TOUR WRAP-UP: Neil Young's Twisted Road Concert Tour Leg #1
Neil Young - Austin, 6-5-10
Photo by Alberto Martinez / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Well, we've come to the end of Leg #1 on Neil Young's Twisted Road concert tour. While Leg #2 is a few weeks away from resuming, this might be a good time to collect our thoughts and reflect on what we just experienced.
It would seem that the obvious take away from the tour thus far is that Neil seems to be bearing a very heavy load with the loss of his long time associate LA Johnson (1947-2010). The tribute to L.A. in the new song "You Never Call" -- with a mention of his son Ben -- is quite heartbreaking.
Photo by Tracy Woodward/TWP
"You Never Call" really encapsulates the mood and tone of the concerts. The ghost of L.A. fills the room and seems to hover over the stage. One can only 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.
'Cause you take him everywhere
He brain-to-brained me
He told me you are still there."
Neil Young - Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN - 6-1-10
Photo Gallery by Ed Rode for Rolling Stone
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 between the two twin towers. One side acoustic. The other electric.
Which way to go?
It was a nearly perfect balancing act between love and war. Electric and acoustic. Hey Hey My My. My My Hey Hey. Into the blue. Out of the black.
Photo by Steve Babineau/Sports Action Images
And seven (7) news songs debuted?!
Can anyone point to another artist from the '60's or '70's that is still touring and playing new songs? If so, drop a comment below.
A comment by setlistthief :
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.
So while the Twisted Road Tour may not compare with TTN or TFA or Greendale tours in terms of audience expectations, it has certainly caught many off guard as summed up on the official concert t-shirt "I said solo...they said acoustic".
Photo by Simpson!
Yes, the Twisted Road is indeed twisted. And it was good to see everyone on that twisted road!
And thanks for supporting TW and walking with us.
Photo by The Ryman