Neil Young Concert Reviews - Richmond, VA, April 17, 2011
Twitter / @Kira Siddall
In probably one of the most poorly researched concert reviews we've come across in awhile, the Richmond Times-Dispatch's "Neil Young concert could have used more old, less new" review by BILL CRAIG manages to hit all of the possible mis-understandings of Neil Young's music.
It seems that Richmond Times-Dispatch readers disagree with Bill Craig's review as well.
A sampling of reader comments...
Posted by Brenna on April 18, 2011 - 5:10 a.m.
It ought not be surprising to either this critic or the one who reviewed the opening show in N.C., that Mr. Young has chosen to support his most recent work. I'm always left scratching my head when reading a review that criticizes a musician for performing pieces from their latest effort.
The sell out crowd for the opening show at the Durham Performing Arts Center was incredibly enthusiastic with every tune and for that matter, every note. Young is one of the few artist who's truly ripened with age as his playing and singing have not diminished in the least. Neither this review nor the one for The News and Observer elaborated on Young's playing or vocals but rather chose to discuss other "essentials" like his fedora and stage "sauntering."
For those of us for whom the music matters, we watched and listened to a man who survived polio as a child, an adult lifetime of epileptic seizures, tragedy beyond measure in his personal life with the devastating illnesses of two children and a brain aneurysm that should have killed him just a few years ago, give of his time to share his art with those who still want to hear it. Neil Young doesn't have to do this anymore. He's given "at the office" for almost five decades.
This commentary should have, at the very least, reflected some appreciation for what Mr. Young is still able and more importantly, wanting to give us.
Neil Young doesn't require a "review" from a newspaper writer following a performance in Richmond. A simple re-cap of the songs he chose to play for his fans would more than suffice. Of course, Mr. Craig obviously decided it's his "job" - or perhaps "privilege" - to offer a critique of Neil's musical offerings tonight. Sadly, he is sorely lacking the musical, historical, and perhaps generational experience to fill the shoes of one capable of doing something along those lines.
Posted by Reason on April 18, 2011 - 3:03 a.m.
I will not impugn Mr Craig's opinion of the show but I will make two points-when reviewing an artist 's live work it helps if you have heard and like his current work-clearly he's at least looked up the song titles and it's obvious that like Neil's voice, he didn't like Le Noise either.
Secondly, the mark of a true artist is that he/she doesn't copy what they've done in the past-they are constantly growing and changing their art. Miles Davis would be another good example of how, much like Neil, if you showed up expecting cake he would give you pie-his artistic integrity overshadows any pandering to commercial success. That this has been successful (ie a hall full of fans who've paid up to $200 to be there) is a testament to his unique genius. Put simply Neil Young doesn't sound like anyone else and for those those appreciate his view of the world, it's been a helluva good ride.
BTW he's touring with Stephen Stills and Ritchie Furay this summer as Buffalo Springfield-somehow I think Mr Craig would enjoy those almost 50 year old songs more than what he heard from Neil tonight. Too bad Mark Holmberg wasn't available to go instead.
Posted by robp on April 18, 2011 - 2:11 a.m.
Mr. Craig seems to have attended a different concert than the thousands of fans who filled the Landmark Theatre Saturday night to see and hear one of Rock musics truest legends. Mr. Young at 65 years old showed no signs of aging in an exciting and varied 17 song set from throughout his illustrious career. Mr. Craig failed to mention that Young's latest CD Le Noise was not only on top of all of 2010's top musics lists, but one track from it won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance. Stating that Young's voice was an acquired taste was not only condescending, but unnecessary, since the sold out audience who paid from $55-250 clearly were believers. The performance was well paced, exciting, and memorable and showed Young's range from folk to rock to grunge to experimental and more. Mr. Craig's review completely missed the subtly of Young's artistry and genius.
Posted by curieux on April 18, 2011 - 1:33 a.m.
How old is this reviewer? Do you realize time does not stand still. Sitting around in your dorm room smoking the funny stuff and hoping that Cinnamon Girl is going to be your suite mate is passe. It is incredible in our time to see a Folk/Rock and Roller still relevant doing things on his own terms and not slagging while relying solely on his 30 year old standards to make a buck. Yea, it is great to hear a guy with a repertoire that has classics, and he played them well, but time moves on for any artist. Those who wallow in the past get left behind, and their work diminished to "best of" albums. (you probably to not know what an album is) Neil did it tonight on his terms as true artist do. And for your info, I am probably old enough to be your father, still rock, and like to move forward.
Neil Young will be performing tonight at Landmark Theater, Richmond, Virginia. Special guest Bert Jansch will open concert.
Got a report? Drop a comment below.
Check Sugar Mountain for setlist updates.
Also, see Neil Young's "Twisted Road" Concert Tour Reviews and the right, middle sidebar for continuous real time RSS feed updates.