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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Concert Reviews of Neil Young - Boston, MA, April 19 & 20, 2011

Neil Young 4/20/11
Wang Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts

Photo by Rich Gastwirt -

From Alone on stage, ageless Young keeps on rocking - The Boston Globe by James Reed:
One of the great pleasures of experiencing Neil Young live is the fact that he’s still a wild card, still hungry to forge ahead. No matter how well you know his songs, it’s never clear how Young, at a restless 65, will interpret them on stage the night you’re hearing him.

Neil Young 4/20/11
Wang Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts

Photo by Rich Gastwirt -

Wang Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Protest Photos 1 | Flickr

Neil Young will be performing tonight at Wang Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts. Special guest Bert Jansch will open concert.

Got a report? Drop a comment below.

Check Sugar Mountain for setlist updates and Chronological Grid, Recording Summary, Statistics and Extras.

Also, see Neil Young's "Twisted Road" Concert Tour Reviews and the right, middle sidebar for continuous real time RSS feed updates.


At 4/20/2011 12:24:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Great set. The electric tunes were the highlight with Cortez the Killer and Ohio really standing out (normally not two of my favorites). Mellow crowd, except for the guy in my row screaming for Heart of Gold (Neil really loves that, right?) and the guy who booed during You Never Call when he sang, "The Red Wings are comin to town" (sorry, that was me). Thanks, Neil.

At 4/20/2011 07:48:00 AM, Blogger HarryO said...

Last night's show was my 7th Twisted Road concert. (I saw the very first show in Albany last year.) Neil was just as genuine and sincere and delivered what may be the best performance I have seen of this material. It helped to be in a very good seat at the gorgeous Wang Center... Neil said 'thanks for coming out to the Music Hall, though I guess it's been renamed, the Kellogg's Corn Flakes Center' or something like that. I can respect the people who have said they won't go see Neil until he changes the setlist, but I was again impressed with the selection and construction of this show... The songs are all chosen for a reason, and they really work as a whole to transport you into Neil's world. I probably would *not* go however, if I could not get decent seats... Full immersion makes it such a powerful experience. If you can afford a ticket in the pit, it is absolutely worth it!

At 4/20/2011 07:53:00 AM, Blogger HarryO said...

PS ... We had an excellent rust-fest at Sweetwater Saloon, a few blocks from the theater, just off of Boylston Street across from the Commons. From 4-7 pm we sang and played guitars (and acoustic bass) in the cellar, to the delight of some fans and staff members. It really helps you get in the mood to see Neil to play with your friends for a few hours before the show... We'll be there again today, come join us!

At 4/20/2011 07:54:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

I second that HarryO - Sunday night in Richmond was absolutely beautiful and I took in the show in a completely different way since I DID know the set list - unlike last year when I went without peeking and without listening to any new songs online. I was in the pit in Richmond - 2nd row and it was worth every penny - 22,600 of them to be precise.

Long live Neil Young!!!!

At 4/20/2011 09:12:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Stellar sound with that amazing voice- still in very fine form...the Picasso of Music...Bernard Shakey.
Jim Price

At 4/20/2011 10:39:00 AM, Anonymous theocean said...

Completely agree that seat location makes a huge difference. For financial reasons, I was stuck in the upper balcony and really wish I could afford to sit elsewhere. The "greatest hits" crowd isn't the group to be stuck with on a tour like this (or for most of Neil's, for that matter) and the tunes on the Falcon didn't seem to carry to the cheap seats as well as the rest of the set list.

That said, I thought it was a good, but not great show. Neil seemed to be feeling it musically but flubbed the lyrics a few times and struggled with his voice at the start of "Tell Me Why." The longer he went, it seemed like the stronger he got (excluding whatever happened during "Hitchhiker"). Standouts for me were:

"Helpless" - absolutely gorgeous. He sounded so vulnerable during this and it was so beautiful that I almost started crying.

"Peaceful Valley" - feel like if this came out 20+ years ago and he played it like a deep cut, people might appreciate it more. Love how the guitar grounds this song.

"Ohio" - not one of my favorites either but he's really got this one working on the Twisted Road (it was great in Worcester too).

"Leia" - simple and touching with some of the most movement to Neil's words in years.

