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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Neil Young Concert Reviews - Nashville, TN, June 1 & 2, 2010

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Photo Gallery by Ed Rode for Rolling Stone


From American Songwriter | Neil Young @ The Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN 6/2/10 By Evan Schlansky:
While it was a treat to hear a relaxed Young play his signature licks on his vintage acoustics, the best moments came when he plugged in his electric guitars, creating true “power chords” which vibrated the very floors and walls of the fabled auditorium. I’ve seen a thousand shows at the Ryman,” remarked one nearby concert-goer, “and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

From Rolling Stone by Andy Greene:
Six songs into Neil Young's seemingly sedate solo set at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium last night, the 64-year-old rocker stunned fans who weren't expecting to leave with ringing ears. Putting down his acoustic guitar, he strapped on his signature electric Les Paul Old Black and began thrashing away on "Down by the River" like a one-man Crazy Horse. Over the last four decades, Young's solo theater shows have been decidedly unplugged affairs — but this time around, he clearly felt like once again defying expectations.

From Speakers in Code: Concert Review: Neil Young at The Ryman in Nashville by Jason Gonulsen:
It seems something special has hit Young. Even the older songs he chose to perform, like "Cortez the Killer," "Ohio," and "Cinnamon Girl," seemed new and fresh. Young gave every song, old or new, an eerie sense of space, a new sense of freedom that didn't once belong. A new twisted road.

If you do get to see Young on this tour, go in with a clear mind. Go in with a sense that you're going to hear your favorite songs performed for you for the first time. Go in wanting to hang or every word, every note.


Go in realizing that we're lucky Neil Young is still alive, still creating, and not resting on his laurels.

From The Novel Girls: The Ryman, Neil Young, Will and Me
The concert was, well there isn't really a good enough word that hasn't already been used to describe Neil's shows. But for clarification sake I'll just say the concert was everything we hoped it would be.

Neil carried the show solo but had all of his different instruments set around the stage. Both his acoustic and electric guitars were in the middle, his grand piano on stage right. His pump organ was in the rear of the stage and his upright piano was off to stage left. And of course, his harmonica was usually in the holder around his neck. He spent the evening rotating around each instrument sharing the depth of his talent with the audience.

Mr. Young didn't say much, but if you've been following his career at all you know that's his way - quintessentially Neil. Each time he sang an old song my son jabbed me in the arm and I got to watch a huge smile spread across his face.

That was heaven for me.

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Photo by thesiglibrary



Neil Young will be performing tonight at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. Special guest Bert Jansch will open concert.

Got a report? Drop a comment below. No registration required.

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

Also, see Neil Young's "Twisted Road" Concert Tour Reviews and the right, middle sidebar for continuous real time RSS feed updates.


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58 Comments:

At 6/02/2010 01:04:00 AM, Blogger Homesick in Paradise said...

Same setlist as usual, back to one encore.

 
At 6/02/2010 01:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know Bert's setlist? I saw the show in Buffalo and I really liked alot of Bert's songs and was wondering which ones he played. Anyone have a list?

 
At 6/02/2010 02:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the Ryman tonight & had a super time. I got to meet some Rusties @ Jacks Bar-b-que. To much brown acid when I was younger so I don't remember names to well. I do remember Stringy & Kaz. I thought it was a great show. Hitchhiker will blow you out of your chair. I liked all the new songs. There must be a few more to make a cd, I hope. Here's to tomorrow night, I will be there as well. I should have written down all the Rusties names I met @ Jacks. They were all great.

 
At 6/02/2010 02:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heres to post about Bret's setlist. I can't help you totally but he played a song called Carnival & the last song, which was great is called BOY.

 
At 6/02/2010 11:26:00 AM, Anonymous Simpson said...

You can download both Bert and Neil's sets from Albany here! Hope this helps! I heard from Karen that Bert has had different set lists but here is all I could find from the first show.

http://bigozine2.com/roio/?p=497

 
At 6/02/2010 12:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, two whole comments about Neil last night - must've been quite the show. (Only one post on Rust List, was quite negative.) Was Mr. Demme there to capture it for posterity? Thought he was supposed to complete the trilogy somewhere along this tour.

 
At 6/02/2010 03:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Just got home from a 9 hour drive after seeing the June 1 show at Ryman. Picked up our tickets from the box office and went to get a beer and saw his bus in the alley. Walked up to take pics and chatted with some folks and here Neil walks up, walking a dog. He started to get on the bus and I was trying to get my camera out of my pocket and asked if he could wait a second. He did! Got a great shot of him smiling and waving. My bro saw him after sound check and got him to autograph his leather book from the archives. He signed it to both of us. I didn't have anything with me so he signed my camera and said "well, it's better than nothing". Was really surprised that he hung around so long. Got lots of great shots. Sold our extra ticket to a fellow Thrasher, George. He was great. The show was unbelievable, mesmerizing. I was in tears the first 4 songs. Several folks got kicked out for having cameras and cell phones. Yikes!! Loved hearing the old stuff, but hearing the new songs for the first time was like nothing I have ever experienced before. Go see this man!!! Sandy Horne

 
At 6/02/2010 04:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was I at the same show?
Neil was a grumpy old man.
By the way, why has he included this song on almost every 2010 tour date but left it off at Nash? 9Old Man)
Yes I have been to Many of Neil's shows. But last night he looked like he wanted to be somewhere else. It started off bad when the guys didn't have the juice harp correct and went down hill from there.

poor poor

 
At 6/02/2010 04:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

grumpy old man
do what I can
tryin to make a living
I'm a grumopy old man

-NRJ

 
At 6/02/2010 04:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was I at the same show???

