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Friday, May 28, 2010

Comment of the Moment: Does The Twisted Road Tour Compare With TTN or TFA Tours?

The reaction to Neil Young's Twisted Road Tour is fascinating to say the least.

While the Tonight's The Night and Time fades Away tours of the '70's were pre-internet -- of course -- the current tour's reaction is happening in real-time so as if almost to run ahead of actual reality, in that there are those who know what to expect.

There are also some strong similarities with the 2003 Greendale tour. Audiences couldn't handle the challenges of Greendale. Greendale caused controversy amongst fans. Opinions were divided over whether Greendale was profound or stupid.

Nevertheless -- even in this hyper digitalized age we live in -- some folks are completely baffled by the tour as we described in the blog Does The Twisted Road Tour Compare With TTN or TFA Tours?

So here's just one of the many reactions to the current tour from Dan:
I'm still hoping to get to a show on this tour, but the way I'm thinking about it, its about more than whether the show hits the spot or not ... you have to view it within the context of Neil's history of twists and turns...

being at a show that resembles the vibe of TFA or TTN is in its own right a valuable experience ... the '07 tour was unique in reviving the Harvest material 30 years later, in parallel with the Archives volume one project ... now maybe he's on to volume two and with the untimely death of LA it sounds like Neil's back in that darker place, the place that produced the ditch trilogy, which remains a mysterious, prolific, raw period.

One thing that shouldn't surprise anyone is that Neil changes like the seasons, like clockwork, and ya never know which direction he'll pivot in but you can be sure it will be deeply heartfelt, and significant. To be on the Neil journey means to live with the true up and downs that he's feeling, to experience the joy and sadness, the light and darkness ...

I'm a life long fan but when I saw him at the MSG shows in '08 I didn't love the new car songs so much but so what, Neil wouldn't be prolific if he wasn't courageous enough to throw stuff out there and see how it plays ... I have yet to listen to Fork even once but I know with virtual certainty one day I'll find myself listening to it and I'll discover it and its greatness and get where he was coming from ... I find that's been the case with virtually all his material ...

I can't always get myself to the place he's at, and he's usually ahead of me, but at some point It will click and when it does its incredibly satisfying. I think what perplexes many of us is why fans are surprised by the fact Neil is out there doing something different ... hasn't he always done that? Isn't that what keeps him fresh, real, magical?

I think the concept and expectation that every show, every tour, every album be great in the same way as the prior one is so clearly not reality, not possible ... Neil's trip is deeper than that, its more real, and its predictable in its unpredictability ... on that basis nobody should be surprised, or frankly disappointed, this is Neil doing what he's always done and what he'll always do and the fans accused of making excuses for Neil aren't so much suggesting they love everything about him and his music as much, I think, as they love him unconditionally and have learned to trust him and let him lead them on this lifetime journey of emotional exploration and the mature person I think realizes that life is not static, homogeneous, constant, the richness comes from contrast, variation, change, it ebbs and flows ...

look at all this in the context of a decade or two and its easier to appreciate that Neil's once again laying down something profound ... all that said, I would say better to see a show that's disappointing than to be in my shoes wondering if I'll even have the chance to see him on this twisted road ...


Thanks Dan!

For more reactions, see Expecting to See Neil Young (or Man Without A Net) and Does The Twisted Road Tour Compare With TTN or TFA Tours?.

Also, see more Neil Young's "Twisted Road" Concert Tour Reviews.

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At 5/28/2010 08:40:00 PM, Blogger ShittyHorse said...

Great comment Dan. I hope you get to see one of these truly is an awesome, emotional roller-coaster. Just sit back, open your mind and your heart and let Neil do the driving.

At 5/28/2010 08:41:00 PM, Blogger TomCrac said...

Hope everyone is enoying this tour. Are there any tour posters available..I don't think I've seen any yet....Thanks.