"Cortez" - I don't know if I just wasn't ready for this deconstructed version in Worcester or if it didn't work there (I remember that I thought it meandered too much). Either way, I felt it last night.

"Cinnamon Girl" - between this and DbtR, both of these tunes really get a cool psychedelic twist in the solo electric treatment. CG was the better of the two for me last night.

Hopefully I'll have better neighbors tonight (unlike the slag 2 seats over who talked through the ENTIRE show, mostly about how cool she was for being there) and maybe people shouting out requests will actually know the names of the songs they want to hear (2 for 2 with this happening at the TR shows I've seen, where people are shouting song lyrics instead of titles. Hey, it's not like he's going to play it anyhow but maybe you might want to learn the name of the song you want to hear?).

At 4/20/2011 10:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going to the Providence show Friday night. This will be my third show of this tour. I was at the Hanover in Worcester and the Toyota Center in Connecticut last spring. Is anyone meeting up near the PPAC Friday before the show?
One of eleventhousand

At 4/20/2011 10:54:00 AM, Anonymous theocean said...

I should add that I also enjoyed Bert Jansch (what I could hear - lots of folks just getting to their seats and/or talking during his set). I missed him in Worcester (missed the early train out of Boston) and thought I was never going to have the privilege to hear him play. His guitar lines can be hypnotizing at times... Jackson C Frank is the only other person I've listened to who has a similar (at times) sound.

At 4/20/2011 01:17:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks all for the great reports!

Enjoy night#2 in Boston!

@HarryO - yes, a nice way to warm up for a Neil show. fun.

At 4/20/2011 01:43:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hey. So, I just wanted to let you know that the set list that was released on this blog was the exact one he played! Super glad he opened up with "my my, hey hey." No complaints on my end.

At 4/20/2011 02:16:00 PM, Anonymous Dan said...

Great set indeed. Definitely unique. Loved "Down By the River" with just him and Ol' Black!

At 4/20/2011 07:02:00 PM, Blogger dmayers MO said...

HarryO I could not agree more, buy the best ticket you can afford. My wife and I saw Neil in Nashville last June, 3rd row seats and it was worth every penny. We were there, and I will say it again, "soaking in every note, cord, verse and vibe". Absolutely amazing concert if you go in with an open mind.

At 4/20/2011 08:30:00 PM, Anonymous Billie Burns said...

I must agree with dmayers. Saw Neil and TW in Calgary last July. Warmest nite of the year and absolutely the hottest nite of the year, all at the same moment. I bought the seats best I could afford (over 300$) and will NEVER regret it and I'm not just sayin' that. Am gonna try for Bridge School this year, (cost means nothing if you're like me) as I'm gettin' older much like the man himself. (At some poiunt in your life, you just gotta, come on!...)
Le Noise is, IMHO, the best thing he has released in the past 10 years, and to be fortunate to see it LIVE was a life experience that Neil has designed for all of us to witness. Listen, all shows are sold out by now, especially where I saw him the second time in my life, Massey Hall (first at the Riverboat in Yorkville), but if there is an opportunity to see Neil....JUST GO, you will never experience anything like is otherworldly.
To all those who have been to Omemee.....Kindest blessings
Bill in Calgary

At 4/21/2011 12:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so mad that Neil is very selfish and did not play "Old Man" amognst his other hits. He preaches about the working man and the working man wantd to hear his hits. His finale song was a techno song I never heard of. Does anyone know who to contact to get our money back?

At 4/21/2011 06:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All legs of this tour Neil has played the same set with a few minor exceptions. He is not and never will be a greatist hits performer. This is what makes him the best ever. Go out and buy his greatist hits album. And by the way walk with me is not techno! It isrock-n-roll.

At 4/21/2011 06:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sound like an old man who doesn't l
ike his job. Go see the eagles if u want a greatist hits tour. Stop crying and don't go next time.

At 4/21/2011 08:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@anonymous: you don't understand a thing about art and about Neil.

There's only one reason most of us go to Neils concerts: just because he's selfish and (thank God) doesn't bother about what we want to hear… we would have had 40+ years of Heart Of Gold and Old Man. I don't even wanna think about what we would have missed if that would have been Neils career …
If you want to be the one who decides what music you get to hear > go home and spin some of your records. Don't ever buy a ticket for a Neil show anymore please. There's people who appreciate it more…


At 4/21/2011 09:10:00 AM, Anonymous Julia B. said...

to disappointed anon dude-

So do you demand a refund when your favorite sports team loses a game?