He's only played Old Man once on this tour in SC.

And a fine show indeed.
Johnson

 
At 6/02/2010 05:20:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Corn said...

After seeing some negative comments about the recent shows, I was worried. But, I was pleasantly surprised by how great the new songs are. Very intense and emotional. Although the show was short, it was definitely worth it. Go see it if you can!

Jeff
Patch of Ground Person

 
At 6/02/2010 05:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi SANDY HORN,
This is George from Smithville,Mo. I am also known as march91957@yahoo.com. As Sandy mentions it was just a great show. I also captured a pic with Neil & his dog getting on the bus. I guess I did not pick-up on Neil being grumpy, I thought he was great. I ran into Sandy & her brother & wife. They had a spare ticket that put me on the floor & I then sold my ticket. Thanks everyone for the great time. It's about 4:00 here in Nashville & I am getting primed for the next show. No dissapointment here for Neil not playing Heart of Gold or Old Man. He ended the show with Walk with me. After seeing the show & the hearing the new songs I think he properly closed the show.

 
At 6/02/2010 05:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was there (out of the blue) took me to tears.The ryman sucked! How Dare You Stand up scream dance show emotion somebody was there to quiet u down. I stayed reasonably sober to lose my mind inside Neil's music not to be treated like a kid. I had 6hundred bucks of hard earned money invested in enjoying Neil it been 26years since I'd seen him unless you can't farm=aid I loved it but 1 song encore blame the ryman!

 
At 6/02/2010 05:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

George!! I am so excited to hear how tonights show goes. Guess I didn't pick up on the grumpy old man thing? True, he didn't talk much, but that has been par for the course this tour from what I hear. When we saw him outside he was friendly and gracious. Stood signing autographs for everyone. There was not a single note in the show that wasn't mindblowing. At least that's what I experienced. George I will contact you later on Yahoo brother!! Meeting you and hanging out with someone who is as obviously into Neil's music as us made the night even more special. Best wishes to your wife my friend. Sandy Horne

 
At 6/02/2010 06:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe what an easy ride Neil gets here. These new songs are as bad lyrically as all of Fork In The Road and most of Prairie Wind. What's happened to the guy? There's just no ambiguity in his lyrics these days, everything is just too literal, and he uses words and phrases that just make me cringe. The new lines in Hitchhiker are an example, but even they're better than some of the other amateurish lines that he's trotting out in these new songs. Daniel Lanois can only work with what he's given, so I'm not optimistic about any new album.

 
At 6/02/2010 09:27:00 PM, Anonymous Jordan Shearer said...

Does anyone have a link to download the first Ryman show? Thanks in advance.

 
At 6/02/2010 09:30:00 PM, Anonymous Nashstu said...

The show was phenomenal. Old Black and Neil are soul mates.

And to the Anonymous person who was there and paid "$600 of his hard-earned money" (so now you feel entitled to be a jackass and ruin a show for 2,100 other people?!?!). I'm glad someone did their job and quieted you down. Last night's show wasn't with Crazy Horse. The Ryman is one of the best music venues in the USA with some of the most natural acoustics, and if you can't appreciate it, then stay home next time.

And to the guy above criticizing Neil's current output, why don't you try when you're 64 to pull off one of the songs that Neil farts out. Look, David Briggs was Neil's best friend as far as quality-control went. He's allowed clunkers as long as there are a few gems on each album. For the record, "Prairie Wind" is an incredible album. You should go back and listen to it.

 
At 6/02/2010 10:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was very disappointed in Nashville on June 1. The sound was horrible and the encore was awful. I wish I had saved my money, stayed home and the CD is more enjoyable.

 
At 6/02/2010 10:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to agree 100% with 06:37:00 above, most of the new lyrics are really embarrassing. Don't know if Neil's deliberately trying to challenge people's expectations of him or what, surely he knows the difference between good lyrics and lazy ones.

If he wrote Ohio today, instead of "tin soldiers and Nixon's coming, we're finally on our own" we'd get something like "some students were protesting the war, and a few of them were killed." The point is not to be cryptic for the sake of being cryptic, but simply that you can convey certain sentiments/emotions that you can't by merely stating the obvious in a literal way. Neil is an accomplished enough songwriter to know this. Unfortunately, given his stature no one is going to tell him the truth to his face, and he's going to release another mediocre album.

And to 09:30:00 above, you don't have to be a chicken to judge an egg. Nobody's saying they're a better songwriter than Neil - it's precisely because he's so gifted that we hold him to such a high standard. He can release whatever he wants (and I'll buy it) but that doesn't mean I have to like everything equally. If you love the new lyrics, great! I wish I felt the same but I don't. And from what I know of Neil I think he would prefer an honestly stated opinion than BS.

regards,

tom

 
At 6/02/2010 11:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

here's what you critics don't, or refuse, to understand.

neil is not the same man that wrote those lyrics you hold so dear. he has moved on. some of us have moved on with him, and some have not. it's not a sin...just listen to those old songs you love so well and leave the new neil to those of us who still appreciate it.

is that so hard?

