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Monday, May 24, 2010

Thus Far: Some Thoughts on Albany and Buffalo Concerts by Neil Young

Here's an early tour report from esteemed Rustie Mark Golley from the UK who wrote to Uncut Magazine's John Mulvey:
"I came over to the US on Sunday," writes Mark, "and show one was Tuesday in Albany, NY.

"A genuinely remarkable show. Maybe not the best Neil show I've seen (I'm in the mid-50s there), but easily the most intense, darkest and weirdest.Seven new songs from his new "Twisted Road" project; an 18-song set(identical but tighter - more subtle - on night two in Buffalo).

"Despite being solo, only three songs were done on one of his acoustic Martins. There's one each for the tack piano, the pump organ and the grand piano. Everything else is on Old Black or the Gretsch White Falcon.

"Extraordinary deconstructions of "Down By The River", "Cinnamon Girl" and "Cortez The Killer". "Ohio" is towering, but it's "Hitchhiker" (rare as hen's teeth and resurrected here in an immense new form), hammered out on the Gibson, that shines like a beacon, the pivotal song which everything else hangs around.

"The new songs are tough to love at first, black to the core (the death of LA Johnson looming large, understandably so) but there are chinks of light. There's some Nash -like whimsy on "Leia", a song which was thought to be about his granddaughter (on night three Neil seemed to suggest otherwise). But the Lanois influence is washed over some new songs with the heaviest of brush strokes.

"(I'm told that, as it stands, the new album will be a solo electric record...I'm guessing that the material I know was recorded at the end of last year and early this year has been put on the back burner. These new songs are really new...)

"Black & white, light & dark, life & death... He's counting down to the end in a stark, desperately revealing way.Almost surreal,the shows are heavy, draining, dense, intense and challenging. He's reinventing his own set of wheels. Again...

"Like no shows I've ever seen from Neil...."

Thanks Mark! Nice to meet you Mark after the Worcester show. See you down the Twisted Road!

Also, see Karen's report on bigOfeature » Blog Archive » NEIL YOUNG’S TWISTED ROAD TOUR: STOPS 1 and 2. Nice job Karen!

More stories from Neil Young's "Twisted Road" Concert Tour Reviews.

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At 5/24/2010 09:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the first three new songs ("You Never Call," "Peaceful Valley," "Love and War") are done on a Guild M-20 with electric pickup. And Neil was quite clear about "Leia" in Worcestershire - he has no grandchildren, just two grand-dogs.

At 5/24/2010 11:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Wallingford he said Leia was the daughter of some good friends.

At 5/25/2010 08:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't imagine Leia and all the emotion I saw/heard out of it being about a dog. Even old king.


At 5/25/2010 02:02:00 PM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

Spot on analysis - in my opinion. Neil Young has once again pushed aside any and all pre-conceived notions of what to expect at a solo NY show. Man oh man - to hear Old Black thunder through an intimate venue without any other instruments says a lot about what he's trying to do - and it is ultimately successful when one takes the show as an entire piece of art/music. Have we ever heard Old Black all alone before? Have we ever considered the notion that Neil is facing his own eternity (as we all are)? What a gift he's giving us...if not just himself...

At 5/25/2010 05:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with Jonathan... At the Buffalo show, I was thinking... "Oh no... could this be the last time I see Neil? is he saying goodbye?" then I cursed that thought off, thinking of how Neil will be jamming well into his 70's.

At 5/26/2010 01:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SONY: Never meant to suggest that Leia was about a dog, just to clarify that it she's not Neil's granddaughter. Actually, if you want to know who she is, see the 10:12 p.m. post under the D.C. concert reviews - there's a reason for all that emotion you experienced.


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