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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Neil Young Concert Reviews - Palace Theatre Louisville, KY May 26, 2010

Photo Gallery by Ryan Armbrust - The Palace | Metromix Louisville

From The Musical Box:
Anyone thinking this was an unplugged return to the songsmith’s folkie roots was as mistaken as those who believed the show was going to be a by-the-numbers hits recitation.

Initially, “solo acoustic” was the order of the evening. Young opened the show by tracing back through the ‘70s for fine back-to-back readings of My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue), Tell Me Why and Helpless. But he didn’t stayed glued to the past for long. A trio of new and unreleased tunes, highlighted by the topically autobiographical Love and War and a boatload of bass pedal effects, followed. Then Young flipped the switch again by taking his weatherbeaten Les Paul guitar known as Ol’ Black out for Hitch Hiker (an unreleased gem of drug-hazed redemption that is an outgrowth of the Trans-era relic Like an Inca) and a revision of Down by the River that shifted from choruses of swampy ambience to verses riddled with electric shotgun blasts.

Young never touched an acoustic guitar again for the rest of the evening. He offered one song each on upright piano (the new, childlike Leia), pump organ (a hymn-like After the Gold Rush) and grand piano (a reverb soaked I Believe in You).

The rest was all jarring, glorious electricity that reached its zenith with Cortez the Killer, which grew out of whammy bar induced guitar twang and distortion to reclaim its place as one of Young’s darkest, most riveting peace anthems.

The performance ended with another new song (the seventh of the night), the jagged affirmation Walk With Me. Like most of the other new works, it was a fascinating, ear ringing electric playground of a tune. The older works may have been the crowd pleasers. But songs like Walk With Me are far more reflective of an artist facing, and moving, forward.

Neil Young will be performing tonight at the Palace Theatre Louisville, KY. Special guest Bert Jansch will open concert.

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Check Sugar Mountain for setlist updates. Also, see Song Grid Chart.

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At 5/27/2010 12:05:00 AM, Blogger Michael Sustick said...

Quick question, what album (if any) is "peaceful valley" on? Is it a new track? How can I find it, Ive had no success with google/youtube


At 5/27/2010 12:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's a new track michael. never heard before last tuesday. there are links to download recent shows but i don't have them handy.

good luck!

At 5/27/2010 12:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same setlists in DC, says Stringman

At 5/27/2010 01:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome show. Great venue with great acoustics. The new material was well received although it seemed to catch many in the audience flat-footed. Sort of like thay came expecting classic Neil and were treated to a lot of dark, brooding new material.

Personal highlights:

Never thought I would hear Tell Me Why and then follow with THE best version of Helpless I've ever heard. Best harmonica I've ever heard, plus an extra couple of guitar licks before the last chorus.

You have to know the backstory on You Never Call to fully appreciate it.

Non-Neil fan wife loved Peaceful Valley.

Love and War = Instant Classic.

Old Black was on fire for a glorious DBTR.

Inner rage was on full display on Hitchiker. It seemed to set the crowd on fire. Outstanding!

Ohio had us marching again.

Leia calmed us down. ATGR got our feet back under us for a heartwrencing I Believe in You.

Neil and the White Falcon shook the building on Rumblin'.

Cortez was laid back, but Cinnamon Girl rocked.

The best Walk With Me I've heard yet, but stunned the crowd as the lone encore song. I was prepared for no 2nd HHMM so it didn't hit me as hard.

Relatively short show, but it was 17 songs with few guitar breaks of any length. I would rather look back at what I heard and saw rather than what I didn't. I saw a rock legend pour out his soul.

Rusted in KY

At 5/27/2010 01:47:00 AM, Blogger Harm said...

MP3 files of the new songs:

At 5/27/2010 07:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rusted in KY, very good review. I, like you, was very satisfied seeing this show. Neil does what he wants. If he didn't, we'd think he was a lounge act. And Santa Clause, one thing you may not be familiar with is that when a song is written it typically carries with it the emotion behind it. So the perceived 'inner rage' is actually a part of the fabric of the song, it may not be the instant mood of the day. Ever heard "Sky Pilot"? might be before your time, but that one never strays from it's position.

- Not Rotten Johnny

At 5/27/2010 08:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The coments on this site rarely represent what 99% of Neil young fans think.Having gone to over 100 shows and talking with folks afrter 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,
the shows are too short and most people leaving the show are pissed and rightfuly 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 outrageous prices and playing 90 minutes, including a one new song encore.