Julia B.

At 4/21/2011 09:19:00 AM, Blogger Surfer Joe said...

I was lucky enough to be on my computer last week at the right time, as I was able to score tickets to the Massey Hall show! People who cry about setlists shouldn't be going to concerts. Stay home, put on your ipod and play Old Man on repeat for the next 40 years.

Anyways, thanks Thrash for posting the Massey update last week. Thanks to you I will be there and can't wait!


At 4/21/2011 09:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 4/20 show was excellent! This really is a special tour and hearing a lot of these songs like Cortez played in a different arrangement was a trip. Loved the arc of the whole show. My My Hey Hey hit like a ton of bricks - his voice sounded so great and just filled that place. Love & War and Sign of Love were highlights too.

Gotta say anyone on here pissed about not hearing more "hits" obviously hasn't been payed attention to Neil's career at all. The set included so many great songs from his back catalog. He's touring a new album with some very strong material. What more do you want?

At 4/21/2011 09:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got in from last nights show.... I saw the Twisted Road at the Hanover Theater in Worcester last year and was bowled over. This time it just didn't do it for me. I actually got bored for only the second time ever at one of the many NY's shows I've been to. I think it's because Neil seemed bored too. I thought he was going through the motions at times, particularly the first three classics My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue) / Tell Me Why / Helpless.
I thought he was just mailing it in. It was like he just wanted to get them out of the way to placate the fans, so he could get to the new stuff.

Actually the first 13 songs were identical to last year. It also appears that his set list this tour has been identical each night song for song. This is very un-Neil like. In the past he has always mixed it up a bit, if he is playing back-to-back nights in the same city. So, I'd have to say, yeah, he seems like he's going through the motions.

I'm not sure how much it had to do with the fact the show was very similar to last years, or that my 80-something dollar seat was in another zip code. I just felt detached from the show, and in general I thought the crowd was in a somber mood (befitting the music I guess.), and most around me seemed stunned when the show ended: expecting more.

The Citi Center/Wang/Music Hall/Whatever? is really a lousy place to see a show. It's high and narrow, so if you're in the balcony you're just too far away. It's also about 1,000 seats bigger than the nearby Orpheum which is a much better venue for live music. It seems lately bands are being booked into Citi Center, but I hope they get back to the Orpheum soon: it's usually less expensive with better sight lines and surprisingly better acoustics.

Le Noise has really grown on me, and I wished he played the whole thing from beginning to end.

One last note, the Boston shows did not sell-out. I was speaking with someone from a local radio station, and he said that the promoters gave them hundreds of tickets to give away on Tuesday morning, so there wouldn't be all these empty seats at the show. They were all the $150+ range. It disappointed me to think that I paid $85 to sit in the balcony, and people that weren't even fans had much better seats on the floor - for free! Maybe that's why the crowd seemed so lame. Neil even did some cheer leading to try and get the crowd going at one point: something I've never seen before at a NY concert.

At 4/21/2011 12:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scored a free ticket. Second time i'd seen Neil and he blew me away. You old bastards should stop complaining.

At 4/21/2011 12:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scored a free ticket. Second time i'd seen Neil and he blew me away. You old bastards should stop complaining.

At 4/21/2011 12:53:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Wow, people will complain about anything, huh? Concert sold out, there's whining. Concert not sold out, there's whining about not being shut out of getting a seat.
Set list changes, complaints. Set list stays the same, more complaints.
Not sure how the Wang ends up being called a crappy place to see a show, considering it's an actual theater... but you know what *is* a crappy place to see shows? The 300 level of the Garden. The Wang rocks in comparison, no matter what your seats.

Maybe I was at a different show, but I loved it. I've seen Neil dozens of times, knew what to expect on Wednesday night, and had the BEST time.
Bert Jansch is amazing, very moving, and reminded me of my many times in the audience at Bridge (minus the bone chilling October wind off the Bay), I was happy I made it to the Wang in time to catch the opener.