At 5/28/2010 08:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave from vancouver wa. says on the beach is a all time favorite album...neil gazing into the ocean is my cell phone if t.r. is a different phase,bring it on...i cant wait....his greendale concert was one of the best i've seen...freedom of speech show with the boys ranks up there as whatever neil brings to the table i will recieve it with open ears and arms....NEIL YOU ROCK... bring it on!!!

At 5/28/2010 09:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great comment. About says it all.

Greg M (A Friend Of Yours)

At 5/28/2010 10:05:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

"Neil's trip is deeper then that, it's more real.and its predictible in its unpredictability..."Luv that line Dan..nicely said

Greg M, you and Mr henry have some strong competition goin' on these days hey?! lol


At 5/28/2010 10:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think maybe every tour Neil's done since Time Fades Away and Tonight's The Night has been some sort of exercise of the same thing. I first saw Neil in 1991 during the Ragged Glory tour and I saw the same reactions last night in Knoxille that I did in Chapel Hill, NC almost 20 years ago. People walked out because he wasn't doing an acoustic set with Heart of Gold in it. There were couples on dates that could not believe that Neil Young and Crazy Horse would play loud and heavy. I literally witnessed people walking out. And we're talking about probably the greatest Neil Young & Crazy Horse performance ever. (I dare anyone to say that the Cortez from this show is not the most definitive performance of the song (perhaps any song) in Neil's career). What I'm trying to say is that this Twisted Road tour captures a unique quality of understanding/misunderstanding between artist and audience. I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Nathan Humbucker

At 5/28/2010 10:47:00 PM, Anonymous SONY said...

Benn a busy week on the tracks, and a great week on the Thrash Wheat . Saw Neil in Buffalo last Wed, Saw Trunk Show las Sat. Read everything I could on this site before and since.

I have no idea if this TR tour can compare to TFA or TTN tours, I wasn't around for those. Alas, just a kid. The responses from attendees of current shows bewilders me, especially from seasoned Neil concert goers. Maybe the more you pay the more extreme a reaction, good or bad. One says it was all worth it, the other screams rip-off. I kinda take the middle of the road knowing that I wasn't sure what to expect, only that I was looking forward to seeing Neil. Maybe that's the road less travelled with these. But after watching Trunk Show, it kinda comes back to the Painter on each song. Starting with a blank canvas. And by the time the song was done, a new interpretation was born. Similar colors perhaps, similar brush strokes for sure, maybe even a common theme, but a new vibrant canvas never before veiwed. That's how I see it with live shows. I'm glad it's not a note for note thing.

Everyone has a right to an opinion. Neil Young owns his songs and his shows and he can do as he pleases. And does. The only thing that hasn't changed over time is just that.

Come back now, come back now, oh ooh

At 5/28/2010 11:22:00 PM, Blogger art said...

I went to the Wallingford show the other night and I'm glad I did. However I would have to describe the atmosphere as disturbing. Neil was gracious, but he was clearly following his own program and the audience was only there to observe. The Twisted Road is not an interactive program. I have no idea what Neil's motivation is, but my wife's reaction to Love and War was "sounds like Neil's in the dog-house," because the "Saddest thing in the whole wide world
Is to break the heart of your lover
I made a mistake and I made it again
And we struggled to recover"

At 5/29/2010 06:47:00 AM, Anonymous Thos said...

Great comment Dan, I agree with every word - including your analysis of 'Fork in the Road' being well below his usual standard! However, what Neil is doing with that car of his (LincVolt) is inspirational, and if the songs weren't great at least his motivation for doing them is sincere.

I cannot think of anyone else of his generation who is as prolific as Neil Young, and yet comes out authentic at every turn, wearing his heart on his sleeve at all costs. I would say that 99 percent of the time this results in brilliant music, and if it weren't for that remaining 1%, then Neil wouldn't be the challenging, risk-taking musician we have all come to love and respect.

These people who criticise Neil Young for not writing music that they love all of the time, or not playing shows full of hits every night should make a playlist of their favourites on their ipod, stay at home on concert night, and stop their constant pissing and moaning.

