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Sunday, January 09, 2022

REVIEW: “Timeline Concert” - Neil Young w/ Booker T & the MGs, 7/11/1993 | Old Grey Cat

Fans had "widespread teeth chattering” and “blankets and hot coffee would have been a greater boon than a pea souper.” 
Max Bell, Guardian Newspaper Review
Neil Young with Booker T & the MGs 
+ Pearl Jam & Teenage Fanclub 
Finsbury Park - London, England on July 11, 1993

Last week we posted that over on Neil Young Archives, a new Timeline Concert of  Neil Young with Booker T & the MGs from 1993 USA & Euro Tour w/ Booker T. & The MGs at Finsbury Park - London, England on July 11, 1993 began streaming.

A real monster, mega outdoor festival concert with Pearl Jam opening for Neil Young with Booker T & the MGs and then coming out for a final encore on “Rockin’ in the Free World” (which was unrecorded due to "tape ran out"), Booker T & the MGs is considered -- in retrospect -- as yet another great Neil Young backing band.

From Old Grey Cat blog:

Bell [Max Bell, Guardian Newspaper Review, above] called the combination [Neil Young with Booker T & the MGs] “bizarre.”

Andy Gill of the Independent agreed: “On paper, it just doesn’t work: Neil Young, the most quixotically gifted singer-songwriter of his generation, given to wild mood swings between maudlin sentiment and raw, sculpted guitar feedback frenzy; and Booker T & the MGs, the tightest, crispest soul band of them all.” Bell called the result “solid and dependable,” however, while Gill found the pairing “a little one-sided,” saying that the MGs were “a tough, stable bedrock where Crazy Horse were once looser and wirier in the support.” 

Still, both enjoyed the shows.

As tape-trading and/or bootleg-buying fans have long known, however, the MGs were more than just “solid and dependable.” They provided utterly brilliant support. For additional proof of that indisputable fact (says I, at any rate), give a listen to the streaming-only release of this concert, which was made available on the Neil Young Archives last September. While Crazy Horse engages in what I’ve come to call “brutal grace,” the MGs provide a sonic tonic of pure soul throughout. They add layers of depth to “Southern Man,” for example, and their support on “Helpless” and “Harvest Moon” lifts those heartfelt songs into the stratosphere. Likewise, “Like a Hurricane” and “Down by the River” soar. They also get down and dirty when need be, such as during the combustible “Live to Ride.”

 Thanks OGC! See full review at Neil Young With Booker T & the MGs, 7/11/1993 – A “Timeline Concert” Review | Old Grey Cat blog.

From the concert, the cover of Otis Redding’s “(Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay”:

Neil Young with Booker T & the MGs 
+ Pearl Jam & Teenage Fanclub 
Finsbury Park - London, England on July 11, 1993
Poster via Sugar Montain

More on  “Timeline Concert” -  Neil Young w/ Booker T & the MGs, 7/11/1993.

Also, see Neil Young Archives: Complete Listing of "Timeline Concerts of the Week" + UPDATE: NYA Subscriber News.

"Timeline Concert of the Week" | NYA

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At 1/09/2022 02:38:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Growing up in the 60’s and early 70’s Booker T. & the MG’s were an essential element in the fabric of the times. Not only did they record as a stand alone entity, but they were one of four incredible groups that were the backbone of some of the greatest artists of their generation. Along with Booker T. & The MG’s, The Funk Brothers , The Fame Gang, and The Wrecking Crew, these musicians were responsible for some of the greatest music ever recorded. The opportunity to actually witness any of these players live was extremely rare for a young white kid growing up in the Pacific Northwest. So when Booker T. & the MG’s went out on tour with Neil Young, I realized that it might be my last chance to experience at least one of these remarkable groups I’d grown up admiring.

September 6th 1993…. Blind Melon, Pearl Jam, and Neil Young with Booker T. & The MG’s. Outdoors at the Portland Meadows racetrack. Perfect weather and I believe it was sold out.

Blind Melon at that time were only really known for the one song (No Rain) which I liked, but it didn’t prepare me for their live performance. These guys were totally committed to the music and they came with intensity and purpose. They reminded me of The Doors, they were reckless and spontaneous, which I found extremely satisfying. People were throwing water bottles on stage (as they did all day long) and finally Shannon Hoon stops the music and say “look, if you’re going to throw stuff up here let’s just get it over with. So on three, just throw whatever you want on stage…one two three”…..The avalanche of paraphernalia which cascaded down from above was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. One of the items was actually someone’s wallet, so Shannon picks it up, starts pulling out the contents inside and proceeds to toss everything back into the crowd. A truly brilliant performance from beginning to end. What a shame we lost him so young, they were an amazing band.

Witnessing Pearl Jam in 1993 was such a gift. They were so young. Still finding their own sound and navigating the fame that had been thrust upon them. Still feeling like they had something to prove, and they came out swinging. The purest form of intensity can really only come from the young, still hungry and angry about everything. This is what I experienced watching Pearl Jam perform that beautiful day in the sun. How anyone could walk away from that, and not forever be a devoted fan of Pearl Jam is unthinkable. One of the most raw performances I’ve ever experienced.

I had already seen Neil in concert several times by this point, but the excitement I felt this time was a little bit different. I was going to be witness to a historic pairing. I got into Neil with ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere’, but but Booker T. & The MG’s had been with me since the early 60’s, so I spent much of this concert focused on them. Neil of course was in top form, and seemed to be relishing every single second getting to play with these four legends. There was an effortlessness in each and every note played that night, which has left an indelible mark on my soul. I was spellbound throughout the entire experience, and I feel truly blessed to have been there.

I still have the ticket stub….

ADULT $26.50
Produced By MCA Concerts
Neil Young
--X—Rain Or Shine—X—
No Coolers/Cameras Please
Mon. Sept. 6, 1993 4:30PM

Peace 🙏

At 1/09/2022 04:23:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

I still have mine too, a digital representation of my stub of the July 18 1993 concert can be seen at Returning home on the night train we were speechless for a long time after this show. The three encores blew our mind I guess.

At 1/09/2022 05:38:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

One of the coolest things about seeing the Neil and Booker T show in Santa Cruz? I got to walk home after seeing a Neil Young concert. A very neat thing that I was only able to do one other time, when he performed with Pegi at the Catalyst in 2011.

At 1/10/2022 10:22:00 AM, Blogger Jim said...

This reviewer "got it" at one of the early shows:

At 1/13/2022 03:10:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Thanks Dan! See CotM @

@ Dionys - hang on to the memories. But glad to know archived on SM!

@ Richie - always nice to have an easy way home after the show. Lots of funny stories in parking lots after concerts, lost cars, keys, etc

One of our best concert travel experiences was @ Telluride, Colorado and Neil w/ PotR.

For those concerts, we took a chairlift ride to the concert and back to our condo after. Now that was an excellent ride.

@ Jim - exactly ... Throwin' The Booker At Them!


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