Neil Young's Setlist Variation
Song Grid Chart - 2nd Leg of Neil Young's Twisted Road Tour
by Sugar Mountain
Much is often made about Neil Young's setlist variation -- as in there is very little variation whatsoever from night to night.
There are some who feel that for the price they paid for a ticket, that the sets should vary more from night to night. Although this seems to matter only to those who attend more than one show. Which makes it odd given that they have a problem with the ticket price but yet attend multiple nights?
Anyways. All of this brings us to the Neil Young Comment of the Moment from the Neil Young concert reviews of Oakland, CA, July 11, 12 & 14, 2010 by -- the oh so delightfully handled -- ShittyHorse, who said...
The world has truly changed thanks to the Internet.
I'm sure Neil never thought his set lists would be compared to each other nightly, but he's certainly aware of this fact now and maybe this is his reaction to that. If you notice, since 1999 hes pretty much stuck to the same set lists (not that he didn't before but there was a little more variation). I think a live performer is kinda screwed by this because people are watching for variation and for rarities to be played. I like looking at set lists as much as the next fan but really, what is to be gained? Its not like you can be at every show. Say Neil decided to play half of tonight's the night at the show after the one you just went to? Wouldn't you feel a bit burned? But we complain that he plays the the same set list every night. Its a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't.
As far as playing new songs?
Come on now... Are we REALLY STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS? Its such a ridiculous statement to say "Neil is playing too many NEW songs! What? Listen, I'm not a fan of music that is popular today. I'm just not. And yes I put on the Beatles, Hendrix, even Devo and the Replacements, from time to time, but that doesn't mean I don't LOVE hearing new songs from an artist I love. Who doesn't like fresh music? Christ, songs played on the radio today are completely forgotten in a month so obviously most people like new music too.
Neil is still ALIVE man. He's still a musician, He's not some pale imitation of his 24 year old self! Neil grows, Neil changes, He challenges. I think Neil refuses to acknowledge that his best days are behind him, and I agree with that sentiment. We should all have that attitude about ourselves and stop trying to relive a mythologized youth.
Neil is a writer, first and foremost! Without his song writing abilities he wouldn't be NEIL YOUNG as we know him. Like AG says this is what Neil has always done, and I am damn glad for it. He's right...go see a retro act if that's your bag.
Neil is still writing great songs, and they will be classics in a few years. I think the day Neil stops writing new songs and performing them is the day he hangs up Old Black and sits back and relaxes with Pegi on the ranch for the rest of his days. As fans, lets hope it never happens.
I love Neil's old songs....the classic albums. I also love his 90's stuff. His 80's stuff, I knew it all well, but its only now that I'm starting to really get what he was doing. I'm into it. Neil's stuff from the 80's is among a very small, select amount of music from that decade that doesn't sound dated now, no matter how much synth he used. The more music Neil makes the better.
I'm sure there will be years to come of more music to love, either right now in the moment, when its fresh or years later, you can re-discover some great tune and finally get it. In my opinion, when all is said and done, it will never be enough. I hope Neil is still rockin' out writing new tunes and confounding fans well into his 90s.
Rock on NEIL!
"Ain't a day goes by I don't burn a little bit of my soul"
And -- as we mentioned in our review -- the setlist itself tells a story and revolves around a theme, therefore to tamper with the mix and flow would be to alter the message itself. As Stringman noted, this tour is an "opera".
More reviews from Neil Young's "Twisted Road" Concert Tour.
Photo by Ed S.