 
At 6/03/2010 12:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And is it so hard to read something other than gushing praise for Neil? I love the way that you can post ad nauseum here that Neil is God, any new song is the greatest ever etc without any criticism - but the moment you suggest that all isn't great, or that a new song is not up to scratch, you get shot down and told not to post, or that you're not "a real Neil fan", or you haven't "moved on". I'd suggest you just can't cast a critical eye over Neil and are nothing more than a sycophant.

 
At 6/03/2010 01:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to Bert and Neils setlist! Thats exactly what I was looking for!

 
At 6/03/2010 01:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah. Second "Old Man" of the tour tonight. I saw both shows and loved them despite the nearly identical set lists. I'd go again tomorrow. Twenty-seven years of seeing Neil live, and never the same way twice. He won't be pinned down or categorized. Advice to anyone going to shows on the rest of the tour : read the setlist, it will be the same at your show. If It looks disappointing to you, sell your tickets or give them to me! Otherwise enjoy a one-time only experience and savor the moment.

 
At 6/03/2010 01:45:00 AM, Anonymous Mr Henry said...

So the biggest question that I have right now is...what kind of dog does Neil have? As a life long dog lover and owner (also cats), I realize there is a strong correlation between the type of dog that Neil has and the type of music that he's writing at certain points in time. Don't Spook the Hound.......

And of course, how cool is it that he brings his dog on tour with him?! If dogs run free, then why can't we?

 
At 6/03/2010 02:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another great Neil show. Neil gave us a bonus song tonight when he played Old Man. Here's to Sandy Horn & the rest of the family that went home after the 1st show. Yes, Sandy it was just as good as the 1st show. I did a little survey on purpose tonight after the show. I talked to a lot younger folks & older folks to see what they had to say about the new songs as well as the old songs. The next generation of Neil fans is well in the making based on the reports I got from the younger hippes. The older hippes, well there kind of like me, it was totally ELECTRIC -- - - -- - -. Off to the Smokies tomorrow. I like that word SMOKIE! After a couple day's there it's back to Smithville,MO and that dreaded four letter word, WORK. Thanks Neil!

GEORGE

 
At 6/03/2010 03:53:00 AM, Blogger Kimball said...

Well folks, its been 2 night and 2 shows, experiencing neil young. The first show I was acoustic, the second I was electric. 2 totally different experiences and I wouldn't trade either for anything. I think the crowd was well behaved both nights, I'm usually quite sensitive to interruptions and I was able to stay engaged in the performance both Ryman nights. I got my Ryman Hatch show poster signed the first night after the show outside the Hermitage, and then, before the second night at the Ryman, I got my 6/2 ticket signed. Neil was a class act both nights as far as I was concerned, he appreciates the true fans waiting for acknowledgement, and there is nothing more than we can expect as fans. I spent the 2nd night in tears, totally in lock step with Neil's emotive expressions. I spent the hours after the show experiencing the concert inside and out; watching the stage crew load up the semi trailer up til 1 AM, and then watching local Nashville bands play their hearts out at Tootsie's (both upstaiers stage and downstairs stage). Tip: Open your soul to the things that are right, and they will naturally make their way to you. Best wishes to all who have truly connected with Neil's state of being so far on this tour and those yet to on the shows yet to come. Doug, after experiencing both Ryman shows and getting Neil's autographs both nights, I can understand how he was able to say: "To Doug, Love Neil Young"; Its really telling about where he is on this tour. I was hanging outside Neil's bus up by the Hermitage in Nashville after the 2nd Ryman show, and I mentioned to Elliot that this show was so much more than any of us could hope for from Neil, and Elliot said to me, that it was for them too, it is for them too. I have no doubt that we're witnessing a tour that will stand up completely in 3 or 4 decades time. Truly content with all my being, Kimball B.

 
At 6/03/2010 06:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The old songs on Chrome Dreams II excluded, I don't think he's really put out any strong material since Silver and Gold. But, that's not that long ago, so maybe he turns it around. I thought 'Walk with Me' and 'Peaceful Valley' were good songs, and strong lyrically, 'walking down peaceful valley boulevard...', but if they're positioned next to Leia and Sign of Love, then it causes an album to fall off some. I think of Comes a Time, and how for a while I held out really getting into 'Motorcycle Mama' and 'Field of Opportunity' until hearing them live and then going back to the album to see how they fit. But, that's different than now. It's hard to trust lyrics like 'sent me a link' and 'I'll always remember what Chris Rock said', because forty or fifty years from now, no one will really care that much about Chris Rock, but they'll still be listening to After the Goldrush and hopefully Tonight's the Night.

