So was Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere which sounded as wonderful as I’m sure it did forty years ago. I’ve seen Neil play Old Man before, but the introduction of the band half way through brought the song to life in such a beautiful and unexpected way that it made a song that I’m more than overfamiliar with feel completely new.
Love And Only Love
Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Cortez The Killer
Don’t Let It Bring You Down
Heart Of Gold
Comes A Time
Mansion On The Hill
I’ve Been Waiting For You
Rockin’ In The Free World
Like A Hurricane
In many ways, you could look at that rundown and think that this was a pretty safe setlist. Lots of Crazy Horse classics, a couple from Harvest for the toe-tappers and hardly anything new altogether but this is Neil Young and safe is a word that I just don’t think he understands the meaning of.
For instance, if it wasn’t for the malfunction of his guitar pedals, then Love And Only Love could have lasted for half an hour and Cortez The Killer could still have been dancing across the water for a week and a half but as it was it was cut short at around the ten minute mark. No matter, it was still amazing. So was Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere which sounded as wonderful as I’m sure it did forty years ago. I’ve seen Neil play Old Man before, but the introduction of the band half way through brought the song to life in such a beautiful and unexpected way that it made a song that I’m more than overfamiliar with feel completely new.
Oh, and I finally got to see Ben Keith play the lap steel, which was a personal highlight. Pocahontas was freshened up a litte too. Played to an interesting, slightly more upbeat tempo, driven on by a tribal drum rhythm, the song lost a lot of the fragility of the standard version people will be familiar with, but gained a sense of power and it sounded tremendous. Same goes for I’ve Been Waiting For You, which was almost threatening, but praise must be reseved for Rockin’ In The Free World, which is not one of my favourites it must be said and yet tonight it was amazing. Brutal, frantic and with more endings than The Return Of The King Neil drove the song into a frenzy, let it explode when necessary before building it back up again and again and again. It was an epic set closer and you could see the band were loving it too.
After a short break, which finally let us catch our breath, the band truly whipped up a storm of biblical proportions with Like A Hurricane. It was apocalyptic, but so much fun. Then, as the band took a bow and we applauded and screamed at the top of our lungs, we were left to wonder only one thing.
Can gigs get any better than this?
Words: Damian Leslie