VIDEO & ANALYSIS: "Cortez The Killer" - Neil Young + Promise of the Real, Barcelona, Spain Concert - June 20, 2016
Here's a nice 18+ minute "Cortez The Killer" from Barcelona, Spain Concert of Neil Young + Promise of the Real on June 20, 2016 .
We made a comment that we were a bit surprised since "Cortez The Killer" was banned in Spain in the 1970's? Of course, we were quickly corrected by our oh so astute readers. "Cortez The Killer" has been played no less than 7 times in Spain, per the indispensable Sugar Mountain.
“Cortez The Killer”, was banned in Spain because it offended General Franco’s regime. In Spain, Hernando Cortez (or Hernán Cortés) is considered a national hero as the conquistador who conquered Mexico's Aztec Empire for Spain.
On to the Comment of the Moment by flyingscotzman:
Cortez is the perfect conclusion to these recent shows.Thanks Scotsman. And one man's villain is another man's hero...
One thing you will very quickly notice about the setlist recently is that there are a lot of villains. People who may have started with good intentions but quickly became too powerful, too big, too dangerous.
We witness the betraying "men of power" in Mother Earth. The evil and spiteful corporations of Big Box and Monsanto Years. The "shadow man" of After The Garden. The fallen angel ("he's different now") of Western Hero. The restless rebel without a cause of Revolution Blues (in this context both a hero and a villain, perhaps). The "hate" being overcome in Love And Only Love. The oil-sucking vampire of "Vampire Blues". The "thoughtless plunderers" of Wolf Moon. The ominous, invading "white boat" of Powerfinger. The person "pushing the button" in Like An Inca.
And so on.
And then you have Cortez The Killer.
The summation and conclusion to all of this; a song about a man who was "not able to sleep well" (Neil's description) due to the crimes he committed. We see flashbacks of all these other varied antagonists who carelessly allowed greed to control them, to destroy their own peace of mind and the world around them. Cortez represents them all. He takes off his mask and reveals more than one face; and a mirror.
It's like Luke Skywalker finally facing Darth Vader; Harry Potter against Lord Voldemort. It's a proper cinematic climax, the type Young has so obviously been enamoured with for so most of his career.
As so often happens, Neil tells us a story with this tour, and Cortez brings this particular story to a befitting conclusion. Until the next time.