Set list was great, I really especially liked Cortez, which is not normally something I say after a show, but the whole thing just worked. Really glad to be there.
Neil fans are SO freakin' serious though... man... I was singing along with Helpless- not drunk, not loud, not dancing on my seat or standing up, just singing- and the girl in front of me tells me to shut up. I know I don't have the worlds best voice, but come on people. Lighten up. It's a CONCERT.
No wonder Neil doesn't listen to his fan base.

I left totally happy. Would go to Providence tomorrow night if I could, PPAC is an equally incredible venue.

At 4/21/2011 01:13:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Deirdre!

Great review and pointing out the ironies of Neil fans.

really. Someone says they felt like they were in a different zip code in a ~2,000 seat theater?

as someone once said: it doesn't mean that much to me to mean that much to you...

At 4/21/2011 01:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a question for anyone who's been to one of the recent shows: are cameras allowed inside? I know recording isn't allowed (of course) but I want to bring my camera (point-and-shoot) to the Massey Hall shows to snap a few pics outside the venue and maybe inside before/after the show, just for sentimental reasons. Is there any risk that they might confiscate my camera or not let me enter with it in my bag? Thanks in advance.

At 4/21/2011 01:38:00 PM, Blogger Richard said...

Diedre, you're right: "it's a CONCERT" - but, may I had, "not a hootenanny." There are those of us who are there to hear the musician(s) on the stage. I know how you feel, because I know and love the songs well, but I resist the urge to sing along, because I respect the people around me who didn't come to hear me sing, or talk - to say nothing of those who whoop loudly during the song like they're at a football game, injecting themselves into the show.

At 4/21/2011 03:42:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

Return of the King: Part One

Rusted wire and tilted posts more a symbol of restraint than a fence per se.
--David Foster Wallace from The Pale King

I've thought about it too much to talk; I'm going to do something about it.
--James Stewart in The Man from Laramie

Another stop on the Twisted Road...but not just another stop. Two shows in Boston: same exact set, completely different music. Tuesday night Neil seemed kind of playful and funny ("I think they call it the Kelloggs Corn Flakes Music Hall now...."). Wednesday night a bit more serious and direct, all about the music ("Welcome to The Music Hall"). Both nights performing his own unique tightrope walk, connecting the past to the present and the present to the past. Both nights incredible and unique.

No need to overstate the obvious points...but I will anyway. He's playing the same focused group of songs every night for a reason; he's giving you some hints but it only really counts if you get the answer yourself. Neil has "faith in you" and knows you're up to the task. The emphasis is on the new songs, but not all of them; not necessarily because they're on the new album and maybe not even on the album at all. He's performing a recital and working his magic within a formal construct of his own pure creation. You've heard of "Classic Rock"? Well this is much better -- it's "Classical Rock" where the structure and the flow are in total harmony, where each variation within the structure is an inseparable part of the flow of life.

Past concerts were like the ocean. Sometimes there would be endless beautiful waves that would come curling in on a sun drenched summer's day. Sometimes there were violent crashing waves that pounded mercilessly like a winter Noreaster, washing the beach clean and changing everything around. These concerts are more like a mighty river moving steadily throughout the land. Like the river, you can't separate the flowing water from the banks that barely contain the force and beauty.

Bert Jansch was superb both nights. I believe I used the phrase "quietly amazing" or something like that before to describe what he does -- he is completely one-of-a-kind. I don't think we'll ever again have someone in this world who combines technique, artistry and soul in quite this way. I had great seats for the first night (Orchestra row M almost dead center...perfect acoustics!) and very good ones for night two (Mezzanine row D again in the center). Bert's songs and playing were just so beautiful, and I had chills as he would visit the timeless well of his music. I never thought that I'd be fortunate and privileged enough to hear Bert play once in my I've heard him on four separate occasions! Thank you so much, Bert...the most humble superstar that I'll ever see and hear perform.

At 4/21/2011 03:43:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

Return of the King: Part Two

A wise man was telling stories to me
About the places he had been to
And the things that he had seen
--David Hidalgo & Louie Perez...One Time One Night

Neil came out unannounced both nights. It seems that he totally appreciates the crowd and the love that is directed toward him, happy and thankful to just be there doing what he does best. The set structure is in five groups, each one with three songs that tell a story separately and together, along with a bridge song connecting and reinforcing the segments and an encore that combines them all together in a final farewell and hope-to-see-you-soon moment of sorrow and joy.

