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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Concert Review of the Moment: Desert Trip Festival - Neil Young + POTR + Paul McCartney, October 8, 2016

Paul McCartney and Neil Young
(Click photo to enlarge)

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!

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.
Thanks Pabst! great review. No apologies needed.

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?

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18 Comments:

At 10/11/2016 09:01:00 PM, Blogger Mick said...

off topic.... looks thhhe next lot of vinyl rereleases from Neil are coming Nov 16.

The Neil Young Official Release Series Volume 3 limited edition box set includes Long May You Run (The Stills-Young Band), American Stars 'N Bars, Comes A Time, Rust Never Sleeps (Neil Young & Crazy Horse), and Live Rust (Neil Young & Crazy Horse).

Avail hhere at good price ....

https://www.popmarket.com/products/neil-young-official-release-series-discs-8-5-12-180g-6lp-vinyl-box-set

 
At 10/11/2016 09:34:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

stay on topic will ya, fuck.

Pabst, thanks for the observations and the vibe. I did see some of the videos and one thing you mention that I saw was Neil not playing guitar on some songs. I tell ya, up until now I think I have only seen any live or live videos of Neil not playing guitar, with anybody, about once, and that I thought was out of character, so there is some shift in the gears about that. But hey, he can play harmonica all night as far as I'm concerned. And seeing him with Paul and the 'real love' is so great. "I love that boy", that is IT! Would be great to see them pick it up together, and tour.....Imagine that? Anyhow, we get another weekend for another show....maybe we'll be (more) amazed!

 
At 10/11/2016 11:31:00 PM, Blogger Arthur said...


Neil and POTR have finally become......UNSHACKLED!

It's gonna be......HUGE!

(Speaking for myself) While the rest of us go NUTS!

Thank (whoever you worship) for ..... MUSIC!

And Thrasher. Thanks.

 
At 10/12/2016 01:30:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Corporate Rock - I thought Neil hated this?

Neil & POTR have yet to make a good let alone Great record.

 
At 10/12/2016 07:13:00 AM, Blogger growl said...

Would love to see Neil guest with the Stones for a rendition of Satisfaction/Mr Soul

 
At 10/12/2016 10:03:00 AM, Blogger Pocahontas said...

They messed up Welfare Mothers in Scranton as well.

 
At 10/12/2016 01:55:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

Great job, Pabst. You did a superb job of relaying your experience and emotions--felt like I was there reading your review. And BTW, A Giant Dog was not the opener, but I'll be checking them out based on the nice words in the earlier piece. And I guess that's all I should say about that...Lord knows I sure can get "off topic" sometimes, and that is certainly the deadliest of sins.

And someone please catch me up here: who died and made Sony boss? No problemo, I'll just skate on by.

 
At 10/12/2016 02:07:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Thanks Mick. That's news to us.

@SONY - we'll assume a semi-humorous jab there.

@Andy - standby for the upcoming "great" album "Peace Trail". There's some more off topic news for you.

@growl - we can only wish.

@Pocahontas - why do they keep f'g up Welfare Mothers ?! Intentional irony??

@Mr H - digressions are welcome and sometimes necessary to shift the tone of a comment thread that has gone off the rails. I think SONY was just poking and it came across more hostile than intended.

 
At 10/12/2016 02:28:00 PM, Blogger Pabst said...

Funny thing is, I wrote about 1000 more words that I had to trim down because it kept complaining that I had more than 4096 characters!

I don't really remember what I wrote, other than the fact that I thought Micah -- when playing the organ -- looked like Ace Ventura from the insane asylum scene.

And, I was also thinking "Wouldn't it be cool if Paul and Neil teamed up for some recordings?" After all, Paul did the thing with the Nirvana guys for Dave Grohl's documentary. And he certainly isn't afraid of collaborating (see: Kanye). On the other hand, I'd rather hear Toast... or maybe that rumored album with Phish?

Re: A Giant Dog. I recommend them live over their recordings, but Pile and the previous album are both fun listens. Sabrina, the frontwoman, is also the brains behind another great Austin band called Sweet Spirit (who I imagine would appeal more to Neil fans vs AGD's more brash punk singalong stylings). I'm glad I get to see both of them relatively frequently here in Austin. A lot of shows already on my calendar for this week/weekend to help bring me down from the Neil high!