At 5/27/2010 08:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect to previous posters I haven't been this disappointed in a Neil Young concert since he brought out The Shocking Pinks. I've seen Neil at least a half dozen times over the past 30 years - this may have been the worst. An uneven, sometimes ragged 80 minutes or so with a lone encore (and a puzzling choice at that) for $125. I love Neil but I expected much more.

At 5/27/2010 08:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too was disappointed. I've seen Neil about 15 times over the past 25 years and this show was one of the poorest. (I was at the Louisville show when the 'mini-riot' took place.)
I guess it just seemed perfunctory. I liked the new songs, but it just seemed like he was just going through the motions.
If I had shelled out the 250 for floor seats, I would be really pissed.

At 5/27/2010 09:01:00 AM, Anonymous Wine Travel said...

I had $250 seats for Worcester. Great show. Not cheap, but worth it. Didn't hear any complaining in Worcester... only happy people from what I saw. Still thinking about his genius.

At 5/27/2010 09:31:00 AM, Anonymous zuma said...

I'd like to know what all the whiners think a "fair" ticket price would be?
Waa waa waa, buncha babies whining, the beer was too expensive, he played stuff I hadn't heard, it was too loud, it was too distorted, I've downloaded his entire catalog for free but he didn't play the songs that I wanted him to play, waaah waah waah.
Bon Jovi charges $1850 for VIP seating in a stadium, WTF do you want?

At 5/27/2010 09:37:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Regarding some of the negative comments that have been deleted.

If you want to go negative fine. But make your case.

Saying this tour is BS or sucks is not exactly insightful or helpful.

You'll need to make a little effort for your case.

Are you feeling lucky?

At 5/27/2010 09:37:00 AM, Anonymous zuma said...

BTW, here's the link to the article in the New York Times about ticket prices. The Bon Jovi VIP price is $1750, not $1850 as posted above.

At 5/27/2010 09:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't download, I don't mind paying (high) ticket prices. I just feel that this show was not one of Neil's best and if I had paid for premium tickets, I would not be happy with a mediocre show. Granted, there were times of pure genius, (I've NEVER not seen that at a Neil show), but I just didn't feel that he delivered last night.

At 5/27/2010 09:46:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Oh, that is just so rich 9:39, "Granted, there were times of pure genius"

Aren't moments of pure genius satisfactory?

So what more could you ask for pray tell??

Seems kinda greedy to ask for more than that don't you think?

At 5/27/2010 10:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I won't (probably) get to see this show, unless he extends it to additional venues but I wanted to chime in. It does not sound like Neil is "mailing it in". And does "length really matter" or what he does with with it, so to speak? Is the demand for Neil elastic or inelastic? I'm sure Elliot and others are helping to set the ticket price. They know what they can charge. Are any of the venues half empty? We don't have to spend our money to see his shows. If there are alternatives that provide better value, then we should be spending our money on those. I ain't rich, by any means, but 90 intimate minutes with Neil Young is worth a lot more than most other things I would spend that money on. Just my $195 worth.

Old Black

At 5/27/2010 10:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After hearing the comments and the bootlegs I will not be going out of my way to see this show. If he comes to my neck of the woods on a Friday or Saturday night and the wife is interested then maybe we'll go. I've seen the ol guy 9 times since the Old Ways tour in the Eighties and they are all such fond memories. I don't want to see him up there forcing it out like he forced out the Fork in the Road album. The majority of people who use this site (me included) are hard core neil fans, and to see so many negative comments (and how many have been screened)leads me to reason. Yes Neil is a genius, but even a genius fails from time to time.

At 5/27/2010 11:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil's great
what sucks
90 minutes
200 bucks
drunk crowd
plush seats
too loud
couldn't tweet

DC and
This trip
just went

Doc's right
garage date
no fright
can't wait
Please 'em all
can't do it
Shut yer trap
get to it

Grumble today
Rumble last night
Love and War
Sounded Right
Walk with me
to another show
Thrashers' my man
Now you know

For what it's worth - SONY

At 5/27/2010 11:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you tell Van Gogh or any painter what to paint? What colors to use? What size brush? It's art man. Let the Artist work. If you don't like it ...don't go back. That simple. As for me..I got front row seats to Spartanburg and after hearing the shows on rust radio I'm as giddy as virgin on prom night. Given his age and recent health scares he could chose to never tour again at any given moment. You don't know what you got till it's gone...and you can't always get what you want ...but sometimes you get what you need. And I need some Neil live...even if he doesn't play what I want.

