Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Neil Young: Oakdale Theater 5/23/10

While searching the net Sunday morning and seeing that Neil was playing solo electric guitar on a video of his show in Albany, I decided I had to see this live. Not only is Neil on a solo tour with his acoustic guitar and piano but also with his famous black Les Paul and his white Gretsch Falcon. I was able to pick up one ticket through the Oakdale website for a hefty $95 the day of the show, but I figured you only live once and Neil is not going to live much longer himself. The seat wasn't too bad, far right 4th row in the balcony, but after watching the warm up act from my seat I went downstairs to a area about 15 rows on the right of the stage where the seats were on a an angle and not well occupied. I figured I'd stay as long as I could. Nobody ever claimed the seat I was in so that turned out fine. Neil opened with a couple of classics one of which was Tell Me Why which I had never seen him play live before. Then he went into the new stuff which was alright but obviously not very satisfying. He soon strapped on the Gretsch and played Ohio blasting it out as loud as one guy on a puny Fender amp could. A heavy Down By The River also got the crowd jumping. He played a few songs on the organ and piano highlighted by I Believe In You from After The Gold Rush. He went back to the electric and banged out Cortez the Killer a new one called Hitchhiker that really rocked and for the finale, Cinnamon Girl. That is when the good times ended. For $95 bucks you would think Neil would play for at least two hours. But, no. I thought maybe the encore would be a three to four song walk through memory lane. Wrong again. Neil played one song, an original that was okay but not what most expected and then he waved goodbye.
After seeing Wilco a couple of times in April, who played for three hours each night without a break, this was pretty disappointing. Neil looked frail and kind of out of it. There were a few jerks yelling out song titles and whole verses of songs that they wished Neil would play which didn't go over with Neil too well. The last time I saw him at MSG in December of "08" he played for three hours himself. It probably had an affect on him. Well, he's still Neil Young, and you have to expect some out of the ordinary actions on his part. Here is a review and the set list as it appeared in the Hartford Courant...


Also found this video of Ohio:

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