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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Concert Reviews of Neil Young at Massey Hall, Toronto, May 10 & 11, 2011

Neil Young - Massey Hall - May 10, 2011
Photo Credit: Tom Pandi - Toronto event photography |

From Neil Young Solo Tour rolls into Massey Hall | by Tom Pandi:
Sitting beneath a single spotlight, Young set the tone for the evening from the very first chords, and as My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue) filled the hall, an intimate and thoughtful performance from this one man band was on the horizon. Winding its way through Young’s legendary career, the set made poignant stops in all the right places – cruising from his solo beginnings, through his times with with Crazy Horse and CSNY and right up to his latest album, 2010’s critically acclaimed & Juno winning Le Noir.

From Concert Review: Neil Young at Toronto’s Massey Hall | Ampersand | National Post by Scott Deveau:
For those who have managed to catch a Neil Young concert sometime in the latter phases of his storied five-decade career, you’ll know that despite his 65-years of age, he’s nowhere near retirement.

Whether its packing stadiums, or playing to thousands in the open air, the legend of Canadian rock still has plenty of spring in his step, and can rock harder than most hard rockers.

But while I’ve been lucky enough to see him strut his stuff on stage a handful of times, nothing compares to seeing him live at Massey Hall, the iconic venue in his hometown of Toronto, where he played the first of two back-to-back, sold-out shows Tuesday to close off his North American tour in support his latest record, Le Noise.

From Concert review: Neil Young brings Le Noise to... - by Ben Rayner:
A guitar hero to end all guitar heroes, Young — who moved between a couple of still-tentatively plucked acoustic guitars, a Gretsch White Falcon electric and his beloved Les Paul, “Old Black,” throughout the night — delivered the evening's most disarming and genuinely touching moments, however, when he dropped the six-strings and settled in front of the keyboard.

A report from Sharry "Keepin Jive alive in T.O." on rust.

Neil Young will be performing tonight at Massey Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 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.

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At 5/11/2011 09:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 5/11/2011 09:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to bring in a pocket camera tonight. Of course I won't use a flash. Did they check people at the door? Were the camera Nazis out in full force? If someone could comment please I would appreciate it.

At 5/11/2011 10:14:00 AM, Anonymous Renuka M said...

Just came home from seeing Neil Young at Massey Hall. Let me try to explain -

I was at the grand canyon around sunset
And Neil came across the sky with his guitar
hit me with a thunderbolt so profound and magnificent
it was the sound of the universe magnified a hundred times
and his poetry floated about in the canyon
the love and fire in his voice burning me and everyone around me
and suddenly he was gone
and left me with a butter tart from northern ontario

Renuka M

At 5/11/2011 11:17:00 AM, Anonymous Carson said...

Fantastic show. I was in a trance the entire time. Outside of momentarily losing my focus whenever someone would annoyingly hoot or hollar mid-song, I felt I was totally locked in with Neil as he took me down that "twisted road".

"Tell Me Why" was a huge highlight for me. Outside of being one of my favorite songs ever, this was also one of the very few selections in the setlist that was welcomed with complete silence. Total bliss.

I decided to abstain from listening to the new unreleased songs, and was extremely impressed with "Leia". On a night with such heavy, ominous clouds hanging over the majority of the songs, this jaunty piano number forced my face into an ear-to-ear grin that lasted until well after the show.

I agree with Ben Rayner in that trying to clap along with Neil at Massey is at best misguided, and at worst, a horrible affront to what Neil is trying to do. Hopefully the clappers will stay home for round two tonight.

The security check for cameras appeared to be very light, though I was reminded several times before seating that there was a strict no photography policy. Whenever anyone around me took out their camera during they show, the ushers were -- thankfully -- on it very quickly. I'm also very thankful that Demme's camera crew was hardly noticeable. Only saw one cameraman the entire time.

And now, only a month till Bonnaroo -- bring on the Springfield!

At 5/11/2011 01:35:00 PM, Blogger JimDC821 said...

"Welcome to the Hippie Dream!!" I wish I had yelled when Neil strode on the stage at Baltimore's Hippodrome. The really great thing about Neil in Baltimore (Thursday night) was that nobody hooted or hollered during the show. He capitvated everytone and we were blown away....

Jim in DC

Gateway of Love

At 5/11/2011 01:45:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

"and can rock harder than most hard rockers"

- damn straight!

At 5/11/2011 05:24:00 PM, Blogger Benjamin Schoendorff said...

