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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Neil Young Concert Reviews: Fox Theatre, Detroit, MI, May 4, 2011

From "Concert Reviews: Neil Young goes it alone at the Fox" - By GARY GRAFF:
Neil Young has proclaimed membership in Detroit's growing booster club.

Early in his solo show on Wednesday night (May 4) at the Fox Theatre, Young -- who first came to town in 1965 to record at Motown with his band the Mynah Birds -- altered the lyrics of 'My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)' to sing that 'Detroit city,' just like rock 'n' roll, 'will never die,' to an appropriate roar from the sell-out crowd of 5,000. He also managed to sneak a Red Wings reference into 'You Never Call,' although given the results of Wednesday's game at Joe Louis Arena we may want to ask him to sing about the San Jose Sharks when he plays Friday night (May 6) in Chicago.

He even called the Fox 'the most beautiful theater in the United States of America.'

More on Concert Reviews: Neil Young goes it alone at the Fox.

Neil Young will be performing tonight at Fox Theatre, Detroit, Michigan. 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 5/05/2011 01:02:00 AM, Blogger Greg said...

Awesome how the floor shook during Hitchhiker and how old black drowned out even the idiots yelling during down by the river. I only I could have sat closer.

At 5/05/2011 07:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil sang: "hey hey, my my, Detroit City will never die!"

At 5/05/2011 08:52:00 AM, Anonymous Mother Nature under Blue Sky said...


You know that feeling the character in "Close Encounters" had after being visited by the extra-terrestrials? And being wanting more?

That's the only way I can describe the experience of Neil's show this time around. He fills the concert hall with the most beautiful sound waves that I imagine entered from another solar system or galaxy and the only thing that's keeping him from floating away with it is gravity.

I'm not crazy, really. I'm just trying to grip the experience of sitting there and listening to LaNoise.

Is that right Motor City? Wake up, for God's sake! How can you sleep after a show like that?????

At 5/05/2011 08:59:00 AM, Anonymous Mother Nature on Planet Nine, Nine, Nine... said...

Has anyone taken LaNoise for a road trip yet? I mean, travel across the Yellowhead or down ... uhhh... what' that route from Flagstaff to Tucson?

At 5/05/2011 09:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil seemed to enjoy being back In Detroit at the legendary Fox theater.Singing My my Hey hey, he sang Detroit will never fade away. Also during his only talking to the audience,because he was busy conversing with that old wooden indian from Tonights the night,before playing Leia a song about a little person, he mentioned his friend that had refurbished the Fox and made it one of the best places to play in the world.The first thing I noticed about Neil was how he had lost that potbelly from driving his rig he looked in great shape and ready to rock& roll for at least another ten years,even more miraculous was his voice come on he must have quit smoking years ago,still hitting those higher notes. La noise songs came across crisp and valiant letting us know there's alot more artistic stuff coming out of him ,contrary to the scalpers outside the Fox sales pitches ,Neil Young's last Detroit apperance. Neil was down to Earth turning his back to the audience at times while jamming and then coming out to the edge of the stage giving you that glare. I sat close just outside the pit but I HEARD people from the balcony roaring with approval for that sound with that sound it was real cool it does matter. I could go on but I'll just say I'm looking foward to a national tour of Springfield, Crazy horse &CSNY in the future. I love every note that guy plays I dont care what the fuck it is also Neil can you tune that Indian up I CAN BARELY HEAR WHAT HE'S saying !

At 5/05/2011 09:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH yeah Niel wrote the OLD LAUGHING LADY on a napkin at a White Tower in Detroit many years ago after his tires were stolden, between a Detroit & Chicago gig. Just maybe he'll invent something else today or stop by LIONEL to check out their sound system. UNCLE FRANK

At 5/05/2011 10:46:00 AM, Anonymous Roll Another One said...

Glad you like that Canterbury House concert recording, Uncle Frank. Hows this for a sound check? chuggga chuggga choo choo!

At 5/05/2011 10:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

love in mind, somewhere between Detroit & Chicago Massey hall 1971 should I go on, Neils Sharks are kicking the shit out of my Wings, reminds me of when I was a child and I put on AFTER THE GOLD ... on our stereo turn table w/ componets my late MOM said why are you playing that doomes day music

At 5/05/2011 11:08:00 AM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run said...

Your mother probably read Langdon Winner's review of ATG. There was a pretty big crowd of bigshots who actually HATED Neil's music even in 1970.

At 5/05/2011 03:28:00 PM, Blogger TOM said...

"...and there ain't nuthin' like a friend,who can tell you you're just pissin' in the wind."

was at ryman in june, detroit last night and chicago tmo night.
have sen neil last waltz,ducks, boarding house world tour '78, etc,etc,etc

neil has been good not great on this tour.

-something is missing
-he appears tuckered out.
-his faux indecision as to what to play is absurd.
-his setlist rigidity is baffling
-my my hey hey has no defiance...just weary resignation.
-the set list doesn't flow.

neil is THE man but he also is A man and ,as such, fallible.
he's entitled to do what he wants and i'm entitled to react how i want.

i just wish i didn't want to see him every tour and buy all his art
all the time!

where's elliott when you need him?

At 5/05/2011 04:47:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Could I just throw out the possibility that Neil has chosen to play songs which Ben Keith did NOT play on? Of course I could be wrong, but from these songs, I'm pretty confident Brother Ben didn't play on any of them (obviously I'm not talking about the 'Le Noise' tracks).

