourguois belly"(sic) hey i'm 55 and I've got a bit of a verandah goin as well plus, like Neil, my memory is fading and I need que cards when I operate these days! Although his reference to bacon was a bit below the belt, what,...... with swine flu and everything!

 
At 5/11/2009 08:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, neil is getting fat. that's what happens when you build up a bunch of muscle and then stop working out (around the time of greendale). it turns to fat.

of course, he's also old. that will do it too. this also accounts for him being bald (those 10 hairs on top of his head don't count). but goddamn, that man can still play guitar. and that's really all that matters at this point.

-NAG

 

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