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Sunday, August 05, 2012

PHOTO GALLERY & Concert Review of the Moment: Neil Young & Crazy Horse @ Albuquerque, New Mexico

Billy, Poncho, Ralph & Neil
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Albuquerque, NM, Aug 3, 2012
Photo by Steve Snowden/Getty Images North America
(Click photo to enlarge)

From Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Albuquerque, New Mexico concert, a report by Morning Son:
I'm happy to report that the Horse is alive, thriving, and joyous. My ears are still ringing today from last night's glorious cacophony.

I'm so happy.

I was lucky enough to be standing with a friend in the pit, directly front and center, about 10 feet from Neil, last night in Albuquerque. ABQ has been getting hit with triple digit temps, but thankfully clouds rolled in in the afternoon and provided surprisingly perfect weather for this occasion.

I wasn't sure how the Horse would sound after such a long layoff, but just a few seconds into the first tune, "Love and Only Love," my worries were eased and I shouted to my friend, "THIS SOUNDS SO FUCKING GREAT!" It was the Horse at its sonic best. As a Crazy Horse aficionado, it could not have sounded more wonderful. How perfect to see the Horse so close up. I would close my eyes to immerse myself in the magical guitar onslaught, and when I opened my eyes, it was such a visual treat -- almost a shock -- to see the Horse huddled up close right in front of me, like in my living room.

I wanted to convey something that has only been briefly touched on in the reports: I have never seen Neil and the Horse (whether live or in videos) so happy, particularly in the second half of the set. Neil was smiling ear-to-ear for much of the show, as was the rest of the Horse.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Albuquerque, NM, Aug 3, 2012
Photo by Steve Snowden/Getty Images North America
(Click photo to enlarge)

One cause of this is that Pancho kept kicking Neil in the ass. The first time he did this, Neil didn't seem amused, but that didn't deter Pancho, who quickly kicked his ass again. The second time, Neil couldn't hide a grin, and Pancho kept doing it, and Neil was so fucking joyous. I was thinking, "what happened to the Neil who always looks morose and angry?" This must have been Neil's carefree, happy twin brother.

The Horse was deliriously ecstatic. What a joy to see the first show of a tour, when it's all brand new for them! I've done it before, but it was so fun to flip Pancho off and to have him return the gesture during Fuckin' Up.

One thing that has not been reported, that was sweet to see -- at the end of the main set, I could see Pancho and Billy backstage. They were locked in a tight embrace, rocking back and forth, for about 15 seconds,. After nine years, it was their first show with the Horse and they were clearly so gratified. I was so happy for them. What a privilege to see such an emotional moment between two brothers of rock and roll! They had finally arrived back to their place of self-actualization -- it was as if they had been rescued from nine years stranded on a desert island.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Albuquerque, NM, Aug 3, 2012
Photo by Steve Snowden/Getty Images North America
(Click photo to enlarge)

The new songs were GREAT. Some of the most magical moments came as he sang about first hearing "the magic of Like a Rolling Stone" as well as the Grateful Dead on the radio. These lines elicited much approval from the crowd.

The new lyrics were phenomenal. He sang about wanting to change the world, but not quite getting there (or something to that effect). YOU GUYS WILL LOVE THESE SONGS!!!!

Neil put his heart and soul into the show, and clearly put his all into writing the new songs as well.

I had expected the first part of the show to be Americana stuff (just like the Greendale shows), and Neil played me for the fool by playing only one tune from the album!

On thing that this resident of the Land of Enchantment appreciated is that Neil ended the show by saying "Thank you New Mexico, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Las Cruces." That was loved by the crowd.

What a magical evening! Seven wonderful world premieres! Eardrum-splitting, glorious Crazy Horse Sound! Neil Young happier than I've ever seen him, ten feet from me! A front and center experience that cannot be duplicated!


As you can tell, I am in Crazy Horse glory right now!!


Thanks Morning Son!

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Albuquerque, NM, Aug 3, 2012
Photo by Steve Snowden/Getty Images North America
(Click photo to enlarge)

More on Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Albuquerque, New Mexico concert with reviews, photos, videos, tweets, etc.

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At 8/05/2012 09:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never seen a concert like that. He performs for 2 1/2 hours and most went home very disappointed. He only played two songs that were hits and most of the rest of the 10-15 minute songs nobody had heard of. That's ripping the public off. He could have spent 1/2 hour playing his popular songs.

At 8/05/2012 09:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's what Neil Young fans expect Neil Young to do - he can't please everybody. If he played all 'hits' many people would complain about it being unoriginal. Be thankful he is still creating...

Please bring the Horse to Britain next year, Neil!

The Flying Scotsman.

At 8/05/2012 09:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS He played several 'classic' Crazy Horse songs too - so the idea that all he played we're new songs is incorrect....

Tne Flying Scotsman.

At 8/05/2012 09:59:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Hey Anon - it looks like it's time for us to all play How To Spot A Bogus Concert Review in 3 Easy Steps.


Thanks for playing.