At 5/27/2010 11:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, when I read thiese comments about how many concerts they've been to and how much they love Neil and then turn around with these churlish complaints, i really wonder.

Seems a bit suspect that someone would say they've been a fan from the beginning and then write how they're disappointed.

neil's been disappointing all along with TTN & TFA, etc.

Neil: Keep on disappointing us! We love it,


At 5/27/2010 12:50:00 PM, Anonymous setlistthief said...

What I love about Neil Young (and any great artist) is how his work speaks to me and makes me question my own thoughts, attitudes, actions, desires, likes and dislikes. The negative comments here are fascinating for not what they reveal about Neil, but the commenters themselves.

To this day, I can't listen to "Are You Passionate?" I think it's a hurried, insufficient and ill-advised response to a horrific event. But I would hasten to add that my reaction to Neil's artistic statement about 9-11 says much more about me than it does about the artist.

I'm pretty sure that when Neil fucks up, he's the first to admit it. In fact he should write a song about that. ;-)

What I saw in DC, and have heard from the other dates on Twisted Road thus far, is most certainly not a matter how much tickets cost, how many songs he plays, or if he wears a new hat or old. For any who disagree, that's fine. But I would encourage you to understand your reaction by looking at yourself, your attitudes, and your values rather than to blame the artist.

At 5/27/2010 01:03:00 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Harm, is there a link anywhere with the other songs from the show? Quality is pretty damn good, and I was at the DC show so I'd like to hear Helpless, DBTR, I Believe In You, and Cinnamon Girl.

At 5/27/2010 01:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen Neil Young about a half dozen times that I recall clearly enough for a comparison. :)

The Palace was a near ideal setting for such an introspective effort from this committed soloist. I sure wish he would have taken his hat off more than briefly, as the auditorium has a lot of vertical landscape (and audience). There was good mix of old and new material, some of the new was quite good but others like 'Love and War' did little for me in terms of appreciating songwriting or delivery. The sound mix and level was spot on for this theater, vocals were well-balanced with raw guitar power in the novel 'paced' and blasted style he delivered all of the electric work. (Effects pedal 'swirl' on first new song worked well, but maybe not for the second or third time?) Overall it was a fairly effective 'concept' performance, and about as hard to grasp in message as that of the breathrough one in '79.

The length and price are irrelevant to me when adding the value of the quality and convenience seeing live music on 4th Street (Louisville's Palace). But the 'artist request' prohibition on drinks inside sure didn't work (why?), causing lots of us to miss Jansch.

I would agree that the point here is that we all would like to have Neil forever, but we clearly can't. His acknowledgement of that is what came through the strongest for me-- the artisitc abiity that allowed that, at least, 'will never die'.


At 5/27/2010 02:14:00 PM, Anonymous Pathfinder said...

Many of the negative comments originate from people who begin by telling us how many times they have seen Neil in the past 40 years. Neil wasn't scheduled to play with a band - this was a solo gig (which puts a lot on the line) - and he included a lot of new material (40% of the set). Neil is always evolving. We all know that. Thrash - include your link to your review that you posted under the DAR concert here - it is very insightful.

thanks -

At 5/27/2010 02:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was the Louisville SHow last night. Neil was great of course. At least he can still SING in KEY something Stephen STills can't do. And at least Neil didn't cut down the state of KY, like STills did in March in Chicago. Stills is a better lead player than Neil. The SHOW was to short, there weren't enough Acoustic songs he only played 3 gesh. The tickets are way to high. Some of Guitars sounded great like Blackie/ some his guitars sounded like shit. Then you have some idiots who only wanna drink outside, and NEIL doesnt want people to have drinks inside where he performs what a load of Totalitrian GOV BS. This is my 2nd and last Neil Young show, very dissapointed. The Program is cool. And any of you people who read my review and don't like it go kill yourslef.

At 5/27/2010 03:27:00 PM, Anonymous zuma said...

Ah, you write like you're still drunk. Back to your cave, Trogdor.

At 5/27/2010 03:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the Louisville show. I throughly enjoyed it and so did my lovely Rachel. It was her first time seeing Neil. Yeah, I wish it could have gone on longer, but all good things must come to an end.

As for ticket prices being too high, I have a theory. It's to keep the merchandise prices affordable. I paid 30 bucks for a t-shirt in 1992 and 30 bucks in 2010. And these new shirts are Egyptian cotton. Egytian cotton, people. Can you feel it now?