 
At 10/12/2016 02:34:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Thanks Pabst. Bummer on the edit.

Enjoy your shows!

@All - for future reference if you have a very long comment, just break into 2 separate comments. No problem.

 
At 10/12/2016 03:09:00 PM, Blogger Pabst said...

It's all good-- I was probably rambling anyway!

Can't wait to see the Pomona setlists the next two nights.

 
At 10/12/2016 03:23:00 PM, Blogger Peacelover Doc said...

I'm thinking Roger Waters joins Neil on stage as a sort of 'Pre-Bridge" warmup but that might explain why I don't get paid to think!

 
At 10/12/2016 05:08:00 PM, Blogger RichieCruz said...

So on some of these new songs, Neil's just playing some harmonica? No guitar? No piano? Wow, that's gotta be a weird site to see. Is he eventually gonna go the way of Dylan, just standing there and singing while the band is playing? Ha ha, I sure hope not. Imagine Neil up there with Crazy Horse, just singing on the mic while the Horse bashes away behind him. A pretty funny thing to think about.

I'm hoping to go to the Bridge on the first night, might be blessed with some prime seats if things work out. Looking forward to hearing the new tunes!

 
At 10/12/2016 05:12:00 PM, Blogger Pabst said...

On at least 1 of the new songs, at Desert Trip, Neil was on harmonica... holding it tightly cupped to a mic (without a stand).. stomping/stalking the stage.. and then basically soloing, with the same body contortions he does with old black, on just that harmonica. And the sound of the harmonica was lower/thicker/richer/bluesier sounding that when he plays the harmonica with the neck holder on the solo acoustic stuff.

Not sure how else to describe it.

 
At 10/12/2016 11:01:00 PM, Blogger Arthur said...


I tell ya....Geronimo himself jumped into Neil Young's soul
many, many moons ago and is having a heyday with that Canuc!

That's not just Neil dancin' around with his harp!

 
At 10/13/2016 01:34:00 AM, Blogger TOM said...

So far

POMONA FOX THEATER
OCT 12, 2016

NY & POTR:
No NY solo; they all came roaring out!

Like an Inca (long jazzy jam)
Fuckin Up (intense)
When You Dance
The Loner
Cinnamon Girl
Cortez the Killer
Human Highway
From Hank to Hendrix
Peace of Mind
I am a Child
Show Me (new)
Neighborhood Hang Gliders (new)
Words

 
At 10/13/2016 04:24:00 AM, Blogger TOM said...

THEATER
OCT 12, 2016

NY & POTR:
No NY solo; they all came roaring out!

Like an Inca (extended jazzy jam)
Fuckin Up (intense)
When You Dance
The Loner
Cinnamon Girl (wow)
Cortez the Killer (WOW)
Human Highway
From Hank to Hendrix
Peace of Mind
I Am A Child
Show Me (new)
Neighborhood (new)
Words
If I Could Have Her Tonight
Walk On
Texas Rangers (new)
Powderfinger (epic sweep)
Cowgirl in the Sand (blisteringly sonic)
Seed Justice (driving power chords)
Peace Trail (new-excellent!)
I've Been Waiting For You
Hey Hey My My (Into the Black)

Roll Another Number For The Road
Piece of Crap

3 hour show

 
At 10/15/2016 11:08:00 AM, Blogger James McKelvey said...

Anyone know if there is going to be streaming tonight at Desert Trips?

There are what look like official sites for streaming on Youtube but nothing on the Desert Trips homepage that I can find so I think they might be phishing. That seemed to be a big problem on Neil's European tour where Youtube phishing sites went up all over the place. Looks like six hundred or so have fallen for it on Youtube so far for Desert Trips and you give your credit card information to them when you register from what I've heard.

https://iorr.org/talk/read.php?2,2373621,2373647

Will Desert Trip be live streamed?

"At the moment, we don’t know. The festival has been organised by the people behind Coachella, who this year live streamed pretty much the entire festival via YouTube. Whether this will apply to ‘Oldchella’ is up in the air."
Read more at http://www.nme.com/blogs/festivals-blog/desert-trip-festival-lineup-tickets-dates-location#D4bSdgDDdptJYvI5.99

 

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