At 8/05/2012 10:05:00 AM, Anonymous SD said...

LOL "only played 2 songs that were hits"

There are EIGHT songs that any Neil Young fan would say are classics/hits.

Plus, you get a whole bunch of new songs - also great for those who have seen him live many times to get to hear him play something he's never done before.

Perhaps a Neil Young gig is not the right place for you. Not everyone can enjoy it for what it is.

At 8/05/2012 10:13:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

ps - here's a non bogus conecert review from someone we actually know and actually attended the concert. Cross posted by permission.

From: "mike.c"
Date: Sat Aug 4, 2012 12:32 pm
Subject: Albuquerque Opener *spoiler*

It was a singular, once-in-a-lifetime concert experience for me in Albuquerque.
Being on the rail front and center was definitely part of that for sure. It was
Neil Young as the artist I have followed since I was 15 doing the unexpected;
playing songs no one has heard before while simultaneously being enormously
entertaining. And this is with Crazy Horse! This experience will reside within
me for the rest of my life. It was unbelievable and unforgettable.

You've seen the set list Tom has posted.

-An aside: he calls one song For The Love Of Man that many of us know as I
Wonder Why, the song Neil performs on piano from I think the 80's that
circulates widely but has never before been played live. When in doubt, I go
with Tom who is one of my Neil Young fan heroes. To listen to that old piano
version, go to

username: neilfan@neilunreleased1
password: unreleased

username: neilfan@neilunreleased
password: unreleased

It's listed under 1981 though it may be from 1986.-

Anyway, the new songs are incredible. Some I would say epic. The one Tom calls
Every Morning Comes The Sun is a depiction of the journey of life long lovers.
Walk Like A Giant -- Neil starts out saying he used to walk like a giant on the
land and lately he feels like a leaf floating down the river and how he is among
many who almost changed the world but didn't quite succeed. Something like that
anyway. It's long and interesting and Crazy Horse all the way. And it ends with
this stomping that would have fit right into Jurassic Park but with more
intensity. Twisted Road pays homage to Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, and Roy
Orbison. Ontario was autobiographical, upbeat and wonderful. Party Girl was like
Too Lonely part 2 or as Tom Hambleton told me, the other side of Dirty Old Man.
All the older songs were wonderful. The only solo acoustic performance was
Needle And The Damage Done. Twisted Road was acoustic with the band. I Wonder
Why/For The Love Of Man was performed with Neil on his Gretsch and Poncho on

Neil was dressed in a white button-up shirt with the top 3 buttons undone, blue
jeans, and black thick soled outdoor shoes with no hat. His intensity was
stunning and I made eye contact with him a couple of times which is a jarringly
startling experience. My wife Pat standing beside me had a couple of eye-contact
experiences with Neil and Poncho. With Poncho, she saw him singing into the
shadow of a microphone on Neil's shirt and she mouthed to him "that's funny" and
he nodded in agreement, smiled and kept playing. The band was having incredible
fun on the stage and were really enjoying each other as they created that
amazing Neil Young and Crazy Horse sound.

I feel very privileged to have been able to experience this show from the the
best vantage point one could ever ask for.


At 8/05/2012 10:19:00 AM, Anonymous KENT, NM said...

After "cooling off for a day after the greatest concert of my life I am put it right out there - "Neil Young and Crazy Horse must be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame". No band rocks the house like them!

At 8/05/2012 10:36:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

"only played 2 songs that were hits" I feel so bad for Anon. lol Wrap your mouse cord around yourself and imagine it's all of us hugging you.

The concert sounded AWESOME! guys.

At 8/05/2012 11:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning I thank the Morning Son for this shining review...

Cosmo aka rustINhead
give to the wind; be the rain

At 8/05/2012 11:02:00 AM, Blogger SONY said...

I saw Pancho kicking Neil on the Hey Hey video, that was at first wierd, then funny and after hearing he was doing it all night just hilarious. Neil sounds/looks loose and free with his homies by his side. What a deal. Let's hope the magic lasts all the way through the whole tour. No reason it won't, but the new thing doesn't alwys stay the new thing. He's still got a million more songs to play, we'll see what happens.

I'll be in Ohio at the show on Columbus day, so lookout Cleveland, storm is coming through and it's running right up on you!

At 8/05/2012 11:26:00 AM, Anonymous SD said...

Poncho kicks Neil in the behind in the Rockin in the Free World SNL video from '89 too.

At 8/05/2012 11:42:00 AM, Blogger Untitled I said...


Why are you a Neil Young fan??

At 8/05/2012 12:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous.. were you thinking your were at a Neil Diamond concert? Maybe that's your confusion.. Reading this review I am so stoked to be seeing him at the Hollywood Bowl in October. Especially love the comments about him smiling. He does seem happier these days. He does more interviews.

Thank you so much for this review.

PS my first NY concert was 1973, Tonights the Night tour at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago... Long may he run.. with THE horse is a big bonus...petimpla 41

At 8/05/2012 01:13:00 PM, Anonymous Sultan said...