Demetri in Louisville

At 5/27/2010 04:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the Palace last night, and Neil played a beautiful set. Helpless & After the Gold Rush brought me to tears.

At 5/27/2010 06:02:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

neil is lien spelled backwards.


pacific steamship company

At 5/27/2010 09:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Louisville Palace show was my first Young there's no comparison to previous shows. But I've just seen many a rock/punk show in my time! Young coaxed the most vulnerable and the most punk a** sounds from Old Black. Not perfect, but that's not what I sought. Many, many gorgeous moments in this show!

He appeared frustrated after his encore song (shrugging shoulders, gesturing at sound guy) but that would be Neil, right?

Length of show? Of course, we'll always want more Neil Young. I don't know...I wasn't counting the minutes at this show.

At 5/27/2010 09:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow is all I can say about the negative comments. Neil doesn't play his music for us he plays it for himself. When Neil plays a show he is letting us be voyeurs.....we catch a glimpse of the real Neil.

There are a lot of folks who attended the show last night who expected nothing but the classics. I feel so sorry for them.

Imagine attending Princeton when Einstein was there and you were able to attend one of his lectures. You most likely would have thought WTF is he talking about. Then magically 5, 10 ofr 15 years later the rest of the world catches up to him and he starts to make sense. That is a Neil Young show. Sit back and let his new songs settle into your brain and your appreciation will grow. Last night were were among a select few who were able to witness Neil sing Hitchiker and all of his new songs. Relish that and enjoy. I know I did and I will.

At 5/27/2010 11:08:00 PM, Blogger TomCrac said...

You are absolutely right Zuma...not just cotton, but EGYPTIAN cotton! Neil Rocks!..To all the others that have seen Neil many, many, many times, and are sooooo dissapointed and will no longer be attending any more of his performances, all I can say is YEAH for me and the others that would'nt mind a better seat. Soooo looking forward to the next time around!

At 5/28/2010 12:50:00 AM, Anonymous Rubard said...

I too was at last night's show at the Palace in Louisville, my hometown and current place of residence. It was only my 3rd Neil show and just my first time seeing him solo. The first time was with Crazy Horse (my favorite), and the other time was with his electric band (3rd favorite). After the show last night I too heard people bitching about several things: the price of the show, the length of the show, too many new songs, not enough classics, the encore, not enough jamming, not being able to take beer into the venue and even Neil's lack of banter. Some of those gripes are valid imo. But, this isn't Crazy Horse people. It wasn't a raucous rock show, and it wasn't billed that way. This was Neil Young, solo, an artist who we're lucky to still have with us, someone who we're fortunate to have still wanting to write songs that mean something and which evoke feelings which you can't just recreate on a whim. I thought last night was truly magical. Neil plays whatever the hell he wants, and anyone who went into last night expecting a greatest hits show and leaving upset or shortchanged, is not only uninformed, but also denying themselves a treasured experience. This was a legend, playing in one of the most beautiful theatres in the country, in perhaps one of his final tours. Sure, his fingers don't move as fast as they used to and he fumbled some notes, but his voice still tickles the soul (mine at least) and his music transcends generations. It is what it is. You either bitch about things such as the fact that the encore left something to be desired, or you realize that you saw one of the most prolific songwriters in history, singing music that comes from his heart. Yes, I would have loved to have traded 3 classics or so for some of those new songs, but how are you gonna deny the man his art, when he has already given so much? How many artists really open their hearts such as Neil does with a song such as Sign of Love. That song really moved me. The new and the old did. Tell Me Why almost brought my 30 year old body to tears, and Helpless made me question how I could have ever considered not being there. Yes, I hold Neil somewhat on a pedestal and it's hard to bash him, but I can also speak truths. I wish he would have stayed on acoustic the whole night. I wish I could have had a beer to enjoy while I listened to a very innaresting version of Cortez, one of my favorite Neil songs. I wish the show would have been 30 minutes longer. I wish we would have gotten that Heart of Gold at the end. But, you know what? We're not allowed to write the rules. We're just along for the ride. Thankfully I was able to board the bus last night. I hope it's not the last time. Thank you Neil for another memory that I will treasure forever.

At 5/28/2010 03:20:00 AM, Blogger doc said...

Rubard, enjoyable review... beautifully said.

The 'wheat' sure does bring out the best in people, conveying their thoughts, there disappointments (be there any)there criticisms and there glowing praises to the man we all aspire to. It's a pleasure to read these reviews and experiences from fellow wheaties.

