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Thursday, December 07, 2017

Comment of the Moment: Neil Young's "Somewhere In Canada" Concert

Neil Young
"Somewhere In Canada" Concert - December 1, 2017
Coronation Hall - Omemee, Ontario, Canada

Many of Neil Young's fans are still recovering from the emotional Neil Young's "Somewhere In Canada" Concert last week.

Here is a Comment of the Moment from Neil Young's "Somewhere In Canada" Concert (report by Sharry Wilson) by Minke T.:
Dear all,

Watching Neil’s homecoming was such an event. It shook me thoroughly. It was beautiful and confusing, and utterly gripping. Neil’s performance moved me to tears at several points. Emotive highlights were Someday and Don’t be denied, both so highly personal, made for this moment and occasion, and both getting such sweet, vulnerable and poignant renderings.

To see Neil’s musicality so captivatingly alive was an enormous joy. But so see him almost fall over, groping in the mist of bad eyesight, so dependent on his helpers, reminded so much of our mortality, of dying light, of the shakiness of things. Neil has always been there and now we see him, as we see those around us, preparing to slip away, someday.

I can't fathom whether the concert was good or bad, technically speaking. Perhaps the performances of some songs will not stand stand up to repeated listening, from a greater time distance, out of the moment and the ambiance. There were bad notes, mistunings, mistakes, awkward endings. It was the first time I had the feeling that something was sliding away from him, that he was not on the top of his technical game. Perhaps this was most visible in his guitar technique. always so immaculate and well-aimed, but now more faltering, more putative – and the more moving for it.

It was grandiose.

In the run-up to the event, I sometimes thought he was really moving to Canada, selling his stuff, leaving his California stardom, letting this be a homecoming and a farewell -- but to what? Settling in old age, running the business and doing the politics. But who knows.

Whatever comes next, Neil gave us the ultimate gift of a musical genius that adjusts itself to the possibilities and limitations of moment, age, to the present state of his body and mind. Forget the slips, the spirit was there. A new spirit, more intimate than ever, fragile, with such a strong sense of looking back, on the way home, and as true as ever.

After all, the emotive assault on our inner tunings tells it all. I guess this is what true fandom is, despite the glitches, the let-downs, the exasperation, frustration sometimes, to be moved to the core.

Thanks Neil, thanks Thrasher
And thank you Minke for that heartfelt tribute.

There's not much we can add that others didn't add after your comment.

Let the record just show that on December 1, 2017, Neil Young made the whole world both laugh and cry -- and experience every emotion in between. We are the lucky ones...

Bob Purdy at Neil Young's "Somewhere In Canada" Concert
Coronation Hall - Omemee, Ontario, Canada


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At 12/07/2017 07:33:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

I thought the show was the most vulnerable we've seen Neil. Ever. And for that it was truly enjoyable and great. It was as easy as him playing in our living room. He said he was nervous. That tells me a lot, that what he was feeling was so personal and not just another show on a long tour of nights. The banter and honesty were awesome to hear, along with the gentle and articulate playing, despite a few warts. That was about as intimate as it gets, and for that love rules. John Lennon sang for Help. True is the heart and the soul that receives it with humility. That's what I saw in Neil the other night as well. A timeless evening when the music came to life. Pure gold is the heart of the one who has mined for it forever. Thank you Neil Young.

At 12/08/2017 04:38:00 AM, Blogger Darren, sunderland said...

wow that story almost brought a tear to my eyes. i would love to have been there at such an intimate and personal concert, neil has been a hero of mine for many years,he is up there with the greatest artists of all time ,long may this amazing musician run .
god bless neil young time to play, someday, very loudly .

At 12/08/2017 04:57:00 AM, Blogger Believe said...

I watched Neil online that night. That gift of his music sent a spark through me again.

At 12/08/2017 02:09:00 PM, Blogger NYBD11-12 said...

I saw the concert on video, not in person. What was amazing to me was his voice. Neil's voice doesn't seem to have changed over the past 45 years compared to some of his contemporaries. For contrast, listen to Bob Dylan, who sounds like he gargles with razor blades. Or Leonard Cohen (may his memory be a blessing) whose voice got deeper -- almost cavernous -- as he aged. Ditto with Lou Reed (may his memory be a blessing), who was talk singing in his last few years. Steve Stills' voice sounds like the eats gravel.

Yet Neil sounded fresh and clear (to these ears anyway).

More interesting is all of this stuff that he plans to auction this weekend, which includes lots of guitars, mics, compressors and other hardware. Is he simply downsizing because he doesn't have the ranch anymore, or is it something more serious?

At 12/08/2017 11:54:00 PM, Blogger jgricus24 said...

I think the show was epic. Neil in the moment, fully aware that the show would be a challenge, in my mind he crushed it. Best live performance I've seen since I saw him and POTR at Red Rocks on 2015.

I've watched the entire show three times already and hope to be able to buy a DVD at some point.

Thanks Thrasher-and thanks Neiler !


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