 
At 6/03/2010 06:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Henry, unless anyone knows otherwise, as far as I know Neil`s current dog is a labradoodle named Carl. You can see him for yourself in Neil`s DIY Johnny Magic Sun video. Here`s a link -

http://www.neilyoung.com/forkintheroad/johnnymagicsunvideo.html

And by the way I think these new songs are some of the best he`s made in a long time (and I love Praire Wind and FITR too)- it`s not just about lyrics it`s about feelings, emotions, melody and pure soul. Neil has these in buckets full.

Different facets of Neil. Shine on You Crazy Diamond!

Jill

 
At 6/03/2010 10:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was @ the Ryman yesterday and it was awesome...been waiting to see him 18 years and it was worth waiting. About the songs he played, well, one fan shouted in from of me - "play what you want" and he was right. It doesn't really matter what Neil will sing, I'll still get goose bumps and enjoy..

Shac

 
At 6/03/2010 10:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I guess I am just used to the fact that the vast majority of people don't love Neil's music like I do. That has never really bothered me. It is such a personal thing to me and not everyone connects to it the same way. It's not right or wrong, it either moves you or it doesn't. I have never felt the need to "defend" my position. I'm just really glad to have this forum to connect with fellow fans, who do have a way of being able to convey his magic in such an artistic way. Thanks to everyone for sharing. I do have a good photo of Neil with his dog, but don't know how to post it to Thrasher's Wheat (hate to admit that). George good to hear the 2nd night went so well. Let's stay in touch. Sorry I didn't meet more people from this site. Guess there was a get-together at Jack's, but I went to the wrong place. Actually turned out to be a good thing, because right after that Neil came out from sound check and signed my brother's archive book. Sandy Horne

 
At 6/03/2010 01:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Music Junkie 3 Live shows stand out as my favorites- BB King, The Band and about ten years ago Neil Young at Merriweather Post in Maryland.He did an all acoustic show for over 2 hours. I left with tears in my eyes and a heart full of joy and happiness.Maybe I was looking to repeat that experience when I traveled from Maryland to Nashville for his show at the Ryman. Did I enjoy the show- yes. It's my opinion that the show would have been much better without the electric guitars.
I do agree with others he seemed a tad grumpy.Knowing how he feels about our planet it may have had something to do with the millions of gallons of oil being dumped into the Gulf. It makes me grumpy too.Tim H

 
At 6/03/2010 01:34:00 PM, Anonymous Keith Burris said...

I was not going to post anything, but when I saw some of the inexplicable and bizarre negative stuff I felt I should speak up.

I saw the Louisville and and first Nashville shows. Both were amazing. For me highlights were the new songs, and his deeply felt performances of "Ohio" and "I Believe in You." I am always interested in a new NY record, and what he is thinking. But "Love and War" and "Walk with Me," make me think the new one will be special.

In Louisville I was impressed with the audacity of a solo acoustic/electric show. I just felt privileged to be there.

In Nashville, there was the additional privilege of the Ryman. But I was also impressed at the somberness of much of the music. What an interesting, spiritual old man Neil Young is becoming. The topics are God, love in all its forms, nature, death, loss, healing.The chords are dark and deep.

He's a modern psalmist.

 
At 6/03/2010 01:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice article about Bert Jansch on this tour in Jim Fusilli's col in today's Wall Street Journal with three links to his songs. Also, on Monday night Charlie Rose replayed the one hour interview with Neil from 2008 - wide ranging subjects - if you go to CharlieRose.com you can watch it -

thanks

 
At 6/03/2010 03:25:00 PM, Anonymous setlistthief said...

Interesting that this blog’s Neil critics now turn to the “he used to be so much better” gambit. If you don’t have anything good to say, I guess criticism based on one’s personal opinion is the refuge of those who don’t know how to actually critique an artist’s work.

“Now you’re underneath the stairs, and you’re giving back some glares. To the people that you met, and it’s your first cigarette.”

Yep, mighty fine songwriting there.

Contrast that with “Catching falling leaves from the branches of the music tree.” What a gorgeous metaphor set against a simple yet engaging sweet little melody. You’d never guess the song is a about a little girl who will never meet her father. Talk about ambiguity…

The trilogy of “You Never Call,” “Peaceful Valley,” and “Love and War” is among the most powerful imagery and singing about loss and death I’ve ever heard from Neil. And unlike TTN, this imagery is fueled by cold stark reality, not tequila and dope.

Neil’s reached an age where the finality of death is informing his work in ways it never has before. Indeed, though he’s been surrounded by death and loss his whole life, it is somehow different now. To watch and hear a man struggling with that so eloquently is extraordinary. A privilege.

And for those of us who aren’t far behind, it will help us navigate that Twisted Road.

Neil’s songwriting, guitar playing and singing have changed over the years. As it should. None of it was “better” before, it’s not better now, it’s just different. I remember criticism of Dylan in the late 80s, and then “Time Out Mind” appeared followed by “Love and Theft.”

I also remember criticism of LWW, and Neil’s response,”Why would I waste my best chord changes on George Bush?” Why, indeed? I’m glad he saves them for us.

 
At 6/03/2010 04:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@setlistthief: amen to that.
@neilyoung: please do come over to Europe after the summer and play us all of your new songs. And if I may suggest an opening act that will really knock you off your feet: try Laura Marling (http://www.lauramarling.com). Not only the audience won't be dissappointed but I bet you will be pleasantly surprised yourself by the competetion she's offering while being only 20 years old…)

peter dees

 
At 6/03/2010 04:06:00 PM, Blogger Homesick in Paradise said...

