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Friday, July 30, 2010

Neil Young Concert Reviews - Milwaukee, WI July 29, 2010

38 second capsule review by the Rock and Roll Guru.

Neil Young will be performing tonight at the Riverside Theater, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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.


At 7/31/2010 02:01:00 AM, Blogger annette said...

neil tonight in what a show. out of 20 or so shows I've seen, this was among the best of the best. first of all, neil solo is always a special experience, but tonight...the mix of old and new was so well blended. Very interested in the new stuff. had some guitar work reminiscent of his genius deadman soundtrack. the old was reliably wonderful...special treat was
"I believe in You" which I don't believe I've ever heard live before. I was brought to tears...actually streaming down my face. the whole night was pretty emotional. You could really feel the tremendous weight of the loss of his friend and fellow musical genius, Ben Keith. He moved heavily...didn't interact much. I really, really felt his sadness. But felt glad to "be there" for him in the sense that he connects with his audience and although there were the regular yahoos, I think he knew there were a bunch of us out there that knew what he was going through and were trying to convey our support. Another chapter on the neil train...sad that it happened but felt fortunate to be able to experience it with him.

the song leia (sp?); is he a grandaddy? sounded like a grandad song.

His voice was more pure and clear than I've heard it in years. he seemed really good. very sad but SO good.

how lucky we are that he needs to keep playing as much as we need him to keep playing. great crowd tonight! felt like a bunch of old friends...and their kids and some grandkids!

The tickets were WAY expensive....what's up with that by the way? do the venues call the prices? I paid $175 for the second best seats. I'm broke as hell but I can't miss Neil for anything; And OH was it worth it! but still, I'm curious about who sets the prices.

SO not an issue though. tonight was amazing. thank you, neil.

At 7/31/2010 02:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got home from show at Riverside Theatre. Same setlist again. Theatre was very warm and the roadies brought out a box fan and moved it around wherever Neil was playing, underneath the grand piano, on the side of the upright piano. One fellow in the third row kept yelling out for "Lost in Space" and Neil looked in his direction and said "i'll get to that." Later after again yelling out for the song, Neil replied " I'll get a shovel for you." Otherwise a great intense show. Peace and love.
Jim O

At 7/31/2010 02:35:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@Jim O - I think it was "I'll get a shuttle for you". Yeah that dude was lost in space, alright.

At 7/31/2010 11:20:00 AM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

I dig the guy in the video. He's almost as excited as the double rainbow guy.

At 7/31/2010 01:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am so glad he blasted us with the eclectic mix ...... sorry for the needy ass hecklers starved for attention...... cell phone pic takers too wtf !!! njoyed all the music with the force and talents of Neil .........thanks !

At 7/31/2010 01:57:00 PM, Anonymous hardware said...

I expected a lot - 2 seats in the 22nd row were $340 with fees - and Neil delivered. Two negative comments though - I honestly couldn't understand more than 10 words out of ALL of the songs Jansch played - and neither could almost everyone else I spoke with afterwards. I would certainly have preferred hearing Neil play another 5-6 songs over Jansch opening act. Secondly, there were a half-dozen or so jerks in the audience who kept yelling "Neil" during songs or shouting out their wishes for his next song (one guy 15 feet to my left started yelling "Cinnamon Girl" after Neils FIRST song - what a ja#ka@@. Still a few others felt it necessary to sing along with any Neil song they knew - this ain't karoke kiddos! I wish the Venue management would address courtesy issues before a show starts - it's obviously something that's needed.

At 7/31/2010 02:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hardware -

how would you suggest Venue Management address "courtesy issues" before a show starts?

"Hey Mr. Consumer - if you yell out a song request during the show we'll boot you from the building!"

Yea, that will work.

While people screaming song requests may be annoying at times, there's simply nothing that can be done about it.

Cough Up the Bucks!

Johnny Rocket!

At 7/31/2010 03:26:00 PM, Anonymous Thos said...

Hi Johnny Rocket.

Positive comment as always.

In fact what hadware is suggesting isn't unreasonable at all.

In Britain people are frequently removed from theatres for allowing their mobile/cell phones to ring during an opera or piece of theatre, sometimes because the performers themselves demand it. See:

People pay a lot of money to see trained professionals perform. Part of the magic of theatre is that actors create - and bring the audience into - a 'world' where people forget they are seeing an actor/singer on stage, and become immersed in the story and its characters.

