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Thursday, May 16, 2024

Concert Memories of Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse in Bristow, Virginia on May 11, 2024

Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse
photo by thrashette
(Click photo to enlarge)
To say that we were blown away by the Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse concert in Bristow, Virginia on  (May 11) would be a bit of an understatement.
Awesome to catch up with so many of our Rustie Grain friends who traveled from far and wide. To witness the band of brothers hitting their 80's so fearlessly was inspiring. And then we had a near perfect Saturday night concert in mid-Spring with a full horizon to horizon rainbow over the lawn just before concert time.
Like A Hurricane
"Show up at any high school graduation ceremony this spring and a teenage speechmaker might tell you that time flies, heals all wounds, is money, is a flat circle, can’t be turned back. Show up at any Neil Young concert this summer and a 78-year-old carrying an electric guitar will remind you that time really is a river, and that his music is a huge granite boulder plunked square in the middle of it."

Love And Only Love 
Comes A Time 

Crazy Horse

Now I can see why people have taken to the road to see multiple Neil Young & Crazy Horse shows. Right now the shows are getting longer and there is more variety. My wife and I drove up for about five hours to Bristow and arrived just as the heavy rain moved in. So we arrived a little too late for the soundcheck, tailgate experience and the rust fest the day before. Was looking forward to seeing everyone but it wasn’t to be.

Honestly, not a big fan of the digital ticket. I don't generally carry a phone with me, to be honest, and to have to get in and out of your seat is a pain for me showing your digital wallet each time. You had to pay an extra $6 for a printed ticket.

We got in about 6:45 PM as the rainbow formed so we checked out the polar bear at the Love Earth village first. Around 7:00 or so I took two books for Neil to the backstage area in a clear plastic bag. The guard said he couldn't be responsible for getting them backstage and he called an assistant on the bus. She came out to get the books that were my first one that I autographed, "Faces of Pilot Mountain," and Mr. Rufus Edmisten's autographed book, "That's Rufus: A Memoir of Tar Heel Politics, Watergate and Public Life." When I told Neil the themes of my book as I was writing it his response in the Letters to the Editor was, WOW. 
That was really encouraging and now the Ancient American 8K video crew have filmed a documentary on the book which was one of the biggest gifts of my life. By the way, Mr. Rufus Edmisten is the lawyer who served President Nixon for the Watergate tapes in the White House.

Then Rev. Billy started his part of the show and I really enjoyed it. His get out in nature to your sacred spot really hit home with me. Love Earth, indeed!

There was an emotional weight to the show that was amazing. Our seats were right in line with the seated sound crew so the sound was spot on and perfect in Row Q. About the time he played "Powderfinger" they somehow dialed the sound in even more that was like shifting it into 5th gear or something. There was signage that we were being filmed by Daryl Hannah's film company.

My wife had gone with me to the second Rust Never Sleeps show outside Detroit in 1978 and she remembered the stage set-up but missed the Jawa's since they were only white coated scientists in Bristow. She sang right along on the acoustic set with just about everyone else. It was like standing in a choir instead of just listening to a choir. "Helpless" was a really good choice as a sliver of a moon came up on the right side of the stage but given the G5 solar event happening right during the concert it seems like Pocahontas would have been a great choice, too, that Thrasher wanted.

Clearly, the vivid bright rainbow was a sign that this was going to be a night to remember and it was...
 And here is a video of entire concert.

0:00 / 1:51:16 NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE - FULL SHOW@Jiffy Lube Live Bristow, VA 5/11/24 

From The Flying Scotzman's Bristow notes:

Micah found that sweet spot of unleashing the passion and keeping the tension on a tight leash.

Ralph is playing brilliantly. Billy knows they’ve cracked it — see the smile at the end of the song.


Again, the high points of this show are where we feel that Neil is fully in control of his instrument (playing with precision, not just thrashing around with no idea where the notes will land), and he can rely on Ralph to be right there with him.

No pressure, Ralph!

Actually, there is pressure. There’s no pressure and there’s lots of pressure, both at the same time.

See what I mean about tension? About keeping it on just the right leash? Too much tension, and the musicians are paralysed. Too little, and there’s no explosion, no thrill, no intensity.

None of us expect the more senior members of the band to be putting in the same energy as 1986; nearly 40 years ago.

The ace up their sleeve, the full deck of cards up their sleeve is they can still play with scary levels of intensity and precision and controlled tension. Which requires just a little physical energy, physical dexterity and nimbleness, and a lot of mental focus.

Thanks for the notes Scots!

Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping Choir
Wheat Rail Crew

Rainbow Over The Lawn

(photo by Jim M.) 

Such a great thrill to host all of our Rustie Grain Friends  at the pre-concert fest!

See ya down the road!

