Neil Young's new release ""World Record" w/ Crazy Horse is now available for pre-order. Order here
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link or YOUR COUNTRY's FLAG. Thank you!!!)
<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Comment of the Moment: "The beauty of silence at a Neil Young Concert"

Neil Young @ Riverside Theater, Milwaukee, WI - July 30, 2010
Photo Gallery by CJ Foeckler | Facebook

There's been a bit of commentary during the past tour legs regarding Neil Young's interaction with the audience. Or -- more to the point - the lack thereof aside from the music itself. Which, of course, is perfectly OK by many.

Which brings us to the Comment of the Moment from a review "The beauty of silence” - Neil Young in Minneapolis where the blogger just marveled at how wonderous it all truly was. Whereupon Mr Henry responded:
During the Greendale tour, Neil had a lot to say between least when he first started this tour. It was great to just sit back and listen to him set the table for each song, then listen to the songs and watch the show.

By the time the Greendale tour was winding down, he pretty much just let the songs and the performances speak for themselves. The last time I saw Greendale, Neil's introduction was 'These songs used to be new, and now they're not'. Start to finish, lasted only about 90 minutes; first time I saw Greendale, was around 2 1/2 hours. So we must have had about an hour of hearing Neil describe his songs and what they meant. That's probably as much as I've heard in all of the other shows I've seen combined...which is what made it so incredibly unique and beautiful.

The tradeoff was in the encore set, which was brief for the longer Greendale performances and really a whole other set for the shorter ones. So again here, I think that Neil was rewarding his fans, those who were willing to be patient and walk with him through something new. And of course, maybe he felt like he's already said what he needed to and was feeling to urge to move on.

I do know that when he is talkative before a song (on those rare occasions), it is very meaningful and poignant (e.g. intro to Daddy Went Walking at Farm Aid '99; Old King intro during '92 solo tour; dedicating Old Man to Ben....). And when he hardly says a word, well he's communicating all he needs to with his voice, guitar and band. And also just with the silences and with his presence and calm.

I saw Steve Earle and Hot Tuna this past Saturday night. Both performances were wonderful, and both had just the right amount of intro and audience talk and interaction. Steve opened with Christmas in Washington and got the audience singing along w/in thirty seconds. He told us about his new son, his nephew's return from Irag, how he hates what's happened in the Gulf...all heartfelt and not a word was extraneous. I had an eye lock with him for about 30 seconds during My Old Friend The Blues...that was some pretty heavy communication too!! During the Hot Tuna set, Jorma mostly did the talking between songs (his voice is still amazing!) and that was kept pretty short and sweet. But the communication between him and Jack Cassidy when they played really said it all, and there were sometimes two other guitars as well (including G.E. Smith) or another guitar and electric mandolin, so they were saying all they needed to there. Jorma did say this was the last show of the tour and he was really psyched to get back to Athens for the Demolition Derby. Oh, and they brought Steve out for the encore...Steve said 'this was a total gas and I would love to do it again' (meaning the tour) to which Jorma replied 'Any time, brother!'.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are some shows in the upcoming third leg of Twisted Road where Neil does talk more. When the time is right, he'll probably talk some about LA and Ben, what they meant to his music and still mean to him. But if he doesn't, then really he's already telling us so much with what he plays and what he doesn't say.

"If you ask me 'Where is the moon?', look where I am pointing, don't look at my finger."
~~Zen Proverb

Thanks Mr. Henry!

More on "The beauty of silence” at a Neil Young concert.


At 9/01/2010 09:32:00 AM, Blogger asg said...

silence is an essential part of every conversation, every melody, every solo a musician ever the song sez--silence is golden...

At 9/01/2010 02:42:00 PM, Blogger Tweck9 said...

Great comment. I wonder, has anyone ever thought of compiling all the pre-song talking in the early Greendale shows and putting it all together?

It'd be great to just hear Neil talking for like an hour about the story of Sun Green, Grandpa, Jed, etc.