Out of the Blue, Tell Me Why and Helpless deal with the great sadness and mystery of life. Trying to make sense of what can often seem senseless. Keeping your candle burning bright even when it would be easier to just give up. Neil played magnificent versions on both nights, and he had the crowd completely, especially on night two when I saw lots of hugging going on during this portion. I especially loved Tell Me can this simple song be so complex and moving? I've heard this for over forty years now (along with many of you out there) and it always seems like it's the first time.

You Never Call, Peaceful Valley Boulevard and Love and War are like siblings to the first three songs, visiting the same thoughts and feelings after many years of the beauty and wonder of living in this world. My favorite on both nights was Neil's performance of You Never Call...the depth and emotion he brings forward is just incredible to watch and be a part of. Same for the other two songs and the guitar playing is sublime. Love and War especially seems different each time that I hear it...might not be "his best song ever" as I stated in my Hanover Theatre review last year, but who knows and who cares -- just amazing stuff!

Down By the River, Hitchhiker and Ohio brought everyone back home, with Neil exploring the twists and turns of his music and art. DBTR was direct on the first night, with more variations and exploring on night two. Each time I hear this live is a different experience; it's like the litmus test for Neil's performance and can be three minutes long or thirty three minutes, whatever is best for that performance. Hitchhiker is always amazing and was the biggest change from night one to night two: a glorious fuckup Tuesday night and then totally nailed and "perfect" the next night. Ohio was also near perfect both nights as Neil poured his heart out once again and then again.

Sign of Love is the bridge portion, where Neil takes a rest and a deep breath to think about all of the best things in life. It sounds old and new at the same time, with echoes of Cinnamon Girl all grown up. Neil's chamber music for the 21st century.

At 4/21/2011 03:45:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

Return of the King: Part Three

I felt the rain as it
Poured from the skies
And it washed away my anger
Took the sadness from my eyes
--Tobin Sprout...Cleansing from the Storm

Leia was the biggest and happiest surprise of both nights. It's like Neil's version of a Haiku, with incredible insight and emotion contained within a very tight construction. Of all the songs, it's the one that says the most by saying the least and it's the bridge between the two thematic segments of Neil's recital. The crowd loved it...again especially on night two -- all the more amazing since it's never been recorded. And Neil seemed to be having a great time playing it "for all the little people...and also for Grandpa; I know you're out there". After The Gold Rush never sounded better and there was lots more hugging going on all around. Nothing in the world sounds quite like that organ! And then I Believe In You with it's simple and profound affirmation of faith and love, no matter what happens.

Rumblin', Cortez the Killer and Cinnamon Girl brought the show to a tremendous peak and left almost everyone satisfied. After playing Ohio on the Falcon, it's so great to hear Rumblin' as the seats literally were shaking and then see Neil shift back to Old Black for Cortez. Versions were different but equally killer (sorry!) both nights; thinking about the J. Mascis version at the Carnegie Tribute and wondering what it would be like to hear Neil and J do this one sometime as a duo! Then Cinnamon Girl closed the show, with an especially cool solo on night two as Neil took the "one note solo" thing to even greater heights.

Walk with Me summed up everything that came before. Sadness but no regrets...well at least not a lot. Moving ever forward but taking some time to look back. Joining what's happened and what is yet to come. And celebrating the mystery and understanding of life and living every moment. Be yourself and be together.

So another couple of great performances from Neil. When I reviewed the Hanover show, I stated that it might have been the best Neil concert that I had ever seen. Maybe it still is; maybe I just tuned in at the right time and in the right mood. Tuesday night was probably "better" in some ways and Wednesday night maybe was "better" in other ways. That's why this is so cool and one-of-a-kind right now. You can see one performance and it will stand on its own; you can see multiple shows and appreciate the differences and the constants.

At 4/21/2011 03:46:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

Return of the King: Part Four

It's funny. Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.
--J. D. Salinger from The Catcher In The Rye

Tuesday night I went with my wife and she loved it. She's seen Neil many times and did say afterwards "well I would have liked a bit more of the old songs". So I completely understand and empathize with those fans who were disappointed by the song selection. At the parking garage elevator, a couple nice women said sheepishly "I liked the acoustic songs the best" and that is completely alright. We all have our preferences and it's fine to not just soak it all in, hoping for your favorites to be played. My feeling is that Neil will come back at some point and do just that...he's just not into that right now. He really does love his fans but he wouldn't be Neil without taking chances and going where he needs to go.

