Neil Young Set

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Neil Young Set

Post  Kim Yelach on Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:46 pm

Surely there are people out there who thought it the most outrageous self indulgence that Neil Young took approx half an hour to complete his penultimate offering, "No Hidden Path"?

I love musical improvisation, and I like Neil Young, but the old warrior is no genius when it comes to playing the guitar. He was banging out the same riff and repeated runs for almost the whole length of the song, and surely his diehard supporters are deluded if they think this is "awesome". There was no valid reason in my book for him to extend this song for so long, it became a dirge, plain and simple. I would have been bored by even Jimi Hendrix had he performed with such monotony for so long.

He could have cut it down to 5/6 minutes and played 3 or 4 of his other great recordings in that time and got a much livlier reception, as evidenced by audience reaction to "Old Man", "Hey Hey, My My", "The Needle and the Damage Done", and other good songs.

Musicians need to be told that it's not all about them when it comes to performing live - they have a duty to entertain as well. In my view, no amount of self-justification for artistic licence can obscure this one simple and ultimate fact.

Wait for the barrage...

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Re: Neil Young Set

Post  englishbob on Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:12 pm

Agreed on the length of the last 2 numbers actually, but there is only one way to inform your idol(s) that its not working, don't clap or woop and don't encourage them.

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Re: Neil Young Set

Post  Morrisonhotel on Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:17 pm

Agreed. I had seen that he had played a few numbers at gigs on the run up to the festival that I'd have liked to have heard.

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Re: Neil Young Set

Post  Bermuda Highway on Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:18 pm

Seriously though, there is no point in trying to tell Neil Young what to do, many, many have tried and failed over the years. Hell his record company even tried to sue him for "not being Neil Young enough", fat lot of good it did them.
Not to say that you're not entitled to your opinions but they are a little naive as regards this particular ageing rocker.

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Re: Neil Young Set

Post  loper on Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:08 pm

Bermuda Highway wrote:Seriously though, there is no point in trying to tell Neil Young what to do, many, many have tried and failed over the years. Hell his record company even tried to sue him for "not being Neil Young enough", fat lot of good it did them.
Not to say that you're not entitled to your opinions but they are a little naive as regards this particular ageing rocker.

The original poster has raised a serious point in a well reasoned way. To call it naive is rather condescending.

The naive claim would be better aimed at those fans who found Neil's self indulgence beyond criticism and his guitar playing skills above critical analysis.

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ny set list

Post  wizard2953 on Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:23 pm

hidden path should have been cut to about 5 mins

to make way for a medly of cortez cowgirl and hurricane with a full version of down by the river

then the day would have been complete for me

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Re: Neil Young Set

Post  Hank Hendrix on Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:26 pm

wizard2953 wrote:hidden path should have been cut to about 5 mins

to make way for a medly of cortez cowgirl and hurricane with a full version of down by the river

then the day would have been complete for me

medleys suck imo, but Down by the River would have been perfect, my fave NY song, no question.

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neil young set

Post  hippy_chick on Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:33 pm

As being a Neil Young fan over the years, from one of his younger followers, the chances are getting far and few inbetween to see the old fellow (before he pops his mortal clogs and departs to the afterlife). You will be undoubtedly excited when he takes to the stage, but by the end of the evening you are fed up with his arrogance.

As many have said, why does he drag these songs on for so long, when he could surely fit in other songs that people would love to dearly hear?

I am glad that there are others who share this view - on the train back to Tonbridge we very nearly got lynched by daring to say that Neil was anything other than excellent, sublime or, as one other fan stated, 'obscure'.

Surely time for Ol' Shakey to rest his Old Guitar and call it a day on the touring front?

Let's see him go out with a bang, and not a whimper, and leave just good memories for all his millions of true fans

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NY set at Hop Farm

Post  reecemcgibbonson on Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:44 pm

Dear Hippy-Chick and friends,

That is a seriously odd message. Why not stay at home and just put on your fave Neil Young play lists? I like seeing where is is right now, not dredging up a greatest hits show. If you want the set animals go to a zoo; if you want real then take to the jungle. That's the fun of the NY trip.

I know the message here sounds banal, but he was sensational last night (once he'd mashed his way through the first number and a half).

Cheers!

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medleys

Post  wizard2953 on Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:49 pm

i agree they do suck but it would have been a compromise

should have cut the last song and encored with hurricane and rocking in the free world

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Re: Neil Young Set

Post  trevorc on Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:58 pm

I assume you guys aren't Van Morrison fans, he refuses to do any crowd pleasers and treats the audience with total contempt. Last nights performance was clearly aimed at providing a balance of old/new/crowd pleasers/long guitar solos for which he is famous. It was a brilliant balance. Have you noticed how the set list changes from gig to gig. It isn't just a strictly choerographed stage show it a Neil Young performance you are seeing. I have been watching live music for more years than I would care to remember and last night was one of the highlights. Loved it!

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sound yesterday

Post  wizard2953 on Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:09 pm

what was going on with it

it was ok until the guitars came in with any avengence then it all went out of phase

or flanged as an ametuer sound engineer friend I was with corrected me for not using the correct terminology

he reckoned the the stereo picture as he called it was not set up right to deal with the local weather conditions

i just thought it just was not cranked up enough even ny needed a few more notches at times


any one know what was the problem
?????

