Archive for the ‘Neil Young’ Category



So I love Neil Young.

Have done since I first bought a Buffalo Springfield best of at 16, and then followed that with Decade.

And then the rest.

But being a fan can be painful sometimes.

Part of the Neil Young myth is the Tonight’s the Night tour in 1973.

A tequila-soaked Neil comes on to a crowd expecting some mellow Harvesting, only to hear a set of songs that sound nothing like the hits, and none of which they’ve ever heard before.

And I think all of us have heard those tapes and said, “Man, I’d have loved to have been there.”

But it’s not so funny to show up to a very pricey show 20 years later only for Neil to play all of the Greendale album.

To a seated audience.

If you get up to use the bathroom you’re not allowed back till the break for polite applause.

Only in the encore does Neil play some of the hits.

It was so frustrating. Not the evening with the school-friend and fellow fan that I’d wanted.

The whole thing is up on YouTube.

See if you can stand it.

High: finally hearing the opening chords of Lotta Love, one hour and 45 minutes into the show.

Drinking: go to the bar and get back in? You’d be lucky.

Thinking: maybe history will be kind to this tour. But who’s played Greendale in the last 15 years or so? Not me.


Why: I love Neil. He’s a hero of mine. But it doesn’t mean he’s always great live. Prior to this I’d seen one great show (with band) and one hellish show (solo). Luckily this was with a band…

I’d originally booked tickets for the previous night and ended up with seats way back on the balcony, and I was going to take the secretary from the office I was casually seeing – but then I got a better offer.

A month beforehand I’d been introduced to an ex-indie star turned indie band manager who lived round the corner from me. I’d already taken advantage of his recommendation for a builder to do some work on my flat (“Call him now, he’s just finishing a job lowering Jamie Klaxon’s floor…”) and now he was able to get me row K seats at Hammersmith.

Even better, also in his posse for the show – and sitting next to me – was the phenomenally attractive scandinavian singer of a band who’d put out one of my favourite records that year.

High: Ambulance Blues? Powderfinger? Like a Hurricane? Mr Soul? (MR FUCKING SOUL!!!!!) Most of it basically…

And then, just to wrap up the night, as band manager and I shared a cab back home and talked about our favourite records of the moment, he phoned up a favourite singer of mine who he’d used to date and put her on speakerphone. Fantastic night.

Drinking: Maybe only two pints…

Thinking: Neil, you’re phenomenal. So much so that I’ll forgive you the guy painting an interpretative picture live on stage…

Gig on Songkick

Setlist on