@Peter: Laura Marling opened for Neil last year in France. But I second your proposal!

 
At 6/03/2010 05:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife and I were at the Ryman show last night (June 2nd) and were quiet pleased. Sorry to hear a very few of you were not. I have seen him many times and he always seems grumpy, but that is just Neil. His new songs were good and after listening to them more (if given the chance) they will even get better. That is always how his songs go for me. A great mix of old and new (IMHO). I appreciate the fact that he is still out touring and making new music. I am not a big fan of Fork in the Road...but I don't have to be. He has plenty of other music that I am a huge fan of. He simply can't keep writing the same type or sound of songs. At any rate, thought the show was great and was glad we got two encores out of him....that grumpy old man! :) Met some nice folks sitting next to us from Iowa and wish them well traveling home.

A couple of things about the venue. I respect the Ryman for what it is and I have been there before for less well known acts, but for an act as big as Neil Young, it is simply to small. The aisle we were in (MF section 3 row U) was so narrow, that the entire row had to get up just for us to get to our seats. Naturally, we did not feel comfortable asking them to get up so we could comfortably get to the restrooms, therefore we did not go until between sets. After a couple of beers, that was a stretch to wait! :) The wait in line for the restrooms at intermission was absolutely ridiculous and it was too hot through the whole show. The sound was great, but other than that, I won't go back to a show at the Ryman. They can do better.

Would also like to add that the t-shirt vendors did not take credit or debit cards, so take plenty of cash if you want to buy something. Technology today allows for wireless Visa/Mastercard machines so I am a little surprised they were not available.

Anyway, great show and we had a wonderful time. Glad to see most others did as well. For those that did not, stay home next time and I will buy your tickets!

 
At 6/03/2010 06:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Setlist Thief, I'm guessing then that in your opinion Neil has never written a bad song and probably never will. And if he has, or does, you'll not be able to bring yourself to admit it. Ironic that you had to pull out a line written when he was 19 years old to try and defend the new songs lame lyrics. He was still learning his craft back then. You can defend him all you like, but the fact remains he appears to have lost his magic touch when it comes to songwriting. He's still a great live performer, but the number of clunkers in his canon are rising with each new album.

 
At 6/03/2010 07:23:00 PM, OpenID padsforgrads said...

I saw Spartanburg and Tuesday's Ryman---somewhat of a contrast mainly due to crowd attitude. While it was very obvious that the sound quality was superior at the Ryman (major reverb off of the wooden pews) generally speaking the crowd was OUT OF IT. How can anyone sit on their ass during ohio---perhaps snooty nashville celebrity wannnnnnabes????? Who knows---reminds me of the contrast between chapel hill and william and mary during the Ragged Glory tour (and Im sure we all know who acted snooooty in that comparison). Both shows were superb. Nashville helped me to clarify and respect the "feedback garage electrical practice session" that part was technically better in my opinion than Spartanburg but you can't beat the heart and soul of that true southern venue and Neil appreciated it with the extra songs. Cortez rules on this tour--its really somethin special!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 6/03/2010 11:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob Dylan once said.."Song are suppose to be heroic enough to give the illusion of stopping time." Well, for me and my wife at the Ryman Tuesday night, that is exactly what happened! It was an event I will remember and "feel" for the rest of my life. We were lucky enough to have thrid row seats on stage left. We could see all of Neil's facial expression while he was playing guitar by the standing mic and on grand piano, that was a big bonus to the experience. I instinctively held my bic lighter overhead during the encore call but got a sneered look from the security guard. OK, I guess I am showing my age but it was the thing to do back "in the day".

SANDY, sorry we never met up, but sound like you had a great time too.

Dave M in MO

 
At 6/03/2010 11:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the June 1st Ryman show. I'd seen a review of an earlier show (linked here somewhere) where the show was compared to a performance art piece. He may be on to something- the set decoration reminded me of the Tom Waits "Glitter And Doom" tour, and I think there was a thread of continuity woven through the setlist. I think there is a message in what he's doing. From the pausing as he wanders between instruments as if pondering, to the downbeat "Walk With Me" encore, then shuffling off all to soon. Or am I just going too deep? I thought his voice was amazingly beautiful, was surprised how "not loud" the show was. It probably could've been louder, but it may have been optimal for the acoustics of the Hall. That said, he missed the chance to leave me breathless. What he did was very good, but could have closed more strongly.

 
At 6/04/2010 10:57:00 AM, Anonymous sharon lenore anderson said...