I would argue that Neil Young frequently does a similar thing in his live performances, through a sublime mix of vivid lyrical imagery and inspired musical accompaniment. He takes the audience on a mental journey which (particularly from the similarity of his recent setlists) is clearly planned out in advance, and can almost be considered a song-cycle.

I personally think that Neil Young - whilst different - is equally as talented as any West End or Brodaway actor, and I imagine that some twat shouting all the way through his carefully planned performance must be about the most annoying thing in the world.

Secondly, I think that the audience suffers, as the aforementioned twat disrupts/ruins the mental 'world' that Neil Young has woven for them with his songs. Suddenly the audience are brought crashing back to earth by some idiot who wants to repeatedly shout out the name of the man performing on stage - like a tiny child who has just learned to say 'Mama', except that the child has a good excuse.

We ask people to turn off their phones at the theatre, and even the cinema where there aren't even any live performers to piss off, so it is completely reasonable that we should ask people not to shout out during songs at an intimate gig.

It's a different matter when the Crazy Horse play a faceless arena at hundreds of decibels, but this is different, and if I were Neil Young, or indeed an audience member at a solo gig where the person next to me kept shouting out, I wouldn't stand for it at all.

Best wishes,

At 7/31/2010 03:39:00 PM, Anonymous hardware said...

Amen brother! Couldn't have said it any better.

At 7/31/2010 04:45:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

There is a common courtesy here in the states as well, during intimate acoustic performances. It's well understood that you're supposed to shut the hell up and quiety, respectfully pay attention to the performer.

At least, that's supposed to be the generally understood thing.

But with Neil, there will always be some drunk heckler, because the kind of people who like to get drunk and rock out to Crazy Horse shows don't understand the subtle nuances of intimate folk music affairs, OR the unwritten rules of such affairs.

The fact that the guy was screaming Cinnamon Girl says it all. Nobody is going to drunkenly yell out, "Four Strong Winds, MAANN!!" Because the people who want to hear Four Strong Winds have been to many folk concerts and they know you're supposed to be quiet and respectful.

A lot of different people go see Neil.

So in a more pure folkie crowd at folkie shows it'd be a different, likely more respectful scene.

At 7/31/2010 05:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


when people sign up for a Neil Young show, they're not signing up for an "opera or piece of theater."

Neil Young is a rock&roll star - people are going to scream out song requests.

How do you suggest you ban them?

Let me tell you, if Neil Young enacted a policy that he started kicking out fans for screaming "Heart of Gold," "Cinnamon Girl" or "Old Man" in between songs he'd get laughed out of the industry.

I've been annoyed by plenty of fans as well during concerts.....but they have a right to scream while some are quiet, to stand while some sit, to sing-a-long while others keep their mouth shut.

It's with it.

Cough Up The Bucks!

Johnny Rocket!

At 7/31/2010 05:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the concert last night at the Riverside, and while I went to see Neil Young the singer/songwriter/icon, I got Neil Young the performer. And what a performance it was! From the first notes of "My, My, Hey, Hey" there wasn't a buzzed note, a crack in the voice, or a squeaky harp note. The performances were pristine. Many were pared down; especially "Down By the River" -- it didn't have a single extraneous note either on the guitar or vocally. And the songs were clearly arranged in suites. The sound system was perfect. I could understand every word of every new song, and was therefore able to get into them and enjoy them.

"Cortez" was surreal, and it was almost a relief to get the rhythmic momentum of "Cinnamon Girl" immediately following.

On this tour, Neil put his chops on display. It was a very impressive performance; album perfect, as it were. I hadn't expected that live. The concert was a treat, and I'm still abuzz a day later.

As for the audience, I don't think Mr. Young needs us to encourage him at the beginning of songs anymore. But the crowd wasn't too bad. When people in my section sang along to "Old Man," they showed their respect by almost whispering the lyrics along with Neil.

Kudos to my kids for buying me the ticket!

Montana Pete.

At 7/31/2010 07:02:00 PM, Anonymous Thos said...

Hi Johnny R.

Thanks for your response, a number of points from me.

