Concert Review of the Moment: Nantes, France, 6/3/09
Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound 2009 Festival
Photo by envisionpublicidad
Concert Review of the Moment of Neil Young in Nantes, France - 6/3/09 anon said:
Neil Young rocked last night in Nantes. Starting off with Mansion On the Hill on his Gibson Gold Top, he immediately set the tone for a largely electrical concert. As always, the sound was big and clear, the voice sounding amazingly assured for such a start. The soloing was loose against a very tight rhythm (Cromwell/Rosas). The next song was "Hey Hey My My", which set the standing crowd (of which I was) on fire. A great version with much stomping on the big red pedal to reach supersonic sounds on the solos.
Everybody Knows this is nowhere came next, very tight, superb. Then an electric Pocahontas, complete with changes in the verses running order (he started off by the second verse then came back to the first. This was followed by a rocking version of "Spirit Road", with great vocals full of spite and fire. A the end, Larry Cragg came to him with a Gibson Blackburn, but Neil stopped him and said "Words", so Larry went back to stage left and came back with the Gretsch White Falcon, on which Neil played a great version of the song from "Harvest". It's remarkable to notice how his soloing changes when he plays the Gretsch, taking a more jazzy feel and sound. "Cinnamon Girl" came next, very tight again (it looks like those short songs from EKTIN don't need to be overplayed).
Neil then went at the back of the stage to play a magnificent "Mother Earth" on pump organ. The song, in this version is reminiscent of the traditionnal tune "My Lagan Love". Then "Don't Let it Bring You Down", with a guitar that seemed tuned way lower than on 4-Way Street, but that did not prevent him from NOT reaching the high notes ! Then came a real treat : two harmonic chord led into "Goin' Back" (one of my favourites in the acoustic canon) with the full band on acoustic, but the changes in tempo were hard to follow for Chad Cromwell and... Pegi who started the last verse way before Neil, menacing to ruin the song. But they managed to get to the end. Then came "Comes a Time", "Heart of Gold" adn "Old Man" with the full band, Ben Keith magnificent on pedal steel and Larry Cragg on banjo on the chorus of Old Man.
The 2nd electric set began with "Get Back to the counrty" (very country) followed (at last ?) by two extracts from the latest album : "Just Singing A Song" (which grows on me more and more and is definitely a classic on a somewhat poor album) and "Get Behind the Wheel" whose riff sounds great live, and had the crowd roaring ! Then "Down By the River", a very long and great version, loose, but again not so far from the original, except for the guitar sound (again supersonic) and Chad Cromwell's drumming that I find too tight for this kind of loose jamming (sorry Chad, I miss Ralph Molina's drumming on this one). "Keep on Rocking in a Free World" was fantastic, rockin on and on, with some 5 (or was it 6 or 7?) false endings and a hell of a feedback chord at the end (but shorter than the 1996 Broken Arrow tour with Crazy Horse).
We were not yet on our knees and asked for more. Neil came back for "A Day in the Life", a great version, close to the one he did last year on the 2008 tour (and that can be enjoyed on the DVD of "Fork in the Road". Then off they went after 2 hours of a very dense show.
Neil was smiling all along, very at ease, and saying the place was great and that he enjoyed playing here.
Hope there will be other surprises ("Mansion onthe hill", "Going Back", "Words" for all of you who will be attending the next European shows.
Also, see more concert review of Neil Young in Nantes, France - 6/3/09.