Wednesday night I went with my son and he also really loved it. This was his third time seeing Neil and he thought that both performers were just fabulous. I was especially happy and proud of how much he loved Bert Jansch. There were many, many of the young folks in the crowd and they all seemed to be having an incredible time. One man said to me "my thirteen year old daughter is now a huge fan". I overheard a guy saying to his friend in wonder "How can someone that old play and perform like that" and "Who will we be listening to when we're 50 years old?".

Afterwards talking with my son, I said that I truly believe we're in a golden age of music right now, with more diverse types and more great performers playing than maybe at any other time in history. He said he totally agrees and then went on to say that "Neil has such a presence", boiling down all of my thoughts into five words. I told him how many of the songs were ones that I've listened to over forty years now, and that I hope he'll be listening to them for even longer than that.

Last week I saw two more shows that support my "golden age of music" beliefs. Thursday night was a reunion show for the band Come; Friday night was a piano recital by the legendary Ms. Dubravka Tomsic. You couldn't get two shows much more different and yet both were completely right, so just give the music a chance and almost anything is possible. Sometimes you get exactly what you need when you need it.

Monday morning I was driving through the center of my town when I stopped at a Stop sign before proceeding. Realizing that the woman to my right had completely run her sign while talking on the phone, I jammed on the brakes and cut the wheel sharply left. The other driver saw me just in time and also braked sharply...we missed colliding by maybe an inch or so. I had Lucinda Williams' new CD playing and heard her sing "We were blessed" just as I realized there was no impact.

After both the Tuesday and Wednesday shows, the first song to play was a lovely version of Greensleeves played on acoustic guitar. My daughter grew up playing Classical Guitar, and this was the piece that she played for my dad at his memorial service on Veterans Day, just before the Army bugler played Taps. Thank you so much!

"It eluded us then, but that's no matter -- tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther...."
...F. Scott Fitzgerald from The Great Gatsby

At 4/21/2011 04:03:00 PM, Anonymous Keith Burris said...

I saw the show in Boston the 20th. Had seen it last summer in Louisville and Nashville. Was great in both those places but monumental in Boston. Neil was really "on." And he has refined the show and made some changes that tighten it up.

Do not listen to any naysayer. This is an incredible show -- deep and soulful and real. The point of the same set list seems to be to get him ever deeper into the groove.

It was an honor to be in the audince at the Wang last night.

God bless Neil Young, and long may he run.

At 4/21/2011 04:34:00 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

Last night was my second Neil Young show, ever. But he is one of my all-time favorite artists.

I had purchased the tickets on a whim, yesterday morning, when a few more of the cheapest seats were released as that is all my budget could afford.

So off to the Wang my lady and I went to sit in the upper balcony, row x.

When Bert came on he looked so small and people were talking, laughing, and carrying on that I was worried that the night would be ruined.

But then at set break a gentleman came up to us and asked if we wanted to move a bit closer for Neil's set and handed us two tickets.

Turns out they were some of Neil's Comp tickets for his friends and family that he didn't need. So in an instant we went from Balcony Row X to Orchestra Row AA.

My fiancee and I couldn't believe it.

Needless to say, when Neil walked on stage and began "Helpless, Helpless" my eyes got misty. They stayed that way along with a perma-grin throughout the entire show.

Thank you Neil for an incredible show and for your team's generosity in creating a memory for my fiancee and me that will last a lifetime!

At 4/21/2011 06:31:00 PM, Blogger Dan1 said...

A couple thoughts from a fan who had to miss the last leg of TR tour -- fortunately I scored a ticket to the Tower Theatre show and ironically traveling from the NY area since I can't see the NY shows.

1. I have to admit if you forced me to choose I'd give up some of his 'hits' and have him play every song on LeNoise which granted he's practically playing them all so no complaints (although would LOVE to hear 'Angry World') ... those who insist they are disappointed by a show that doesn't have more hits must be hiding in a cave prior to the show.

