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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Concert Review of the Moment: Neil Young - Reno, Nevada, July 17, 2010

Neil Young - Seattle, 7/20/10
Photo by Jim Bennett from PHOTO GALLERY: Neil Young takes a ‘Twisted Road’ to Seattle | Music Reviews, Music News, Concert Information -

The Neil Young Concert Review of the Moment is from Reno, Nevada, July 17, 2010 by Tamara in Montana:
I gladly bought tickets on the resale market to see him in such an intimate theatre, and flew from Montana to Reno just to see Neil, and it was worth every penny and more.

Front row, center, pit seats. The most intimate and amazing NY concert of my life. At the risk of repeating some of the highlights already written about already, here goes: Neil walked on stage with a wave to the audience and then sat down to play an acoustic 'Hey Hey My My' - I literally cried - then he followed by the rare live gem, 'Tell Me Why.'

I think 7 news songs played overall; and they are all amazing and instant classics. How does this guy keep doing it? Magical! And a common theme through them all, along with the tone of the set list: love and war, planet wars, mortality. Only Neil could write about loss ('You Never Call') that has you laughing out loud (also - when Neil sings of Ben in the song, he is singing of LA Johnson's son - not his own.)

'Peaceful Valley' blew my mind. BTW - anyone know who Leia is, the child he sings of in the uncharacteristically sweet piano ditty? And yes, it was amazing that Neil started a clap along to Cinnamon Girl. I was also thrilled to hear Ohio and 'After the Gold Rush' on organ and harmonica rather than piano. He moved between 3 acoustic guitars, at least two electric guitars, the organ, upright and grand pianos. He didn't speak much to the audience but he didn't need to.

I did want to punch in the face the idiotic woman behind me who blathered on the whole show, giving a running commentary on her life with each song and loudly and incessantly complaining about how bored she was through the opening act (who was tremendous by the way!) The woman next to me said 'she's about to give me a nervous breakdown.' My husband kept turning around and shushing her to no avail. I can't believe the people next to her didn't just strangle her. Seriously - there are too many people in the world.

But I digress...I wondered what to expect for an encore based on the complaints posted on this site on previous nights. But Neil came back out and sang three songs - as mentioned, two classics - 'Old Man,' 'HOG' and then the emotionally charged 'Walk with Me.' In fact, I'd say Neil was emotionally charged every song. He seemed to hit every syllable in every lyric deliberately. You can see on his face how deeply he FEELS about the things he sings about. Sometimes it's like pure pain. I love that passion.

From our front row seats, there were times when i could have reached out and touched him - he would move forward playing Old Black within feet of the audience. My husband and I both commented that we made eye contact with him on numerous occasions, which was fun of course! Aside from the rude dimwit behind us chatting away mindlessly all concert long, the audience around us was reverential - NOT yelling anything out, but enthusiastically clapping and seeming to understand collectively as NY fans we were witnessing something truly special. (And i thought nothing could top the first Greendale concert i saw, before the LP was out and not knowing much in advance of the music - that blew my mind.)

But this night, the songs chosen, the conscienceless way in which they were sung, was an amazing moment in life. Since Neil Young's music is about as close as i get to organized religion, i guess I'd say this was a near religious experience for me :) To top it off, we nabbed one of Neil's guitar picks from a roadie on the way out. THANK YOU NEIL, for an amazing night of passionate and heart felt music!

-Tamara in Montana

Thank you Tamara! Great review.

More Neil Young concert reviews of Reno, Nevada, July 17, 2010. Also, see all of Neil Young's "Twisted Road" Concert Tour Reviews.

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At 7/22/2010 01:14:00 PM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

I love the passion you have Tamara!! And even though you say that you're not into organized religion, that certainly doesn't exclude you from experiencing God, or what Neil and the Native Americans have referred to as the Great Spirit.

I'm confident that Neil is well aware of a power much greater than ourselves that is somehow touching all of our lives. Look at just the most recent albums. 'When God Made Me' from Prairie Wind. 'The Way' from Chrome Dreams II. 'Spirit Road'.

As much as I completely love and adore Neil's music, I would never go so far as to think that he is God. It's blatantly obvious that Neil sees what hopefully we all eventually see...that there is indeed a God and it's up to us to seek Him/It out.

Awesome review, Tamara.

At 7/22/2010 04:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was that the chick with the guy who had on the big cowboy hat and fake Sheriffs badge.I was behind them 2 rows and she was freaking out after the show because she could'nt believe he did not do Southern Man.What an ass

At 7/22/2010 06:29:00 PM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

No - that wasn't Tamara I'm sure. Most likely it was your future ex-wife.

At 7/22/2010 10:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful review. Will be attending the 2 Winnipeg shows next week and am so excited.

At 7/23/2010 12:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnathan, for someone that only visits "occasionally" you've certainly got a lot to say.

At 7/23/2010 12:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hitchhiked from Olympia WA to Big Sur in the late 80's with my college roommate. We went to The Catalyst in Santa Cruz to hear Neil Young and The Ducks, but after some hope, got turned back (we were 19 and it was a 21 state). Anyway, redemption at the Seattle 2010 show! I've lived so many concerts since the 70's, but this one is at the top of my list. My spirits were hugely lifted for days. Neil was simply unbelievably great, and I could tell he tours for love alone. Thank you Neil! - Bob

At 7/23/2010 12:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was the late 1970s, not 80's (sorry, twitchy fingers) ;)

At 7/26/2010 01:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A quick reply - Yes the crazy woman who would not shut up was indeed with the guy wearing the cowboy hat and fake sheriff's bag. I could even hear him saying "shh, shh" to her a few times, like when she was bragging MID SONG "I got divorced to this song!"

To go out on a limb here while still on my Neil concert high...I was flipping through the biography "Shakey" today and read how he lashed out at audiences back on the"Tonight's the Night" tour - telling them to shut the F up and if they want to hear themselves talk, they should stay the hell at home. So I have to wonder, the noisy chick behind me being the exception, if Neil did a three song encore on the 17th (unlike just one final song at nearly every show so far the "Twisted Road" tour) due to the fact the audience in general was NOT yelling out requests at him. Just wondering..

Also Jonathan - BTW, i do believe in God, just not organized religion. And while I don't believe Neil is God (though he DID look like Jesus in the 70's) - his music has made the good times in my life even better and the bad times bareable :)


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