I'll be at Hollywood Bowl too, so excited, will be my first time seeing Neil with the Horse. Really looking forward to epic new songs. The Bowl has an early curfew, so I hope the openers are brief. Otherwise an awesome venue. I will try to record and post the results.

At 8/05/2012 03:42:00 PM, Anonymous screpeau/nyoung1 said...

eitnered5th row - Hollywood Bowl!! YES!!!!
Thank you New Mexico, for your thoughts and up-to-date play by play of the first concert. Looking forward to hearing much more before Oct 17th.
I sure hope he throws in a few more solo acoustic numbers!! PLEASE NEIL!!

At 8/05/2012 04:24:00 PM, Blogger Sharry said...

I was thrilled by the setlist. It wasn't the old and more well known songs that intrigued me as much as the new ones, such as "Born in Ontario," "Twisted Road," "Psychedelic Pill" and "Ramada Inn."
It was very interesting to discover the song that we had historically known as "I Wonder Why" is actually "For the Love of Man." It was wonderful that Neil included this unreleased and rare gem that he wrote many years ago about his son Ben.
I must admit that I was a bit disappointed that only one song from "Americana" was included when there are a number of other worthy ones I was hoping to hear such as "High Flyin' Bird," "Clementine" and "Oh Susannah." I wonder if the setlist will vary a bit as the tour progresses.

At 8/05/2012 04:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is off-topic (sort of), but...

has it been noticed that the version of Jesus' Chariot on the Blu-Ray Of 'Americana' has had a verse edited out, compared to the longer CD version?

The Flying Scotsman.

At 8/05/2012 06:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree with Sharry. I LOVE Americana. Would really love to hear High Flying Bird as well as Clementine and Susanna. If not now, it'll be never.

At 8/05/2012 06:44:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I have been following Neil young since the early days running to get a bootleg and skip class to put it on the turntable....We are all so lucky to have him for almost half a century as a great American artist....Now if the cubs could just win a world series...thats how lucky we are to have Mr Young still engaged and energetic!

At 8/05/2012 07:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep on Rockin Neil. Watchin these u tube clips and can not wait for the GARDEN. Anon is a friggin moron..I have never heard "the public" leaving a Neil show feeling ripped off. KORITFR

At 8/05/2012 08:18:00 PM, Blogger asg said...

I don't understand why someone would even BOTHER writing a bogus review and post it on the Internet...I'll NEVER understand Humans...

At 8/05/2012 09:26:00 PM, Blogger redroxx said...

Neil's gettin ready for another sold out show at Red Rox. . .

At 8/05/2012 09:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sitting here at Red Rocks, waiting for the show to begin!!

At 8/05/2012 09:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see the new songs in there. Just wish he'd dust off some more obscure stuff rather than Cinnamon Girl and HHMM. It's Neil and the Horse nonetheless. At least he didn't play RITFW.


At 8/05/2012 11:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil, Pls play Country Home at Harveys. Its my favorite song from Ragged and kicks that thing off. it also talks about Santa Cruz
tim w w.sanjose

At 8/06/2012 01:23:00 AM, Anonymous SD said...

Chris, Neil played 'I Wonder Why' (titled For the Love of Man now), which is about as rare/obscure as Neil songs can get - an unreleased 80s song.

At 8/06/2012 05:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Six white horses in Albuquerque:

At 8/06/2012 12:09:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

If you know Neil Young,then you know he never does that play the songs you want to hear, so wat's wrong if he play some new songs,I like them to very much so, but I like some new songs to, you know I would be over the moon to see him play live once in my life but that's never gone happen I guess Cause I live to far away, Belgium

At 8/06/2012 02:27:00 PM, Anonymous Keith Burris said...

Thrasher: This is off the topic of the tour kicking off but...

Just saw Neil Young Journeys and want to urge all to see it if you can.

I have seem many of Demme's movies, and both his previous Neil movies. I know he is great. And I am a hard-core NY fan. Saw the Twisted Road show three times. But I guess i didn't expect all that much. I suppose I thought Demme had said all he had to say.

I was not ready for a great film, which is what this is.
This is just a great movie and a great performance.

Demme's film is totally unlike the other two, and it is masterful. NY's performance is powerful -- 110 percent -- and so soulful. I am a graduate of Kent State and Ohio blew me away.

NY is in the prime of life. Can't wait to see him and the Horse on this tour.

At 8/06/2012 03:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to Unknown, in 2009 I came all the way from Chico, CA to Rotterdam, Ahoy to see NY. you are much closer in Belgium, if you have the means. NY regularly tours the NL I know.

At 8/06/2012 11:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont expect this to make a difference, but, but Neil, 1 word about pending show at beautiful Lake Tahoe, Sedan Delivery. Thank you oh Bard of Sky Londa.
Tim W w.sanjose

At 8/07/2012 11:20:00 AM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

Anon's, Jeeese .... Some folk's are just never gonna get it. Period !


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