Firstly, my rant was particularly against people who shout out DURING songs, as was apparently happening last night. As far as I'm concerned there is no justification for that in any intimate setting.

Secondly, Matthew has a good point about common courtesy - it is about context. You have to be a real prick to shout and scream during an acoustic song, or during a song which clearly has a strong emotional resonance with the performer.

If - as has been suggested - these new songs are Neil Young singing about his late friend whom he misses, then it is just thoughtless to shout through it.

Thirdly, you say Neil is a 'Rock&roll star', but that is simplifying things too much. His most famous work, and the songs that seem to be requested by drunk/idiot fans the most, are the more folky/country songs from his ATGR/Harvest period. That's not to say he isn't a great rock and roller - he is the very best - but you can't classify Neil Young as simply rock and roll, and nor should his audience.

Fourthly, you talk about the 'right' of a fan to scream and shout inappropriately, but I would argue that in an intimate setting where this behaviour is intrusive and cannot be ignored, the rights of the majority should be prioritised, and the heckler ought to be asked to quieten down or face removal. That seems reasonable to me.

And fifthly, although I don't believe it in my heart and have just made four points against it, I can actually see where Johnny Rocket is coming from to a certain extent! His sarcastic quote 'cough up the bucks' points to a new type of fan, who feels that they have invested so much money in a performer or act that they should get a greater say in how that person behaves; thus the idea of the audience-goers 'right' to behave how they like.

Whilst not an idea I agree with particularly, seats at these concerts do appear to have been particularly expensive, and in the same way that you expect more luxury when you pay more money for a hotel room, maybe people are turning up to expensive gigs with an expectation that they should get exactly what they want from it?

Whilst this shows a true lack of understanding of the nature of great art, and how it functions by challenging the expectations and prejudices of the viewer/listener/recipient/(consumer?), I can see where this train of thought comes from, and so I pose the question:

If the gigs were cheaper, would there be LESS heckling and complaints that certain songs hadn't been played?
Or, would the ratio of hardcore fans to 'fairweather fans' be worse, leading to even MORE calling out at an intimate gig?



At 7/31/2010 09:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO one really has a right to shout out and ruin performances for other concert goers, it is an unfortunate reality that so many people feel it is so.. its all about respecting the performance the audience the show .
They should go to the crazy horse shows and scream until they bleed .
At least save it for in between songs.
A lot more respect for everyone eh !
I was surprised Neil said nothing to quite the obnoxious few drunken slobs...He was in his element and tuned into his muse thanks again Neil. Did anyone do a setlist somewhere ?

At 7/31/2010 11:14:00 PM, Anonymous straygator said...

me and a friend of mine have been going to neil shows for last 25 years and have gone to 25+ shows together we are both married and have kids now and don't get to have as much fun as we once did years ago we drove 3 hours to the show in Milwaukee with no tickets we bought out in front at face from some real nice people that wanted there extra 2 tickets to go to some real neil fans because they would be sitting with us. I joked with the people before the show that they might be sorry because we can get a little loud at times. So we saw another great show and did have a few drink and a few shout out between songs (never yelled Cinnamon Girl or any other request but if I was going to, four winds would have been way better then standard neil cinnamon girl) so after the show we laught with are new freinds about how good of a time we had.Today I read all this stuff about how people yelling might have taken away from the show. I have seen all types of neil show from solo to crazy horse and beleive neil loves his fans loud and quite,who would not want there name yelled out in joy of the music he has made. I respect him in many ways and as long as neil keeps playing, me and buddy will be there with afew drinks and a few respectfull yell outs. these are some of the best time of my life with a old friend. As you get older they are hader to find. thanks neil for all the great times and sorry about Ben P.S. you prudes shoud have seen after at the strip club(don't tell the wives)

At 7/31/2010 11:27:00 PM, Anonymous straygator said...

Four Strong Winds not four winds that is a casino i like to go to

At 8/01/2010 12:04:00 AM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run said...

@Annette ... I think Jill interpreted "Leia" a song about a soldier thinking about his child at home.

About the "shouting," personally, I think people are well behaved at concerts these days even at the
bigger outdoor venues where nobody ever stays in their seats!

Part of the groove for me being at a small intimate indoor venue is "anticipating" what the artist is going to do so it kinda disrupts my groove when somebody yells out a request.