Loved the show last night. It was also very special because I got to go with my beloved partner for the first time.
I did make a bad mistake though, by buying gallery seats. And from where we sat high up near Massey Hall's ceiling, the sound of the electric numbers came all muffled, frequencies jumbled on top of one another, cancelling each other out, badly messing up Down by the River and reducing the impact of Hitchiker and generaly most songs on Old Black.
That said, Cortez was amazing. Abstract, seemingly accidental patterns of sound somehow weaving through Neil's voice and transporting us to farago dreamed shores. Neil at the top of his art, playing like some abstract expressionist painter.
Was deeply moved by Love and War, different from the record, carreid along by an insistent, almost lulling bassline.
Helpless also got a pretty special treatment. As with most performances of the night, not even the most well-known songs came across as sing-along numbers, more meditative contemplations of life's transience and the importance of love, family and friendship.
The keyboard numbers were properly haunting, sound clear once again.
After properly kicking myslef for not shelling out the few extra bucks for decent seats, got back to the hotel with a sense that we had been privileged to share in a very special experience.
This was my fourth Neil gig in as many years, and, if it hadn't been for the sound, could well have been the most intense spiritual experience of the four.
My beloved remarked on how she loved his deliberate slowness on the night and what a magician this man is. And he is.

At 5/11/2011 06:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was my first Neil Young concert even though I've literally been obsessed by the man for the past few years. During the show, I distinctively remember thinking that seeing Young live is as impressive and strange as it would be seeing the other voices that changed my life (Lennon and Cobain). It is just strange that Neil Young has been there for almost 50 years and MOSTLY that he's totally at the top of his game.

The show for me was exhausting, in a good way. Exhausting because there was no laying back, it was intense from A to Z, just living through all these emotions but also not being able at all to relax to a song I don't know or don't enjoy as much. Everything was simply fascinating. I had the chance to meet two Rusties who have seen Neil about 40 times and they both told me after the show that this was a show defined by the amazing guitar work. And it was... The acoustic performances were stunning, unlike anything from Canterbury to Dreaming Man... The new acoustic guitar is CRAZY. You Never Call, Love and War and PVB were simply stunning. And the White Falcon with the Lanois electronics are stunning. I'm amazed that an old player like Neil would change his rig after so many years... Old Black is just fine but I'm definitely happy with the change. I will forever remember the strange, raw, beautiful and etheral performances of Cortez the Killer (so wild), Walk With Me (incredibly touching and raw, i cant help but think of ben), Hitchhiker (the energy in that!), After the Gold Rush (beautiful), Ohio (rightfully angry) or I Believe in You (beautiful, again).

Neil is amazing and is perhaps the most brilliant performer alive because he just forgets about barriers... I see the Le Noise era as something that's as innovative as the Rust era, the Dead Man material and the Weld/Ragged era! It's an untamed beast of its own. Just like Sonic Youth, Nirvana or Syd Barrett, Neil Young is an artist that can't be pigeonholed... He has discovered his own voice and he's consistently reinventing it. Thank god music has creative souls like him.


At 5/12/2011 10:13:00 AM, Anonymous Mother Nature counting the Beans said...

Toronto said in 8 comments what Cincinnati tried to say in 47 comments!!!

At 5/12/2011 01:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ve seen Neil about 20 times... I have never heard him sing so cleary and emoitionaly as I did last night. I believe in him ! Hitchhicher was amazing really liked the way he ended that one,,, Eh Peg? Good to see you too Bob email me if you get a chance.


At 5/14/2011 07:29:00 AM, Blogger tuned4life said...

I made the trip to Toronto and attended both shows. I had front row left center floor seat for Tues. and second row left center floor for Wed. A lot of hooting and hollering, both nights. Even more than the Saturday night crowd in Upper Darby Pa. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised being Neil's home town, a lot of "We Love You Neil". Everything thing pretty much the same as 2010, except the ending of "Hitchhiker". I was close enough to see the light glitter off Neil's wedding ring. I couldn't hold back the tears. I think Wed. night was the 40th time I've seen Neil. I can't pick a favorite song. I Love "Lenoise". Hopefully when the film comes out it will include "Leia" and "You Never Call". I am walking with Neil, always have, always will. Looking forward to what ever is next. Doug S. Warsaw N.Y.

At 5/15/2011 11:10:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher said...

Doug - great catching up on the road!

Thanks for the memories! Here's ours...

Some Thoughts on Rollin' Down Neil Young's Twisted Road

see you down the road...


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