Neil Young Concert Review

VANCOUVER, BC - 3/2/1999

For Greendale Vancouver Concert Setlist and Reviews go to:

Thrasher's Wheat Neil Young News Page


Subject: HH: *SETLISTS - neil in usatoday today
Date: 08 Mar 1999 11:33:19 -0500
From: Pete Thayer <Pete.Thayer@
To: ; human_highway@bosco.net

the following Vancouver review taken w/o permission from today's
online USA Today

http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/lmds485.htm

When you open this up, you're greeted with a big Tide detergent
ad!! Mere coincidence?! HA!  Fins^^
*************************************

Young's heart, music pure gold

VANCOUVER, British Columbia Encased in stainless artistry and steely
integrity, Neil Young has been rustproof for 30-plus years.

<Picture: Neil Young>
Unplugged: Rocker Neil Young belts out a song Wednesday at the Queen Elizabeth
Theatre in Vancouver (AP).

While many point to his explosive rock shows with Crazy Horse as proof of
lasting freshness, Young's timeless qualities are no less electrifying in an
unplugged setting. Shorn of reverb, bedlam and din, his performance lays bare
cornerstones of a craft that finds grandeur in simplicity: glorious melodies,
evocative lyrics, guileless vocals.

All were amply evident at Wednesday's concert (<Picture: 4 stars> out of four)
in the sold-out, 2,900-seat Queen Elizabeth Theatre, second stop on a rare solo
acoustic tour. From the delicate opener Tell Me Why to the haunting encore Sugar
Mountain, Young's two-hour serenade never fell short of bewitching. Mr. Soul
himself fell under the spell, confessing after a flubbed start on After the Gold
Rush that the wheezing pump organ "sounded so good, I forgot what I was doing."

Young, 53, never sounded better. His heartfelt plaint, though wan and wistful,
didn't crack or waver through a 19-song set that darted from a lighthearted,
banjo-tweaked Homegrown to the obscure yarn Last Trip to Tulsa to the deeply
romantic Harvest Moon and Unknown Legend. And though he's the electric guitar's
unrivaled demon of distortion, Young plucks acoustic models with elegant
efficiency, plays piano with sturdy grace and knows his way around a harmonica.

Ignoring shouted requests and frequent "I love you, man!" eruptions from the
crowd, the native Canadian maintained a cozy aura as he sat amid six acoustic
guitars, three keyboards and a single flickering candle. Unfettered by the folky
confines, Young spanned wide emotional and topical turf, singing War of Man with
sad resignation, infusing Albuquerque with restless yearning and instilling
Philadelphia with a fragile beauty.

His homespun keen dovetailed with a 12-string guitar on the magical Pocahontas,
a grand piano on See the Sky About to Rain and a twangy banjo on Old King,
prefaced by a humorous anecdote about his late beloved dog, Elvis. ("I hope Bear
is on the bus," he said of his current canine. "I don't want him to hear this.")

Eschewing obvious hits, he revived the seldom-heard Slowpoke and introduced
enchanting new tunes Lookin' Forward, Out of Control and Good to See You,
potential cuts on a studio album due in early 2000, a year that should find
Young very much in style. At the dawn of the new millennium, few pop artists
offer this much vitality and relevance.

***


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