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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Neil Young Concert Reviews - Minneapolis, July 29, 2010

- A scattered Neil Young at Northrop Auditorium 07/29/2010 - Minneapolis / St. Paul Music - Gimme Noise by Rob Van Alstyne:
Unfortunately the proceedings came grinding to a halt once more when Young decided to deconstruct one of his best-loved tunes, 'Cortez the Killer,' into a fractured and glacial tone poem. It's the kind of daring move Young fanatics routinely cite as what makes Young cool - and it probably would have been if it had come within the context of a sharper show featuring a stronger set of songs. Nearing the close of this particular night, it just came off as sloppy.

"Deconstructed"? Agree. "Sloppy"? Hardly.

Concert review: Minneapolis, MN. 7/29 - Trying to See (and Hear) Neil Young Posted by Rhonda Hayes
Concert review: Minneapolis, MN. 7/29 - Neil Young at Northrop: Moody and melancholy Posted by Jon Bream
Concert review: Minneapolis, MN. 7/29 Restless, wistful Young is wonderful By JON BREAM, Star Tribune

Thanks - Neil Young links - reconnecting thoughts and actions!

Neil Young will be performing tonight at the Northrop Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 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 7/30/2010 01:28:00 AM, Anonymous David Skoglund said...

Standard setlist again tonight.

1. My My, Hey Hey
2. Tell Me Why
3. Helpless
4. You Never Call
5. Peaceful Valley
6. Love And War
7. Down By The River
8. Hitchhiker
9. Ohio
10. Sign Of Love
11. Leia
12. After The Gold Rush
13. I Believe In You
14. Rumblin'
15. Cortez The Killer
16. Cinnamon Girl
17. Old Man
18. Walk With Me

Great show though! Too many thoughts running around in my head at the moment. I'll comment later.

At 7/30/2010 02:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Over the 14 times I have seen this guy play solo and with bands. I have seen him do a duet or two with Emmie Lou Harris. I have seen Neil with his favorite bluesy soul band Crazy Horse and I have seen him with the International Harvesters,Pearl Jam, CSN and with Willie at Farm Aid, among others. Ben Keith was on stage during a few shows as well and will be missed. I thought of Ben when Neil dedicated Old Man to him tonight. Neil played the shit out of that song for Ben!! I was 9 rows back from the stage and, he charmed me with his demeanor of slyness and silent wit. Neil rocked my world and the other 4799 fans at The Northrop in Minneapolis with an erie sound full of love and vigor. I felt in tune with Neil tonight. "Tonight was the Night", Neil. Thanks once again bud for the awesome show!

Tom Koop in Minneapolis

At 7/30/2010 08:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw Neil last evening for the first time, although I've been wanting to see him for a long time. Awesome show, great mix of new and old songs. Highlights of the night for me were a powerful performance of "Ohio", a very unique version of "Cortez the Killer", and "Peaceful Valley", which is simply mesmerizing. He spoke only a few times during the set, dedicating "Old Man" to Ben Keith, and introducing "Leia" as "a song for all the little people". I could have listened to him play all night.....

At 7/30/2010 09:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

News about the new album:

At 7/30/2010 09:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I am sure that some Neil Young Diehards will take offense to this because he can do no wrong in their eyes...but I was somewhat disappointed with the show. There were some great moments including a great three opening songs highlighted by a great version of "Helpless." Some of the new songs were also winners (Love and War and Hitchhiker). Overall though Neil just looked tired and worn down (end of the tour, Ben's death could all be factors). His usual energy in the dozen or so previous concerts I have seen of his, just wasn't there. His 1999 solo tour had much more energy. I thought Cortez and ATGR were major disappointments-turning passionate songs into cream puffs. Leia and Sign of Love were not good at all. Even though it was a mixed bag concert for me it was still a treat to see Neil. Keep on Rockin!

At 7/30/2010 09:37:00 AM, Blogger anon said...

Dad and I are on our way to Milwaukee. I am so excited! Zach

At 7/30/2010 10:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get it now.

Neil exceeded my expectations last night. Maybe I had tampered them down somewhat, based a lot on what I had read here. But Neil delivered and seeing the show made me realize more than ever what he is doing - these are his temporal statements of who he is and what his art is at this particular moment. He is the past (his older catalog), he is a reinterpretation of his greatest pieces (but not a complete recreation like Dylan), and he is about his new stuff - his new songs, juxtaposed with his life's work and placed into context.

A lot a talk here about an unvarying set list (his set lists have been thus for several tours). The list is crafted as part of the whole canvas. One cannot take out one side of a picture frame and expect it to stand. I thought the set list was great. And as for the length of the show - just right. Did I want more - of course! Did I need more - no.

I am most excited about the new songs! They are, mostly, great! You Never Call is both heartfelt and witty. Love and War is terrific - reminded me a bit of Natural Beauty, especially how it was delivered. I was struck by the line "I sang out for justice but hit a wrong chord". Walk With Me is also a very strong song and I could really see it soaring if given a No Hidden Path type treatmen. I am REALLY looking forward to the new album. Neil, IMHO, has gotten his groove back w/r to song writing.

