|Music In Head
T O U R
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(more reviews coming)
The show details.
An Albany Times Union review.
A very strange Satatogian review.
This was my first time seeing Neil ever. I just got back from Saratoga and my beautiful third row seats. I knew the setlist going in.
Motorcycle Mama is not that great a tune for an opener but it works, and lets the Young girls sing. But it's just there and goes by real quick.
Powderfinger almost seems to be the reverse of Motorcycle Mama -- too good a song this early in the show. But that's not a complaint. : ) The song is done with a slightly more country feel, or almost like Tom Thumb's Blues from Bobfest. Neil hit the high notes with authority, and played two great solos. The second one had Duck looking up as Neil found some new elaborations on the themes catching his attention.
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere is one my all time favorite Neil Tunes, and this was a lot of fun. Nice vocal improv phrasing. And cool tension building crossover section, where the band plays the la la la la section while Neil simultaneously plays the jagged intro riff and they overlap in a neat fashion.
I Believe In You is one of Neil's most goregous songs. The vocals were real nice on this one, as was Ben Keith's subtle xylophone work. Unknown Legend is not one my faves, but was nice and enjoyable. Dance Dance Dance was fun. Neil liked bouncing along to this one.
An acoustic portion of the show started with Buffalo Springfield Again. This was nice, with Neil getting into the breakdown sections. I love the "Girls and Boys" line. Razor Love was spectacular! A true highlight. The harp solo in the intro was stretched out, and the performance was oh so soulful. The audience was so quiet. I truly had a moment during this one. What a beautiful simple song. The high notes were not only hit but were expressive to the hilt. And so moving. Love cuts through, and so does music this pure.
From Hank To Hendrix was almost as grand. I love this one. "New distance between us you and me", and then neil added a cool extra "you and me." There was a great collective Music in Head band-mind during these two tunes. A sense of group focus and feeling like that is rare. The best musicians like Crazy Horse, the Dead, Dylan with The Band, Miles Davis, Band of Gypsys get this. It's where a group of people (in this case, 7) really are in the same place. Keltner and Duck Dunn are just unreal in their simplicity and playing what the music needs. Spooner and Ben are also similar in creating just the right amount of extra color without taking away from the song.
Daddy Went Walkin' was fun with a good neil story and nice big lyric flub in the middle. I love the "Mama's waiting..." part! Peace of Mind was nice but a little too close to Razor Love in the set. Would have rather heard something else at that point.
Walk On is one of the best tunes! When I saw American Beauty, I came out of the theater just blown away by the movie but a little depressed. But then Walk On came on my cd player, and made me so happy and pleased. It fit peferectly with the feel of the film I'd just seen. Tonight, Walk On started a little slow, but they got it together. I liked Neil's extra "Some get stoned, Some get strange" vocals at the end. (I wasn't thrilled with the girls on this one though.)
Winterlong you gotta love! Bad Fog, ditto.
Words!!! Killer stuff, folks. The transitions were so tight , the improv so searching. Oh Man Neil almost smashed his White Falcon into Duck's bass a few times. He was definetly feeling it folks. This was about 15 mins long and intense! The opposite of the Razor Love performance in overall mood, but similiar in the commitment to the muse.
Harvest Moon was beautiful with the now standard "How ya doin'?" reporter story from Hartford, except Neil's guitar was feeding back. So he talked about a ringing in his head, maybe from playing with Crazy Horse too loud. That got a big cheer from the audience. I counted 8 "How ya doin'?"s, not counting the "How ya doin'?"s in the "How ya doin'?" story.
World On a String was great, but the cheesy backup vocals don't belong there. Then Neil goes to the piano and plays a jazzy jazzy Tonight's The Night in sunglasses. Interesting TTN. Nicely done shakey shakey greedy greedy jazzy jazzy end to the show.
Encore time. I was dissapointed to hear about Watchtower instead of Hurricane in Hartford, and was hoping it would be a one-off. I haven't seen Neil any other time, so I'm not sick of LAH like must of the rest of the Rusties. But Watchtower was played, and it was rocking. Really intense, great stuff. Really really made me want to see the Horse. Please tour again with them sometime soon, Neil!
Mellow My Mind is one of those tunes I love. I was hoping Neil would just got for the vocal ceiling and do the beautiful screech but it was not to be.
Overall this was an incredible show -- all the more special from the third row. Long live Neil -- he is a treasure! "Razor Love" and "Words" were what this show was all about. The whole spectrum, right there.
(more reviews coming soon... --RE*AC*TOR)