Concert Review of the Moment: Desert Trip Festival - Neil Young + POTR + Paul McCartney, October 8, 2016
The Concert Review of the Moment is from Desert Trip Festival - Neil Young + POTR + Paul McCartney, October 8, 2016 by Pabst:
Sorry for the delayed "report" -- I was at the festival all day Sunday and then had to drive back to LAX and then fly back home, so honestly the last thing on my mind was letting everyone in the internet know about Neil's set on Saturday!Thanks Pabst! great review. No apologies needed.
Neil started about 15 minutes late. The set times that DT sent out said 615pm, but he didn't start until about 630pm. That was a bummer to me, because I was hoping he'd start on time and get a 2.5 hour set in. The timing, in general all weekend, was clearly around "start at sunset" and "end by midnight".
This was my 4th show in 2016 -- if I had to rank them, it'd be impossible because JazzFest was so weird and Rome was so awesome because I was in Italy seeing Neil... but I felt like maybe this was the "worst" of the bunch setlist wise.. but only behind Rome in terms of energy, fun, etc.
I am kind of done with the acoustic opener stuff, but I get it and I know a lot of people love it. That said, Mother Earth continues to be awesome on the pump organ. When he sat down at the organ, the big screens flipped to a view from behind him... looking out over 80,000 people... with the sun setting in the distance behind the mountains and palm trees.. and it was absolutely perfect. That camera guy deserves a high five for realizing how perfect it was from that vantage and sharing it with the entire festival!
I thought the 4 new songs were pretty good, though the Texas Rangers song is a bit of a throwaway in my opinion. Kind of reminds me of Cough Up The Bucks or something.I loved that Neil didn't play guitar on a bunch and was just "one of the band" ripping harmonica solos as his instrumental duties. I look forward to the studio versions of all of these songs!
Someone yelled out for DBTR... and Neil acknowledged the guy, basically saying "yeah yeah, Down By The River? We'll get to it when we're good and ready". No clue if it was on the setlist or not, but I'm sure that guy's year was made. I've seen Neil do DBTR with Crazy Horse, most recently in 2012 at ACL Fest, and this version was way more ferocious and energetic.
Neil made some crack about it being "the year of the man" or something. Obviously a sarcastic joke about Trump's misogyny and chauvinism, but it just seemed awkward. He also said "Roger is going to build a beautiful wall tomorrow night for us... Make Mexico Great Again!" which got a nice cheer and laugh out of the crowd.
The Welfare Mothers intro, referencing it as Trump's new campaign theme song, was amusing... and he and Lukas "argued" about how they hadn't done it correctly live yet and who was to blame, etc.
Oh and that moment when he joined Paul later on? Jesus it was awesome. I knew it was coming when I saw the big red pedal board being lugged onto the stage, but most around me in the pit had no clue who Paul's "friend" was going to be. A Day In The Life was good -- Neil was like a kid in a candy shop with a huge grin, but it seemed kind of stilted performance wise. That said, I also didn't think it was so hot a few years ago (judging by the YouTube versions I watched). The novelty was more interesting than the actual performances.. but then "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" is teased with Paul saying that Neil is going to have to solo. And Neil acting like "Oh really? You want me to solo? SHOCKING, MAN!"... and they ripped into it and Neil owned the solo. It was mind blowingly cool. And the fact that Paul says things like "I love that boy" when talking about Neil? Awesome. So awesome. These two really do love playing together and seem like there's nothing forced about it.
I'm not sure what else I can write up about the show. I first saw Neil, a few days before I went to college, in 1996 with my Dad. I'm so fortunate to have the financial resources at the moment to have done this in 2016.
Glad you've had such a great Neil year. New Orleans, Rome, Indio. Quite a roll there.
On to Weekend #2! Predictions? Maybe Paul joins Neil for his set?