Neil Young at the Ryman in Nashville last night 6-2010
His voice was pristine.
Perfect light delivery, keeping it fresh sounding, but somehow the punch was still deadly.
Neil was like a little kid in a sandbox. It made for an intimate peek. He was enthralled and his energy was extraordinarily beautiful.
However, he didn’t really pay attention to who was out there.
He just drew the energy innocently like it was simply nature. But his perfect absorption also meant that when his die hard grunge fans raised the roof, he was thrust over towards his electric guitars a little too often, and with more and more reckless abandon, was drawn into the pool of seat shaking volume.
He was a one man band, complete with intuitive dynamics, spot on hook lines and solos, and eloquence just flowing. He had the stage arranged hap hazardly with his favorite pianos and guitars, like the dingy inside of a bar. And, between songs would wander around following the lure. He’d rub his chin in contemplation, and quickly decide “yes, this is good”. Then would come the next offering. Just as patient and deliberate as you please. He sunk into every song, whether it was a popular one or not. He showed loyalty to all his lyrics.
He didn’t speak much. But his entourage (the audience) thrilled to every nuance and stood up cheering at every opportunity. I marveled at his huge talent. And his tall frame wisping and grooving like a boy of twenty. You are really something, you know..

 
At 6/04/2010 11:30:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil young is a great artist.

I went to to the ryman to watch him. He aint about sellin t-shirts. He is all about showing his music and tryin to make people understand it more. I served in the military for 23 yrs and am proud of it, he needs to understand the service men an wemon are not to blame. They our only doing theyre jobs. They dont make decisions there leaders do. People at the concert were confused by his new music maybe even felt cheated by the prices. I felt in all that i got to see him I do truly respect his own opinions and love his music. It was priceless and i thank Neil for taking the time to play it for us. I was always out doing my job (military) when he came around. I saved money just to watch him . He is the only concert i ever did it for 9saving money) and i will always remember that night in the Ryman. Yes he thanked us in his own way.

Thanks Again Neil

 
At 6/04/2010 05:43:00 PM, Anonymous Mr Henry said...

Jill, thanks so much for updating me about Neil's dog and providing the link for Johnny Magic video...you're a Sweety! I can't believe I hadn't seen this before. Neil's dog might be a labradoodle but also might be a goldendoodle...that's what I have!! And Carl looks very much like him, only smaller (and maybe a bit younger). I have pictures of my dog with a Neil Young and Crazy Horse hat on; maybe I should send these to Neil!? Also I've been known to sometimes sing to him, and one of the songs that I've adapted is Johnny Magic (substituting "Goldendoodle" for "Continental"). So that was great...thanks again!

Also appreciate your comments about Neil. You managed to capture the essence in just two sentences; always a pleasure to read your comments and observations.

Your friend Mr Henry

 
At 6/04/2010 07:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 11:30, what went down? Did Neil make a comment about the war? Or are you referring to Living with War? I think Neil has made it really clear that he supports our troops fully, and understands they are doing their jobs, but I think he just doesn't like the idea of the war and what it's all about, and most of all he disliked Bush.
Thanks for your service!
Peace

 
At 6/05/2010 07:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You`re welcome, Mr Henry! And thank you for your kind comments, very much appreciated.

What made me think that Carl was a labradoodle is that I heard Neil refer to him once as a "`doodle" and hadn`t heard of a "goldendoodle". Neil also remarked that Carl "loves blondes"! I think I saw that on the BBC website in connection with the documentary "Don`t be Denied" some time last year.

I`m sure Neil would love to see that photo! I would too - maybe if you send it to Thrasher he`ll post it up, if you ask nicely! I love the thought of you singing Johnny Magic to your dog! Isn`t it funny what us Neil fanatics get up to?!

Talking of which, it`s sad to hear that Johnny Magic (aka Jonathan Goodwin) is leaving the Lincvolt project to carry on his own work in Wichita. I`m sure he`ll be missed.

Your friend Jill

 
At 6/05/2010 11:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We attended the June 1st show at the Ryman. I must say that it was all I hoped it would be. From the start at the artist entrance where Neil signed my archives book {yes George it's Sandy's bro Terry}to the amasing show to the most wonderful fan's I've met at any show, it was excellent. Considering all Neil has to get done in a short time frame we found him to be very generous to us, with sound checks, vocal warm ups to warming up those "sixty something" fingers he took time to sign all autographs and we even have several pics with that wonderful Neil Young smile. Grumpy old Man? Not at the show I attended. Sometimes you do get what you've come to expect. Terry Kitterman

 
At 6/05/2010 12:11:00 PM, Anonymous Mr Henry said...

Jill, I'll definitely send a photo along...there are a couple that are pretty funny. Both doodle breeds have a Poodle parent (usually the father) and either a Labrador or Golden Retriever as the other parent (usually the mother). My dog came from a breeder in Fredericton NB, so he is also Canadian! Thanks again for all the info and nice comments.

RIP Coach John Wooden. Born in the same year that Mark Twain died, you did more than anyone else to make Basketball America's other pasttime and spread the sport around the world. I'll never forget the story that's related in The Breaks of the Game, by the late, great David Halberstam. Bill Walton would get so pumped up for games that afterwards he could never get to sleep unless he got stoned. Coach Wooden didn't really approve, and he spoke with Bill about this, but ultimately he said it was okay if that's what it took. I know that Bill remained your close friend for life, and I'm very happy for that. Maybe Coach Wooden and David Halberstam are trading stories right now with Dr. Naismith and Wilt Chamberlain.

"In such a light, one might hope to see the shadow of that bird upon the sky."
Peter Matthiessen from The Snow Leopard

 
At 6/05/2010 12:21:00 PM, Anonymous Mr Henry said...