Just a thought which could explain the lack of a 'Harvest' era encore...

At 5/05/2011 05:02:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Of course, Jonathan. You're making perfect sense here.

At 5/05/2011 05:53:00 PM, Blogger TOM said...

actually, ben has been on tours with neil with many of the songs from this this tour:

cinnamon girl
old man
heart of gold
my my hey hey
tell me why

At 5/05/2011 07:17:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Tom, I think Eliott spells his name with one "t." I think Jonathan's pointing out that, yes, Neil, probably has changed since you last saw him. Losing two of your closest friends, a beloved traveling companion, and possibly pissing off your wife a few times will change a guy.

The rigidity of the set list is baffling, but hey, remember this is Neil Young we're talking about, right? Baffling is what Neil does best. He's a regular "baffler."

At 5/05/2011 08:20:00 PM, Blogger Dan1 said...

How would you compare the show you just saw with the Ryman? I haven't had a chance to write up my experience but also thought the 5/1Tower show was good (not great) with a weaker start and a stronger finish. I missed the first ('ie' last year's) leg of the TR tour. In fairness, I'm holding Neil to a very high standard because he's almost always been great when I've seen him going back to the 80s. Make no mistake, I'm not complaining about him being only good (and there were lots of amazing moments like 'Believe in You' and some of the new tunes), and you're right he's both THE man and A man ... just wondering if the show you saw on the last leg of the tour was significantly different / better.

At 5/05/2011 11:09:00 PM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

Detroit 'Rock City'? Detroit IS a Rock-N-Roll Town. More live albums have been recorded here than anywhere else on the planet. Any rock critic will tell you that Detroit audiences can be tough customers. Any Rock Star or group that passed our way will tell you that Detroit can make you or break you. Until last night. You see, last night we were host to one Neil Young and he broke us. Maybe it was because the 'tuff crowd' chose instead to go to the 'Joe' downtown to yell at the Red Wings or maybe went across the street to cheer on the Tigers. Detroit was a busy town last night. Those of us that chose instead to go to the 'Fox' and take in a concert were moved in a different kind of way. Actions speak louder than words and last night he spoke volumes although his words were few. As Neil slowly strolled onto the stage he was greeted to a standing ovation. Before he even picked up an instrument he walked to the edge of the stage and in a sincerely humble way he began to applaud the audience for what seemed to be an eternity. Long enough to be certain that every heart in the house was warm enough to begin an other worldly journey to a place where no other artist has ever gone. They don't know the way

At 5/05/2011 11:32:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5/05/2011 11:34:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

You are breaking my heart, Big Chief. I recall Neil getting an ovation when he came onto the stage in Detroit in '07 -- everyone stood up like in the old days. You know? Someone comes into the room and you stood up. After they acknowledge you, you sit down and let them get to work, ya know?

I think your audiences are good because you get a lot of Canadians, too. Canadians are pretty civil & decent at concerts even when they're buzzed.

(((I love you BigChief!!)))

At 5/06/2011 07:45:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

One more thing -- when I was at the Palace in NYC '07, he did a 3 song encore. Typically he was doing only 2 or 1. My theory was that if the audience let's him do what he does best, he'll be good to you. But a lot of things happened in 2010 and naturally it changed him. Don't you know people who lost their loved one or friend? We're never the same after we lose someone whom we loved and cherished. The grief journey is very different for each person. I think he's stick'n' with the set list because that's where he wants to be when he's performing.

At 5/06/2011 08:35:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Just to clarify my theory I was talking about studio recordings of these selections - none of which had Ben Keith playing on them.

God bless everyone and the USA...

At 5/06/2011 11:58:00 AM, Blogger TOM said...

look,gang,i love neil.always have.always will.

i'm just saying through all the permutations i've seen him perfrom since the early '70s, this tour was one of the more frustrating.
"good not great" is just not neil.

neil is "awesome great"
or "horribly great"
but never "good"

for example, for this tour, come out and do acoustic "le noise" or blast the roof off and do the acoustic gems a la "le noise"

it appears we're all (including neil!) becomong too reverential.

after neil, the boys and i dropped in the magic stick and saw jehovah's witness protection plan, a couple of ypsalanti guys on guitar and drum playin a free gig in a bowling alley.
they played their asses off.
hey hey, my my.......

At 5/06/2011 04:07:00 PM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run said...

Never reverential, Tom. I think you're confusing our "respect" for the way he's been re-creating the recording from LaNoise during his performances with being overly "reverential." There's a big difference here. At least for me there is.

I'm digging the music and the message that's connected. He's just the messenger, you know?

At 5/06/2011 04:24:00 PM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run said...

One more things about understanding Neil's music; it's never been a linear progression.

He builds on themes & variations so his music sort of meanders through time like a river seeking equilibrium. But not in a "linear" sense because rivers never really keep their shape or structure.

I enjoyed the way he sang "Ohio" this time, didn't you? He sang the harmony part in the chorus, did you catch that?

I was sort of "giggling" through the intro of Cortez the way he was "eyeballing the crowd" & riding the tremolo. The way he was counting off, walking around, pedal to the metal. A lot of theatrics.

It was just awesome to watch him play the music that I came to hear.


Neil reverential? Did you happen to catch what he said at the "humanitarian" award dinner? I don't think he sounds reverential at all. Holy cow, the man was pretty "un-reverential."

I think he's the "opposite" of reverential. Always has been.


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