Does The Twisted Road Tour Compare With TTN or TFA Tours?
Photo by Simpson!
We suppose that we'll never truly figure out Neil Young. And we'll certainly never understand many of our fellow Neil fans, either.
Some of the audience backlash to the Twisted Road Tour is almost truly beyond a parody.
Sure folks paid big bucks for the concerts. And not to diminish their expectations or valid reactions.
But some of this outrage about going to a Neil Young concert and not getting what you expected is beyond laughable. It's absurd. It's like David Geffen suing Young in the 1980's for "not making characteristic Neil Young albums".
Here's some typical anonymous outrage from last night's Neil Young concert in Louisville:
The coments [sic] on this site rarely represent what 99% of Neil young fans think.Having gone to over 100 shows and talking with folks afrter [sic] the shows and before shows when multiple shows are performed in one city,I realize how far from reality this site is. The site should be called , among other things, excusesforneil.com the shows are too short and most people leaving the show are pissed and rightfuly [sic] so...... but here, everyone acts like they don't want to offend Neil Young and say what needs to be said.There is no acceptable excuse for charging such outragous [sic] prices and playing 90 minutes, including a one new song encore.
No apologies here, my friend.
In our review of the tour thus far -- Expecting to See Neil Young (or Man Without A Net) -- we evoked an image of "Man On A Wire", a documentary film of a trapeze artist who walks a tightrope between the twin towers of the World Trade Center, in New York City in 1974. And somehow that image reminded us of Neil Young up there.
Up on the stage. Alone. Without a net. Trying to stay balanced. Sometimes leaning left, sometimes to the right. A tension of whether he might slip. And fall.
We alluded to the similarities to the TTN & TFA tours and audience backlash. And we did a reality check from someone who actually attended some TTN and TFA concerts. Don "Ride My Llama" in Sacramento, CA (between he and his wife Jan have logged over 300+ NY concerts) agreed with our premise that there are similarities with Twisted Road tour and those 1970 tours that left most in the audience completely bewildered by what they experienced.
While TR tour is certainly no where on par with the TTN and TFA tours, Don "Ride My Llama" also agreed the TR tour is probably as close as many of us will ever get to the experience and vibe of those fated and legendary '70's tours.
So here's a relevant comment on the current situation quoted from biography Shakey on the 1992 acoustic tour:
NEIL YOUNG: “It was good for me to realize how completely fuckin' out of touch with the audience I was. I went out there and played all new stuff - songs that really meant somethin' to me - and they were still lookin' at fifteen, twenty years ago, even though they were teenagers. These young people who wanted me to do my hits. Wanted me to do Ragged Glory, wanted me to do 'RITFW'. They wanted me to get out there, get real intense. They didn't understand that I don't always do that.
They didn't get what they wanted - but I got what I wanted.
Because I went out and did the songs and got in touch with what its like to play and communicate to an audience just with guitar, with songs they don't know that well. That's really where it lives. To get out there with new songs that no one knows and make them known, make them hear them. That's the challenge."
And, here's another reaction from Greg M (A Friend Of Yours):
Here’s the deal.
No one should be surprised, and that anyone is is what’s surprising!
Someone else made a comment along the lines of “Everyone came looking to hear what they wanted, everyone got a little of it, and everyone left a little disappointed. A lot like life itself.” Here I am again commenting that I can’t believe we’re having this discussion again.
Look, I appreciate that different people have different reactions, because everyone is coming from a different place, and that’s totally cool. I also appreciate the notion that Neil is not perfect, and I am totally hip to the possibility that some of the observations people have made may well be alarmingly accurate. But this is what you get. This is Neil, warts and all. This is what you’ve always gotten.
The only difference now is that the ticket prices have made people a little edgy. The true artistry here is that what you see is the real man himself, not a slick act where all the blemishes get air brushed out. He can be the way you’re describing, that’s a part of where the unvarnished truth of the music comes from. You just have to accept this for better or worse. This is not an egomaniac in disdain of his audience- maybe a man unfeelingly being himself despite his audience, granted.
I wish you had seen a two hour show, with no apparent mistakes, a bubbly Neil, and a transcendent musical experience. What you in fact saw was Neil without a net, Neil on a tight wire, Neil in all his imperfect humanity, Neil maybe “mining a shaft for gold that is increasingly hard to find”. But, you should at least admit and begrudgingly appreciate, that he did at least give you the chance to see him, and the chance to be able to say that you heard songs you didn’t like at first, or that were not performed well in their early development, that maybe you later came to really like and appreciate better for their improved versions. Maybe you end up not liking them at all.
It’s all a part of the deal. I’d trade places with you in a heart beat.
Greg M(A Friend Of Yours)
Thanks Greg M.!
Also, see Expecting to See Neil Young (or Man Without A Net).
Also, see more Neil Young's "Twisted Road" Concert Tour Reviews.