"Soaking it in, every note, chord, verse and vibe"
Photo by Ken Toney Photography
The never ending twisted road goes on forever it seems.
By now, you've read how twisted Neil Young's Twisted Road tour has become. Are we seeing something on par with the audacity of the TTN, TFA or Greendale tours? Or are we seeing something much deeper, nuanced, intimate and wondrous?
Reading some of the reviews it is clearly apparent that folks seem not even to have attended the same concert. Some report walkouts. Virtually everyone else reporting sees no mid-set departures and empty seats. Some report severe sound problems while universally all else report pristine audio from the acoustics of classic theaters. Some even report he didn't play enough of his classic songs. Yet every setlist contains 8 or so undoubtedly classic songs like HHMM, TMY, HL, DBTR, CTK, ATGR, etc.
The tribute song to LA Johnson (1947-2010) "You Never Call" with a mention of Ben is quite heartbreaking and a remarkable confrontation with loss. Seriously, can you imagine how hard it must be to sing a song about a dear friend -- who you have known and worked with nearly your entire professional life -- suddenly dies taking your son to a hockey game?
So what is going with this range of experiences? Some sort of parallel universe? Strange things happening when worlds collide?
Whatever it is, maybe folks can take the following approach in going to the concert tonight. From Dave M in MO on his way to last week's Nashville concerts:
As I plan to leave my home in Missouri and travel over 350 miles for Neil’s performance in Nashville in two days, I think about how I will prepare my mind for the event.
How will my lovely wife Debbie, also a NY fan, react to seeing Neil in our first solo concert? We have seen him at Farm Aid, but this is different. This is Neil, alone on stage, baring his talent and soul for all to see and feel. For me, and I think Debbie also, it is all about enjoying the experience.
I won’t be comparing TR to any other event, Neil’s or otherwise. I won’t be complaining about the ticket price (it was my choice to pay) vs. the concert length or number of songs. I have seen the set list, but even if I had not, the odds of Neil playing our “favorite” song would have been a futile wish, and set us up for disappointment. It is what it is.
I feel it is all about soaking it in, every note, chord, verse and vibe. It is coming away with a better appreciation for Neil and his music, and in this case, the awesome chance to hear several new songs. We are not many years behind Neil and, as the saying goes, “life is too short”, seize the moment!
So at the Ryman Theater we will be Tuesday night, a slowly balding mid-50’s guy sitting next to his lovely wife in her wheelchair, just soaking it all in. BTW, don’t get in her way, she might run you over. :-)
Dave M in MO
Thanks Dave! Hope you and Debbie enjoyed the show.
More on Neil Young's perpetually "Twisted Road" Concert Tour Reviews.