Concert Review of the Moment: Nottingham, England - 6/23/09
Neil Young in Dublin, Ireland - 6/21/09
Photo by Graham Keogh/HotPress Magazine
The Neil Young Concert Review of the Moment is from Nottingham, England on 6/23/09 by Pebble:
First time I've seen Neil Young live....... but then I haven't seen a lot of live gigs.
I went to the Bath festival (at Shepton Mallet) in 1970 where I saw possibly the first Led Zeppelin gig. My favourite band, the Byrds, entranced me with an acoustic set after driving rain forced Jefferson Airplane offstage for fear of electrocution. There were loads of famous names there.
But I didn't keep it up, and overwhelmingly know my favourite recording artists through vinyl and CD. Tuesday felt odd - I was vaguely worried that NY might not like Nottingham or vice versa. There was a long wait before he got on stage, and I wasn't sure if he was angry about something as he didn't say hi but just played the first two songs really loud.
Glad to see that other people picked out Words as a highlight. I've always liked the couplet
Living in castles, a bit at a time
The king started laughing and talking in rhymes
but it's not a song I was waiting to hear. On Tuesday I could feel my hair (what's left of it!) standing on end as everything came together during that number. Maybe that's the yardstick - it's the moment when you let go of all the stuff in your head that's worrying about the past or the future, and really relax into the present, appreciate the music. This was easier to do in my youth when I was more drunk or stoned, but I was fairly sober this week. As Cinnamon Girl followed and Neil ended it by eliciting applause from all sections of the crowd, I knew everything was all right.
Had I not been such a fan, I might have got annoyed by the number of extended endings (crowd starts to applaud, Neil turns his back on them and riffs with band for a minute or two), but maybe this was all part of the plan. The phrase that came to me during the concert was 'force of nature', and a presenter of tonight's meagre Glastonbury coverage also used that phrase along with the word 'shamanic'. Certainly by the end of the Nottingham concert, he had the crowd in the palm of his hand and got them swaying left and right while enduring/enjoying loads of fake endings and extra choruses of Rockin' in the free world.
Since I'd not seen him perform Day in the life before, I found it a perfectly acceptable encore. Was there a message in the strings peeling off the guitar? Like "I'd love to turn you on, and I've done all I can. I can't sing for you forever"? I wouldn't have minded another hour or two of someone even older than me leaping about on stage (where does he get that energy from?), and I'm sure he had another hundred songs or so good enough to offer us, but even a force of nature can only do so much. I was well pleased.
Thanks Pebble & Fintan!
More concert reviews of Neil Young in Nottingham, England on 6/23/09.