Concert Review of the Moment: Neil Young in Chicago, IL, May 6 & 7, 2011
The Concert Review of the Moment is from Neil Young in Chicago, IL, May 6 & 7, 2011 by Kimball :
Thrasher and rust people, I loved the Friday and Saturday night Neil shows.
First night was 2nd row balcony, second night was 6th row from the stage, center aisle. I was also at both Ryman (Nashville) shows last year, and these are just the most recent in a series of Neil experiences much like a passenger train where each individual car is its own space, decorated in the theme of its particular tour, but colored and textured in its own way and ever so uniquely.
When I compare what I saw and heard in Nashville to what was presented to me Friday night, all I can say is that Neil has grasped the Le Noise reins and charged the rest of the way into wherever it is that the Le Noise hitchhiker reigns. The thing that struck me over and over and over both nights was this: Neil is 100% dedicated to being at the right place to get this presentation out to us, in its purest form, as it must be inside his head.
It's like this, he's workin' like a mad man to get to the place where it can come through him, to us. Simple as that, and if you don't see that when you go to the shows on this leg of the Le Noise tour, I think you're missing the keystone that makes the whole presentation glow, quiver, tremble, flash and erupt.
There were several new twists in Neil's performance since I saw it in Nashville (June '10), the most powerful of which are related to Neil introducing a few sonic textures that harken back to the Le Noise record itself. My favorite and the one that really blew me away is where Neil put some staccato breaks into a repeating guitar sequence, and it was 100 times more powerful with them than it was without them.
Down by the River and Cortez, played from the Le Noise tour place where Neil's at right now (leading up to the Massey filmings), are as pure and raw as I can imagine these songs, every note is wrenching, meaningful and emotive, no motion is wasted, its all simply a complex rendering of the art that in its most perfect form in Neil's mind.
I really wonder how close he is to showing us exactly what he's trying to do? It's really coming out so strongly now. If he's ON at Massey, and Demme captures it the way I felt it, THIS film will be the document that will define Neil's artistic mastery for centuries.
To everyone going to Massey, especially Doug Tuned4Life, make the most of this opportunity to get close to Neil's muse.
Thanks Kimball! Wonderfully vivid.
More on Neil Young in Chicago, IL, May 6 & 7, 2011.