On the other hand...

Freedom of speech should always be embraced and thrown out into the world for all to read.

We are lucky we have a site to come to where we inter relate, debate and express without prejudice

Thanks Thrash for always being impartial to conflicting and diverse comments...I just don't understand why anybody would bother visiting a site that endorses Neil and his music just to diss soo negatively. A personal or negative opinion on a topic is fine..just don't beat it to death!


Oh by the way Thrash, thanks for deleting my little version of 'Dreamin' man' even though I thought it topical something obviously rubbed you up the wrong way..sad that

At 5/28/2010 03:43:00 AM, Anonymous Gregory Earl said...

Good post Rubard and I couldn't agree more. I'm listening again to the Louisville show as I type this just to reaffirm my opinion after attending last night that this was the most intimate show I've ever witnessed from a musical artist. Especially from Neil.

Within the first few bars of "Helpless" I had tears streaming down my face. I've never heard it sound better. "You Never Call" reminded me of the friends I've seen Neil shows with in the past but have since passed away. And the haunting tone of "Peaceful Valley" and "Love And War" were perfect back to back choices.
"Down By The River" I've never heard it done like that....and it worked. And that's when he started to heat up. Next up was
"Hitchhiker" which just flat out rocked the house and by the first notes of "Ohio" most of us would have stormed the streets with Neil leading the charge.

I guess you can see where I'm going with this. And I'm just halfway through the show.

I'm not sure what some folks were expecting. A longer show for the money? Or just a cheaper ticket price for what they were given? Let me put it in these terms. I paid my cable bill today. It was almost $130.00 and that's for 1 months service. I'm not going to remember anything about that month of service and I've got many more of those bills to look forward to. But this particular night I saw Neil Young solo singing his heart out and playing every instrument he literally knows how is priceless in my mind. And I'll remember and cherish it forever.

Thank you Neil. Hope to see you again soon. Stay well and keep giving them hell down that twisted road.

At 5/28/2010 02:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm surprised to read the negativity about Wednesday's show. This fan, who never ever thought she'd see Neil Young on stage, felt grateful for the opportunity. Neil's harmonica on Helpless had me wiping tears from my eyes. It's a beautiful song. But more importantly, that moment made me think about how Neil's songs are so interwoven with my life--the important moments & the not so important ones.

I got to watch a living legend, who still sounds & plays terrifically, share his heart with us. That was not lost on me. And in my humble opinion, it was worth every single penny.

At 5/28/2010 03:34:00 PM, Anonymous Rubard said...

Thanks everyone. I'm enjoying reading everyone else's reviews as well. I haven't visited this site in quite awhile (until this recent Neil show), and I'm glad that I have found it once again. Also, I apologize for not breaking my review into paragraphs and making it more readable. I realized my mistake after I had alread submitted it. My bad!

Gregory Earl, could you please share where you found the recording of the Louisville show? I searched on Rust Radio and some other torrent sites and was unable to locate it. Thanks so much!

At 5/28/2010 04:36:00 PM, Anonymous Rubard said...

Nevermind. I found it on Dime. Thanks!

At 5/28/2010 08:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Made it to the Louisville show and, although I was hoping to see my first solo acoustic Neil show, I still thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end. Was I disappointed in the length of the show? Sure. But the quality of a Neil show is what makes the difference. I made the horrible decision to go see Dylan last summer who under Neil is my number two musical idol. I walked out after two songs for it was the most god-awful things these ears have ever been subjected to, and quite frankly, I just didn't want to remember Bob that way.
Neil is still able to play w/ the best of them while Bob should have called it quits years ago...

Jason in Cincinnati

At 5/30/2010 12:41:00 AM, Anonymous satisfied,kind of said...

at least he played for an hour and a half longer than last time.thanks for finally coming back neil.

At 6/04/2010 10:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was so satisfied. Seen my hero from youth. Neil did not let me down. I'm so content now being 50. Keep on rockin' in the free world!


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Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
... and symbolism will be their downfall...

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists

"Children of Destiny" - THE Part of THE Solution

(Frame from Official Music Video)

war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


Show Me A Sign

"Who is John Galt?"
To ask the question is to know the answer

"Whosoever shall give up his liberty for a temporary security
deserves neither liberty nor safety."

~~ Benjamin Franklin


(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul

the zen of neil
the power of rust
the karma of the wheat