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Friday, January 10, 2014

Concert Review - Neil Young at Carnegie Hall 1/10/14

As stated in the earlier post, we had the utmost privilege of seeing Neil Young last night. We had both gone to see Neil Young's previous tour which featured the backing band Crazy Horse as part of their album tour for Psychedelic Pill. When the tickets first went on sale and we saw Carnegie Hall we hoped Neil would be playing an acoustic show, and that is exactly what we got.

We had never been to Carnegie Hall and we highly suggest that any person who loves music and the arts should try to get there at some point. The history of music played at Carnegie is very overwhelming and the halls are filled with pieces of musical history hanging on the walls from the likes of Beethoven to Pete Seeger.

The show started around 8:05 with Neil walking out on stage and the crowd cheering wildly. Then something happened that had never happened at any concert I have ever been to. The crowd fell silent as Neil broke into the first song of the night, "From Hank to Hendrix". While this was a weird reaction to me at a concert, that no one was singing or clapping along with the song, it turned out to be the perfect reaction for the concert. With the history of Carnegie, Neil Young playing acoustically on stage, and being able to hear every syllable Neil was singing it was just magical.    

After "From Hank to Hendrix", Mr. Young played four straight songs from Live at Massey Hall and it felt like we were back in Canada in 1971 when these songs were being played for the first time. I feel like this is a good time to mention how the stage was set up. In the center of the stage was a chair surrounded by 6 guitars and a banjo. To the right and left of the circle of guitars were pianos, and behind the circle was an organ (that was unfortunately never played) and two more acoustic guitars. Also, around his neck was a harmonica which was used in mostly every song. In between songs, Neil would switch out guitars, dump his harmonica in water and proceed to shake it out. From time to time Neil would switch from guitar to piano depending if the song called for it.

This night was a magical experience as we have mentioned a few times. Neil played 25 songs - 18 originals and 7 covers (if you count Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young songs as covers). We would normally have the highlights of the show but it would be impossible to differentiate any one song over the another because they were all amazing. For someone with over forty years experience in the music business, Neil Young has not lost a step. His singing and playing sound as good as ever and we cannot wait for him to come around once again.

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