At 9/01/2010 08:16:00 PM, Blogger Sandy Horne said...

Right on Matt. When we watched the Greendale DVD, we had Neil's website up on the computer and before each song on the DVD, we would pause it and listen to the intro from the website, then watch the song. It really added to the enjoyment, listening to Neil's storytelling.

Also, I got my copy of Broken Arrow magazine yesterday. They printed a copy of a photo I took of Neil and his dog Carl at the Ryman. Page 29... What a trip to see my picture in that magazine. Also saw a picture of Thrasher and Mr. Henry. Nice to put a face to the name.


At 9/02/2010 04:17:00 AM, Blogger Harm said...

Gillian Welch once said, that she didn't have much to say about her songs, 'cause everything she wanted to say about the song kinda went INTO the song.


Post a Comment

<< Home

<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Willie for a Nobel!

Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
for Farm Aid and his work on
alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.

Farm Aid

Go Farmers Markets!

"In the >field< of opportunity
It's plowin' time again."

Silverline Communications

(Home of the FarmAidians)
Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada
(519) 737-7979

This blog supports free speech!

Demand justice for Aaron:
Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution

(... he didn't kill himself either...) #AaronDidntKillHimself

Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Please Help Support Independent Media &
Non-Corporate Advertising
This Blog's For You!

The Hypocrisy of the Mainstream Media

It's Been Called The
"Missing Link" in the Ditch Trilogy


Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
Join The 10,000+ Who Have Already Signed


Neil Young Appreciation Society

Sugar Mountain

Neil Young Setlists
Rust Radio


Bands Covering Neil Young songs


Official Neil Young News Site

The Bridge School

The Bridge School Concerts
25th Anniversary Edition

**100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

The Essential Neil Young

Fans Favorite Neil Albums

Top 50 MP3
Neil Young Song Downloads

Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today
Support Thrasher's Wheat
via Purchases from:
United States - us.gif
Canada - canada.gif
United Kingdom - gb.gif
Germany - de.gif

Neil Young Songbook Project

In the fields of wheat

"Children of Destiny" will NOT be harvested
However, the chaff will be burned by unquenchable fire

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Europe 2016 Tour Dates

2015 Rebel Content Tour

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
Summer 2013 Europe Tour

Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

Neil Young Films

2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

Features Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and others.
Proceeds from sales go to MusiCares,
which helps musicians in need of
financial and medical assistance.


"There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye"



Neil Young FAQ:
Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
"an indispensable reference"

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

John Lennon and Neil Young

"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
The Supergroup of the 20th Century

Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

Revisiting The Significance of
The Buffalo Springfield

"The revolution will not be televised"
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
The Embarrassment of Mainstream Media

Turn Off Your TV & Have A Life

"Everything Is Bullshit" +
"Turn Off The News"
Turn Off the News (Build a Garden)

Neil Young 2016 Year in Review:
The Year of The Wheat

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

neil & joni
Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

europe 1987.jpg

Bob and Neil

So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?

Four Dead in Ohio
kent state
So What Really Happened at Kent State?

The Four Dead in Ohio

May The FOUR Be With You #MayThe4thBeWithYou


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power!
When Neil Young Speaks Truth To Power,
The World Listens

Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

Wilco and Neil Young


Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young


Elton John and Neil Young

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


The Meaning of "Sweet Home Alabama" Lyrics

Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment

Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young

I'm Proud to Be A Union Man


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up

Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"
Full Disclousre Now

"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize

John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel



Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie"

We're All On
A Journey Through the Past

Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
... and symbolism will be their downfall...

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists

"Children of Destiny" - THE Part of THE Solution

(Frame from Official Music Video)

war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


Show Me A Sign

"Who is John Galt?"
To ask the question is to know the answer

"Whosoever shall give up his liberty for a temporary security
deserves neither liberty nor safety."

~~ Benjamin Franklin


(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul

the zen of neil
the power of rust
the karma of the wheat