2. I take the lack of variety of the set list as a huge positive in that its all working the way he wants and don't mess with perfection ... seems to me in the past few years he usually tinkers when something isn't quite right, if it aint broke don't fix it.

3. Le Noise is one of his classic albums, it stands up there along with the classics, what a joy to have the priviledge to see this tour in a small venue ... even Neil said these small places are his rewards for the all the years of touring ...

Its an amazing time to be a Neil fan!!


At 4/21/2011 06:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Neil, for bringing Bert Jansch to your audience!

At 4/21/2011 08:02:00 PM, Blogger Rusting In Peace said...

He looks adorable. Is he married?

At 4/22/2011 12:42:00 PM, Anonymous theocean said...

Wow, no need to say much more after Mr Henry's fantastic review (guessing you're a lit/English teacher? If so, you've got some lucky students... if not, lucky kid(s)). Also, if you're going to have a fantasy Cortez with J and Neil, would I be asking too much for you to invite Doug Martsch?

I went both nights and Wednesday (4/20) was by far the better for me: Neil was REALLY on, crowd around me was much better, my seat - though it literally couldn't get any further back - was more centrally located (which greatly improved the acoustics), the overall crowd seemed better (especially quieter for Bert), etc...

4/20 Standouts for me:

"Hey hey..." - REALLY set the tone for the night. That was my 3rd TR show and by far my favorite version.

"Helpless" - A home run on back to back nights.

"Love and War" - the guitar work here was good enough to make converts of some folks who had never heard that song before.

"Down by the River" - if some 20 year old played that version at an open mic night, I'd be a fan of that kid for life. The delicate beauty and raw power, all within the same song, were mind boggling.

"Leia" - Another back-to-back night winner.

"After the Gold Rush" - I'm still not in love with this treatment of the song but it was the first night that I felt what I think he's trying to do with it (versus just thinking about what I think he's doing). Honestly, I think this is one of those tunes where the audience reactions keep me from really being able to get into it as much as I'd like to.

"I Believe in You" - it didn't top the version in Worcester but I don't think anything ever will. I LOVE when a fairly straight forward version of a song, that I've heard hundreds of times, makes me feel like it's completely new to me.

"Rumblin'" - the sound up in the cheap seats isn't doing the new electric stuff justice (the effects really don't carry up there like they should) but there was enough low end on this one for it to work like it's supposed to.

"Cortez" - Even better the second night. Wow.

Finally, I felt like an idiot when I realized why, on Tuesday night, Bert reminded me of Jackson C Frank. Well, to be fair, it does help when you can actually hear the songs. So to summarize, I'm stupid but at least I'm not completely crazy yet.

At 4/22/2011 07:24:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

Couldn't be there the other night, but a thought crossed my mind. A 420 Neil show? What could possibly go wrong?

yeah, just saying.

At 4/22/2011 09:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I scored the tickets unexpectedly, I have always loved Neil Young but never had the chance to hear or see him in concert, I don't have the words to explain how great this concert was. i wish could relive the time over and over again. Awesome, awesome, awesome .

At 4/23/2011 05:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Mr. Henry, man you get what it's all about. It's a life in music and lyrics and emotions.

Brilliant reporting so glad your family got into as well.

And I fell into a dream

At 4/23/2011 10:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw his Sunday show in Richmond.
Spellbinding, and surreal....An honor for me to be there.

His vision is over my head, but I'm trying. Keep on rocking, Neil..

A masterpiece.

At 4/25/2011 03:54:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

To the ocean:

Yes, including Doug Martsch along with Neil and J would be a great idea! I love the Built To Spill version of Cortez.

Other great cover versions include one by Matthew Sweet that's included on the deluxe reissue of Girlfriend. Not sure if the main lead guitar on that one is Robert Quine or Richard Lloyd (I'll need to check) but it's another awesome version.

Same goes for a version by The Dream Syndicate, which is included on the reissue of Medicine Show that came out a few months ago. Incredible guitar on that one and vocals by Steve Wynn (who I like to refer to as "the Neil Young of alternative/indie music").

My favorite recorded cover of Cortez is by Kristen Hersh and is part of the Cinnamon Girls tribute album that American Laundramat Records put out a couple years back. If you don't have that, I highly recommend it: great covers of Neil songs for a wonderful charity.

And thanks for the kind words about my Boston review! Always a pleasure....


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