There are times I almost jump out of my seat like a high voltage jolt!

But there's always one or two no matter who you see. It's part of the human package deal of some people being unpredictable and needy.

But I'll get over that and the heckling at the strip joints, too.

At 8/01/2010 09:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is one of the better Neil/Ben videos out there on YouTube....


Cough Up The Bucks!

Johnny Rocket!

At 8/01/2010 09:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thos, I really enjoyed reading your post, it was a balanced viewpoint.

Thats what it is all about isn't it expressing your point of view.

Even your approach in understanding where Johnny "cough up the Bucks" Rocket is coming from was handled nicely.

Its great to see people's opinion's, be it positive, negative, inane or innocuous being embraced and not castigated.

just my opinion

At 8/01/2010 10:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnny R ..just watched your link to Neil with Ben and poncho on youtube

Just how many clips ARE there of Neil?
Opened the link to Neil doin' an acoustic version of Rockin' in the free World 1989 New York ( after watching your link)highlighted .

What is intriging9but not surprising is Neil's encouragement for the audience to voice the chorus Near the that WAS appropriate I thoght it really added to that anthemic atmosphere of the song..different concert ,different mood..and that 's what it IS all about respecting the artist mood he is creating for that specific gig..i don't think Neil's current solo acoustic ,with its theme is conducive of singalongs otherwise I think Neil would encourage it himself he he felt appropriate..respect is what its all Thos said scream and shout your appreciation between songs ,especially if he is changin instruments or pausing..but then sit back into the pin drop silence that this concert them deserves...

Its also great when getting a good recording of this concert for future live albums, hey!

just my opinion

At 8/01/2010 06:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Mother Nature on the Run and @ Annette - thanks, yes, what I said was that I wondered whether the Leia in the song could be the same Leia as was discussed here on TW a few weeks ago after the first Twisted Road concert was aired back in May, with reference to an article from last year about a soldier who hadn`t made it back from the war in Iraq. He had a baby called Leia and had expressed a wish to hold her before he died and was pictured with a photo of her on his chest. Can`t find the discussion back in May but I`ve found a link to the story from last year : -

Of course that`s sheer supposition and may well be total coincidence! But it would fit with the poignancy of the song and also with the words from Love and War, (`They tried to tell them and they tried to explain why daddy won`t ever come home again`) I also said that I thought the song played a part in the themes of life, love, death, and mortality in that while Neil is mourning a beloved friend (and now sadly another) Leia represents new life, a new generation coming along , still innocent of all that`s to come.


Talking about concert etiquette I saw Mark Knopfler in concert a couple of months ago (in Bounemouth, UK) and was surprised when we were told before he came on stage that Mark had requested no photos as the camera flashes would be offputting. The audience were almost totally compliant with this out of respect and I have to say were very well behaved. He gave a brilliant performance by the way, despite having a bad back so he said, and we had a full two hours plus an encore of three songs. Needless to say I`d rather see Neil for 40 mins but there you are, you can`t have everything. My point is that I think it`s quite reasonable for an artist to lay down expectations of a standard of behavior. Hope that makes sense, I`m tired and the screen is starting to blur!


At 8/01/2010 11:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

See the encore (ten minutes):

At 8/03/2010 07:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the Leia thing, which keeps coming up, here's what Archives Guy had to say in response to a question over on Rust List whether she was L.A. Johnson's granddaughter:

Re: Leia

Not his, not Neil's, not the Vet's kids...

As mentioned in concert (some nights) she is a young friend.

At 8/03/2010 01:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ anon 07.05 am - thanks for that info. I missed that comment on the Rust List.


At 8/04/2010 10:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,Saw Neil + Company in Milwaukee Last Friday..Bert Jansch opened + I was amazed by his guitar playing-very full sounding chords,classic songs presented to us in a way we all could really appreciate...I'd likr to Thank Neil + Company for the Best Show I've seen in years..My Son's bought Me a seat w/them in the Fourth Row-almost Center!.I was impressed by Neil's choice of Songs especially Cortez + Walk w/ Me-I'd like to see that Song on the New Album.Had a chance to say Thanks to one of the Crew taking down the Camera in the back of the Hall..Came from Oshkosh for the Concert.Come Back soon Neil..Peace RJ


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