Also just wanted to mention what a gentleman John Wooden was...a shining example of human potential and the ability to help make yourself and all those around you better people. I'm going to shoot one hundred free throws in my back yard this weekend in your memory.

 
At 6/05/2010 06:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On June 1st, I saw Neil Young perform at the Ryman Auditorium here in Nashville.

Wow. Let me just say it was the most incredible concert I have ever had the privilege of attending. He was so good… the kind of good that makes a person weep. He played a lot of “classic Neil songs”… but he also performed his new songs that were equally as good (of course!). I love how he keeps growing as an artist… what an amazing musical journey he is on! I can’t wait to see what he does next. I am so glad I was able to go… it was an unforgettable evening. I love being able to sit out in the audience and be totally mesmerized. That hasn’t happened to me for awhile!

Thank you Neil!

Amanda M.

 
At 6/05/2010 06:33:00 PM, Anonymous setlistthief said...

anonymous@6:24. If you were a regular reader of this blog, you'd have read my previous comments and known how I feel about Mr. Young's work. In the future, I'd suggest you do that before revealing your ignorance and attacking other commenters.

 
At 6/06/2010 04:11:00 AM, Blogger Stringman said...

Kaz and I went to the 2 Ryman shows and we absolutely loved the shows which I have reviewed on Rust the 1 disturbing event I did see was what happened after the show. One of the most disturbing incidents we encountered was last night after the Ryman show. The show finished at 10:45 and Kaz and I walked back to the hotel room. At about 12:30 we decided to have a last nicotine hit before going to bed.
At the front of the hotel we met Kathryn and Brad "More Barn" who were doing the same thing.
5 minutes later we saw a group of people coming from the direction of the Ryman.
Basically it was Neil and Pegi and probably a security guy and about 6 people
who were extremely insistent and hassling Neil big time to get autographs on
their very obvious commercial photos and stuff.
It was embarrassing to see Neil hassled by these "fans". I believe they were
professional autograph hunters and they acted like hyenas on a kill.
Not a good sight.


Regards

Stringman

 
At 6/06/2010 11:55:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher said...

Thanks Stringman.

Hope you & Kaz enjoyed your roadtrip. Enjoyed reading your reports on rust.

Will we see you on leg #2?

Have a good trip back down under & koritw.

 
At 6/07/2010 02:13:00 AM, Blogger Greg McGarvey said...

Don't want to clog up the comments with my 4,600 word review/Nashville story, but here's a link:

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/rust/message/250844

I talk about seeing Neil in a BBQ joint (and the Ryman back alley), a series of a RustFests, and review the two nights in Nashville. Hope y'all dig it!

 
At 6/15/2010 04:51:00 PM, Blogger Bobby said...

I liked the show. It wasn't the best I have ever seen, it didn't change my life, but Mr. Young is getting it done at 64.

You have to remember that I am spoiled - I live in Nashville and there is no shortage of talented live musicians. I would give the show an 8 out of 10 with one lost point not being the fault of Mr. Young.

The Ryman staff were awful. It was as if all the beat up bus monitors from grade school got a job there with security. I didn't get in any trouble but the Ryman staff were truly hassling people for no good reason. I saw one of them taking a cell phone away from a little old lady about 60 years old. It was bizarre.

People were not allowed to come back in from the bathroom. Three dozen people were stuck listening to the ONE encore from out side.

Message to Ryman management. You need to control your venue to honor those who paid 150 bucks to see a one man show. Neil was good but your staff was awful.

 
At 6/18/2010 05:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the second Ryman show in about the fifth row on the left side looking at the stage. Although I was familiar with the setlist via the internet, I did not know about the opening act. We arrived on time, thinking that Neil is 64 and may very well get straight to business ala Van Morrison, as we didn't want to miss the start of the show. Of course, once you're in, you can't leave and come back, so we were stuck at the Ryman for a good two hours before Neil took the stage. Nothing against the opening act, we were just not expecting it and found the venue to be rather inhospitible with nothing but hotdogs and $10 cups of beer to keep us busy. God forbid you wanted to use your phone, because the venue staff must have been told they were really ray guns and had to be taken away on sight. Do artists really live in fear of cell phone pictures and videos? It's not as if it's recording onto blu-ray; just get over it. Anyway, the guy in front of us, during the opening act, mind you, kept giving us shit about not being totally silent behind him. He said, "shut up I paid a whole lot of money to be here", to which I replied, "Hahahahaha" and then proceeded to be obnoxious just to spite him for being a jackass. Does that make me a jackass as well? I really don't think so, as 1) it's a rock show (duh) 2) it's the bloody opening act, who wasn't advertised effectively 3) if he asked me nicely, I probably would have been courteous in return. Hey, I flew into Nashville just to see the show, do you think I might have dropped some change as well? ANyways, Neil didn't take the stage until about 9 pm or so, and I have to say that he DID seem to be on a mission to ignore the audience (ironically like Van the Man likes to do). So what though: he was into the music, it sounded great. The show was short, like 90 minutes, and I have to say it was too much new material for me. I knew this would be the case per setlists, but it did get a bit tedious going through 3 or 4 tunes before hearing something you are familiar with. Just keeping it real, love Neil Young, but enduring all that new stuff before I can even buy the record and get to know it a bit was trying. Here's something that totally blew: had to take a bathroom break, of course during a new song, line was terrible, by the time I got back he was into COrtez and the doorman insisted we all had to remain out in the hall until the song was over "those are Neil Young's rules" was all he kept repeating. This was beyond ridiculous, true or not, so I hollered at him, as I was in front of the line, until he gave way. I can be rather persuasive if the need arises. I think the first few folks behind me tried to give me a medal for good work, and we all ran back in to our seats. Neil did not seem to notice whatsoever. After the show, we hung out by the tour bus to get a glimpse / word to the man, and we had to deal with a bozo in a twisted road t-shirt who apparently follows Neil Young like a psychopath and proceeded to lecture us on Neil, the environment, the lyrics to the new material, etc. It was like a Curb Your Enthusiasm, but in hell. Naturally, we proceeded to mess with him as if he wasn't really a lunatic, saying things like "who do I have to speak to who can get me Neil Young now!", etc. He had no idea he was being mocked, which further proved he was totally off his rocker. ANyway, Neil came by and ignored everybody, ran into the bus, shut the door, and that was that. Even our buddy the bozo didn't get any love, what a shock. So that was our concert experience. We stayed out until 3:30 am going nuts at the strip clubs, which were actually a lot of fun. Thanks Music CIty, we really had a great time. I'd do it again tomorrow.