Neil Young has given more than enough music to keep us happy over the years, and taken great commercial risks to do so - as well as laying bare his soul in public over and over again. Let him do whatever he wants, we can only benefit from it it in the long run.


[insert irate responses here!]

At 5/29/2010 07:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

saw neil in wallingford.amazing to be in the room with neil, when he's doing his thing.and he's always being neil, which is his thing. trunk shows were some of the best of his life. my first show was carnagie hall 1970. i walked out on greendale. lets thank god for neil and stop kicking him around.

At 5/29/2010 10:49:00 AM, Anonymous horsewifnoname said...

Ok, I ,for various reasons never get to go see Neil live. But by the grace of God, ( I can still hear) Roel at Rustradio, and Dime a Dozen, I get to listen to the performances. I can't imagine how anyone could complain about the music at these shows. He decides to play solo. And sometimes uses his electrics instead of just acoustic, GREAT! I mean, Who the fuck does that?
I loved the interpretations of the classics...the new stuff is growing on me like some of his music does. After listening to the Albany show for the 5th time, (thanks edtyre!) I think "Love and War" is a pretty good song, my favorite of the new stuff. The "you're in Heaven, we're workin' " line cracked me up, I feel like I am getting closer to that "ultimate vacation with no back pay" and I find that kind of humor especially funny.....
Granted, I didn't pay to get in, don't even know how much it cost those lucky few who were there.
But, the music is cool... except of course for that nursery tune, and i have been wishing Neil would lose the pump organ for years. But I love to come in here and read the complaints, gives me a good laugh during my rare time off between working 2 jobs, doctor visits, you know, life in general. thanks y'all!
and as always, thanks Thrasher for such a great place for all of us to get our Neil news.....


At 5/29/2010 11:43:00 AM, Anonymous Lucas W. said...

No doubt eh? I would pay $500 to watch Neil lay on a couch for 90 minutes

Lucas W.

At 5/29/2010 01:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He started out going down the road in a hearse.
He struck gold that sent him down the El Dorado.
That sent him into the ditch 'cause the El Dorado
was just too slick to stay on.
Then the pot holes came and went.
Lately he hit a big fork in the road.
That fork he took has been twisted but it's still going.

Spend it now folks. I've never seen a luggage rack on a hearse!

At 5/29/2010 02:00:00 PM, Anonymous BigChief said...

The first thing that came to my mind when I heard Neil doing the 'solo electric' thing was Jack White. Other than Meg banging on the drums,the White Stripes is basically a solo electric thing which Jack White does quite well.

At 5/29/2010 02:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What?! The White stripes are FAR from solo electric! If Neil had a drummer it woulda been a totally different trip! The White Strips are a phenomenal band- one of the best in the last few years...but they are a BAND. Don't discount Meg White- she's a helluva drummer.

At 5/29/2010 07:50:00 PM, Anonymous BigChief said...

Band? It's all Jack White ... where do you get band out of that?

At 5/29/2010 07:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for Meg's drumming, Jack White does exactly what Neil is doing with the solo electric thing. I agree with bigchief!

At 5/29/2010 08:26:00 PM, Anonymous BigChief said...

Doc, Let the worms have their say ... your the last person I thought would condone censorship!

At 5/29/2010 10:17:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Chief, I'll NEVER condone or endorse censorship... believe me..I know all about censorship and deletion.(94 deletions last count)

Freedom of speech ,opinion or comment on this site should be always embraced.

I love to read opposing or diverse much as reading my favourite regulars like you and the rest.

"Comment moderation" has always been my bugbear..but on saying that if someone is just being a straight out trollish arsehole....

yep, Thrash can delete them all day. My argument has always been...let the wheat be the jury on comment.. they'll sort out the chaff quick smart!

Thanks for your support chief!


If I've written anything on this site to endorse censorship of comment its been a slip of the keyboard...tongue in cheek?...yeah I've been guilty of that


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