Part 1

Old Black

At 7/30/2010 10:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to note a few things about his rig set up (as I am a Neil techno-geek). He had four tweed amps in play last night - two wide panel Deluxes (5e3's), a narrow panel Deluxe, and either a low-powered or high-powered Tweed Twin. No whizzers, no red foot control box. One wide panel and the narrow panel appeared to be for the Falcon mostly - to handle the split coils signals from the stereo Filtron pickups. Both wide panels appeared to be in play for Old Black and I believe he was using the Twin for the higher strings on the pickup-equipped Guild. I think the Guild pickup must be special wound like the Filtron to split the high and low strings because he was getting such a big sound out of the bass strings. GREAT NEW TONE ON THE GUILD!

What I thought was really cool was the use of one of the amps (I'm guessing one of the wide panel Deluxes)as a "bass boost" on some notes from Black. For example, on Cortez, he would step on a foot switch (probably a momentary switch)as he hit a bass note and activate the amp, EQed to the bass side. This would give him this huge, rumbling bass note. Very cool idea and very simple - an A/B/Y approach to getting bass without a bass player and it was quite dramatic.

He also employed a swirling effect (he has a rack-mounted effects rack behind the amps on this tour) that sounded like the wind that he would use on some songs to great effect. Very cool atmospherics. Probably uses an envelope filter along with some other effects. He is really working on getting a full sound from a single-performer show. Love the fact that he doesn't feel the need to be dogmatic to his gear - just respectful.

Part II

Old Black

At 7/30/2010 10:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another thing to note - some of the new songs (Walk With Me, for example) are written for the White Falcon. The Falcon had great prominance last night in the show - probably the most use on new songs since Harvest. The guitar has great joo-joo.

Neil is treating the show as a set piece, very much like he did on the Chorme Dreams II tour. It is his workshop and gallery. Similar to the Chrome Dreams II tour, he does this little schtick between some songs where he appears to be contemplating which "tool" or "brush" to pickup next (when we know the set list is in stone). It is performance. If you don't get that, you are really missing the whole point.

I though he was connecting very well with the audience, who was terrific and very respectful. Thanks fellow Minnesotans for not shouting out songs. Some who talk about how he has little or no chit chat between songs are really out to lunch - that is not the only way you connect and acknowledge your audience.

Was he tired? I saw no evidence of it. I saw a tremendous amount of energy on display. Before Old Man, he dedicated the song to his "brother Ben Keith". He came out for the encore with his harp and I thought he might do Heart of Gold. But the mic(s) on the harp rig were used, in part, for vocals during the final song (Walk With Me). The last few lines on Walk With Me used a long vocal delay effect that was kind of cool.

I was struck by how fantastic his voice sounded. He may have lost a few notes in the highest register but his pitch control and vocal expression are very strong. Incredibly strong, in fact. Sublime comes to mind - especially on Tell Me Why and I Believe in You.

Hitchhiker - clearly a high point for many. Great song, great autobiography. Hope he includes it finally on the upcoming album but if he doesn't, that would be fine. His strongest peformance of the evening was probably Ohio - very well done.

The guitar playing on the Guild on some of the new songs is inspired. I think it may be some of his best acoustic work in many years, if not ever. I couldn't help but draw comparisons with Bert Jansch's style. But Neil's style is incredibly personal. So much different from 30 years ago.

I could say more, but I'll stop. Suffice it to say, I got my money's worth and then some. If you admire and enjoy Neil Young, you don't want to miss this tour - it's Neil Young in all his glory - vibrant, in the moment, and relevant.

Old Black

At 7/30/2010 03:11:00 PM, Blogger That One Chick You Know said...


I was stuck in my chair transfixed on the music.

Not knowing much about the guy prior to going to the concert due to free tickets, I'm a fan for life.


At 7/30/2010 04:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"a fan for life" thats what i like to hear!!

I luv when people are converted for the first time!

Welcome to the wonderful,unpredictable, frustrating,awe inspiring some times baffling, but never dull world of Neil Young!!

just my opinion

At 7/30/2010 04:17:00 PM, Anonymous stephendahl said...

What would it have been like to see Neil Young for the first time last night (like One Chick You Know...) that would have blown me away.

He was the Cheshire Cat again last night. He does not blab to the auidience but he does connect and acknowledge us.

When I listen to my archives disks I am taken back to the time when Neil was chatty and apparently quite high while giving long verbal intro's to the songs. maybe it was cool back then but I am glad he matured with the rest of us.

Steve Dahl

check me out-
rustedstevie on youtube

At 7/30/2010 11:37:00 PM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run said...

Real rock-n-roll emerges out of that bizarre human need to work through suffering from human turmoil and loss. (Joni did all the while after giving up her own daughter for so long.)

Ya know, it never once occurred to me that every time I saw her play, she was living through a living hell of remorse and loss and maybe even feeling like a failure.

I couldn't imagine watching a person perform under so much emotional duress. I couldn't imagine going to a concert and watching Neil perform right now but hasn't he been doing this most his life?

I saw him a few times performing when his life was absolutely falling apart.

Thank God for rock-n-roll!

At 8/03/2010 04:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess that I just don't quite get it. Look, I've been heavily into Neil since Comes a Time was released. Why is that folks just cannot be critical of our hero?

I was at the Northrup show and thought that it was mediocre at best. Sure there were some moments of brilliance (Tell Me Why, Cortez, I Believe in You) but man I thought that the new songs were just horrible. C'mon folks, you cannot possibly think that Leia is kind to your ears coming out of Neil!

I've seen him close to 20 times now since 1982 and this was one of his weakest shows for me in terms of content not execution. What happened to his songwriting craft?


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