 
At 7/01/2010 10:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad I was on the right side of the stage.

 
At 7/27/2010 04:45:00 PM, Blogger cass.adler said...

I MUST MENTION HOW LOUD, FULL FORCED AND IN YOUR FACE ROCK N ROLL THE SOUND WAS. THE SEATS WERE LITERALLY VIBRATING. THE BASS HE GOT OUT OF THAT GUITAR WAS ABSOLUTELY ELECTRIFYING. IT WAS A NEW KIND OF HIGH FOR ME. IT LEFT ME WANTING MORE. THIS WAS NOT AN "ACOUSTIC" LAID BACK SHOW. THIS WAS INTENSE.....I MEAN NAIL BITING HARD ROCKING SOUL SEARCHING DRAMA. IT WAS SUCH AN EMOTIONAL EVENT... MUCH LIKE A SPIRITUAL DISCOVERY... NOT IN THE RELIGIOUS SENSE, BUT A REVELATION ABOUT HUMANITY AND THE POWER OF EMOTION. IT IS SO RARE FOR SOMEONE TO OPEN THEIR HEART AND SOUL TO YOU IN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL AND INTIMATE EXPRESSION OF ART. I COULD PROBABLY COUNT THE NUMBER OF WORDS HE ACTUALLY SPOKE ON MY TWO HANDS. HIS SPOKEN WORDS TO THE AUDIENCE WERE JUST NOT NECESSARY. IT WAS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL AND CONTRADICTORY PHENOMENON....HE POURED HIS FEELINGS OUT THROUGH HIS MUSIC...IN SONG HE WAS WARM, PRESENT, REVEALING. YET HE REFLECTED SUCH A DISTANT ALOOF DEMEANOR ONCE THE MUSIC STOPPED. IT WAS AS IF WHEN HE WAS PLAYING HIS SONGS HE THOUGHT HE WAS THE ONLY PERSON IN THE ROOM, YET AT THE SAME TIME OVER-WHELMINGLY AWARE THAT HE WAS PEERING INTO THE VERY DEPTHS OF EACH LISTENERS HEART AND SOUL. I SEE IT AS A KIND OF SIMULTANEOUS AND RESPECTFUL TUG OF WAR SHARED WITH THE AUDIENCE. A TUG OF WAR BETWEEN FULL OUT EXPOSURE AND A SILENT INFERRED SELF-DISCLOSURE THROUGH THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF UNREALIZED STATES OF MIND. HE HAS A UNIQUE WAY OF MAINTAINING A CONTROLLED AND INTIMATE ARENA COMPRISED OF RANDOM INTERRELATED EXPERIENCES WE ALL SHARE AND CAREFULLY SCRATCHING THE SURFACE OF THE DEEP UNSPOKEN THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS HELD IN THE PRETTY BOXES WRAPPED WITH COLORFUL RIBBONS OF SECRETS AND FEARS THAT STREAM FROM OUR OWN PERSONAL PREDICAMENTS . A SUBTLE YET POWERFUL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE HUMAN CONDITION RADIATES FROM HIS STAGE. I AM MORE FASCINATED WITH MR. YOUNG NOW THAN EVER.THERE ARE MUSICIANS AND THERE ARE ARTISTS.....I DONT KNOW WHAT COMES ABOVE ARTIST, BUT WHATEVER IT IS IT SHOULD BE NAMED AFTER MR. NEIL YOUNG. YES, I THINK IM GONNA HAVE TO START REFERRING TO HIM AS MR. NEIL YOUNG. THIS WAS TRULY AN EXPERIENCE THAT WILL STAY PERMANENTLY ETCHED IN "THE NEVER TO FORGET HIGHLIGHTS OF MY LIFE SECTION" OF MY MIND.

 

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