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At 5/16/2024 12:45:00 PM, Blogger said...

Awesome write up with great photos as we have come to expect from you, Thrasher! Glad you had such a perfect night. My turn is coming up tomorrow, Friday in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Let’s hope for no rain and maybe even a Pocahontas. But as we know, you can’t always get the Neil you want, but you pretty much always get the Neil you need! Love and only love, especially to the hounds that Howell!

At 5/16/2024 02:15:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

@ Thrasher : Fantastic write up, photos… Thank you!

The only way it could have been better is if Dan & I were there with you, and other missing TW fans!

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 5/16/2024 03:37:00 PM, Blogger Dx3 said...

Thanks for the write-up and pictures. Love seeing Rustie friends and the banner on display. Hope to see you on the road. Love Earth

At 5/16/2024 07:54:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

I saw a pretty rough review of the 2nd Queens show from Variety magazine. The writer thought Neil was fine, he was ok with Micah, but had a lot of problems with Billy and Ralph. He wrote that he had seen The Horse back in the 90's and enjoyed it, but now thinks that maybe the rhythm section should be put off to pasture. He even suggested that Neil use a pre-recorded background sound and play off of that, something that apparently is a common practice these days.

Neil playing along pre-recorded music? Good Lord......

At 5/16/2024 08:55:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Great photos, and some very insightful observations of what seemed to me to be an outstanding performance.

I just checked to see when the July full moon was, and it will be on the 21st. Directly between the Calgary show and the Vancouver show. The Idaho show is the 28th, so the moon will be about three quarters full. It will be interesting to see how the waining moon will affect our show. I’m fairly certain that Neil planned to be in Canada on purpose during the full moon. Just a guess of course, but knowing how Neil feels about a full moon has been well documented over the decades.

Anyway; full moon or three quarters moon, I’m sure by the time they get to the end of July they’ll either be firing on all cylinders, or be completely burned out. Regardless of the outcome, I am just so very grateful for the opportunity to experience the Horse live one more time. This could very well be their last trip out of the barn. There’s no guarantees, since life has a tendency to throw a curveball when we least expect it.

@ Richie Cruz : I have also read several people commenting on Ralph’s drumming being out of sync with the rest of the band. Of the videos I’ve watched so far, I haven’t noticed anything unusual. Of course Ralph has always been a bit slippery at times, but that’s part of the fun. Perhaps some folks out there are still expecting these guys to play like they’re in their thirties, when in fact the rhythm section are both 80 years old.

Micah of course is a perfect fit. He’s such a great listener, and he’s always respectful of the song. A very tasteful guitarist who elevates the entire proceedings. I’m just really happy he’s getting the opportunity to shine.

Looking forward to seeing how things develop over the next few weeks. Hopefully they can work through the sound issues, and add more material as they go forward. So far it seems like a successful tour, but most likely it will evolve as they go along.

Peace 🙏

At 5/16/2024 10:07:00 PM, Blogger tomatron said...

These new setlists are getting me ever more hyped to get back to the racetrack for the Austin do-over next weekend! It’s gonna be a hot one.

At 5/17/2024 04:58:00 AM, Blogger Thomas said...

First taste of Early Daze (album out 28 June)

At 5/17/2024 02:18:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

New York sound problems made for a rough show for all.

Review dissing rhythm section is invalid, IMHO. The band is rocking on this tour.

So exciting to find Early Daze on the way. It looks great!

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 5/17/2024 03:53:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

Neil put out Everybody's Alone featuring the original Crazy Horse on YouTube last night. Weird to hear it with other instruments as the only version I ever heard was from that radio broadcast that Neil played by himself in 1970. It sounded pretty cool though I think the song works better with just Neil. After all, everybody's alone.

At 5/17/2024 08:15:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

@ Dan : I appreciate your words above & I agree.

Neil & Horse under Lunar power, keep the magic going! Burn on thru the tour! See you in Boise!

Neil, Billy, Ralph, Micah : Thank you!!!

The Horse is in full Gallup!

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 5/17/2024 08:19:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

@ Richie Cruz : The Band version of Everybody’s Alone is very different. At first listen, I agree with you. I love the solo version.

Pretty soon it will be a classic after I hear it 5 more times.

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 5/17/2024 08:31:00 PM, Blogger tomatron said...

Everybody’s Alone sounds great. It’s the same version from Vol I, just a new mix. Most of the other Early Daze tracks look like they’ll be true unreleased takes though.

At 5/17/2024 10:01:00 PM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5/20/2024 12:17:00 AM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

Consensus on the band aesthetic . Worn Grunge. Worn Railroad Worker(SP), Worn Guy who wants a cigarette at Circle K , Worn Rock Band who's been there and back already. Worn Welder on Strike. Worn ? Still. Nothing worn on the performance.


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