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