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Re: Neil Young Set

Post  The Philosopher King on Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:17 pm

Well, I'm a 'young Young fan' if you'll pardon the pun, at 28 years old, and having seen this guy live twice this year, having previously thought that I'd never get the chance, I'm grateful for whatever he chooses to play. As well as that, I got into Young through his 'classics' like Needle And The Damage Done, Old Man, Sugar Mountain etc., but I have to say that two of my favourite songs by Young are Spirit Road and No Hidden Path, and I was blown away by the 25 minute rendition of No Hidden Path - it was heaven to my ears, but I'm a Doors fan, so naturally I love a good dirge!

Young, on this tour, has brought that balance of old classics and new greats to the table. Personally, I can't stand 'Words', think it's dull etc. etc., and he played that last night, but I figure hey, he's got about 49 albums to this name, so I'm not gonna like everything, so I stood through it, scratched my ass, and waited for the next song! But I think in ten years time, No Hidden Path will be as adored as many of Young's 'classics' and people will ask me whether I heard him play it, and I'll be able to say yep, I most surely did.

I noticed on another thread that 'bloodfart' was wingeing about old hippies at shows, singing and clapping along. Can I just say for the record, as a young fan, I'm truly grateful to have a mix of age groups at Neil Young gigs, because as a regular concert-goer, I'm sick to the back teeth of people my age jumping up and down, barging into other people and generally behaving like knobs. Alright, the older clientele might sing along, but I was surrounded by people aged 40 upwards, and they applauded and cheered appropriately (i.e. not all the way through songs), they sang very little, and when they did, not to the point where I couldn't hear Young, and being stood at the front barrier for 11 and a half hours, it was nice to have people around who a) wanted a conversation, and b) could provide an intelligent and interesting conversation about music, based on knowledge and experience of the music scene for more than 5 minutes. It was nice to have an actual discussion with people in between artists yesterday.

While I'm on the topic, I had a lovely time. I spent 11+ hours at the front, watching every act, and really enjoyed the whole thing. 50 quid very well spent, and made even better by having decent festival goers around me, and security staff who were helpful, polite and friendly. Even the bacon sarnie I bought was edible, and affordable!!! Yeah, the parking was a ball-ache at the end, but even then, I thought the poor young lads and ladies doing the stewarding, who had been given no information did try their level best to help people, and that at the end of the day, is all I can ask for. After seeing Young do A Day In The Life, Out Of The Grey/My My Hey Hey, No Hidden Path, Spirit Road etc., and being incredibly impressed by Rufus Wainwright making the sun come out during Hallelujah(!), along with Laura Marling's great performance, as well as all the rest, I didn't much mind waiting a couple of hours, which gave me a chance to unwind before driving the 255 miles home to Bolton, Lancashire. It was the bloody M6 roadworks that screwed me, not the Hop Farm Car Park!!!

I know not everything was perfect, but considering it was the first Hop Farm Festival, I expected teething troubles. To have as few troubles as they did is all credit to Vince Power and all the staff he employed, not one of whom was anything other than friendly, professional and as helpful as possible toward me. I shall definately be going back to Hop Farm next year, based on what I saw yesterday. Well done Vince - at least 8/10.

If Vince ever reads this, he needs to know that he has to book Neil Young every year...lol

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Re: Neil Young Set

Post  RiverOfDeceit on Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:26 pm

There's many NY songs I love that I didn't get to hear, but when you've got a song list as long as NY's there's no way he'd satisfy each and every one's personal perfect playlist. I heard Needle and Old Man so I was happy enough. Would've loved to have heard Rockin' In The Free World, Mr. Soul, Pocahontas, & Hurricane but he'd have had to have been on all day to play them all. Live sets are when artists get away with stuff like extending jamming, it's the sort of thing that makes it worth seeing bands live because it's different than the version you've got at home! And he always changes set-list from gig to gig, alot of bands will play the same set each night and it must become monotonous for them.
I was pleased to finally see NY live, I took my dad who's been a fan since the Buffalo Springfield, Crosby/Stills/Nash & Young days and it's probably one of the things I've always wanted to do with him so it was great to get the chance. I'm 32, my dad's 65, there were people in their 20's and younger still, that's a hell of a lot of people and a hell of an age-range with different tastes that NY's trying to please and I admire him for even trying.

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the chimp speaks

Post  hailtothechimp on Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:48 pm

okay
i was at the show last night to see neil young.
i'm 15; i like neil young but was really there because my dad is obsessed with him and so i came along.
i thought the show was good, but i do agree that the second to last song dragged on for way too long; for about half a minute it was stylish and rocknroll, after that i began to check my imaginary watch.

however, this could just be because i'm more into punk rock music like rancid, dead kennedys, bad religion, anti-flag and (especially) green day, where the sets are more about just playing the songs fast, hard and running about and not dragging anything out.

i like the good guitar playing, but i just don't think it warranted that length of time.

i don't think his sets not being a greatest hits show really comes into it at all; i mean, it doesn't matter what song hes playing, if it involves six minutes of feedback and one note, it doesn't matter if he's just played an obscure b-side or "like a hurricane".

for instance, i'm really into sonic youth, who have quite a lot of stuff like that (only band ever to record a cement mixer through a wah-wah pedal for a few minutes), and even though i like them, i think if they tried it at a festival it'd just be a bit crap.

in a small club it would probably have been awesome, but 30,000 looking at the sky waiting for the next song and wondering how long the feedback will last is a bit weird.

cool idea, wrong environment.

having said that, i do see how neil young obsessives would love it, and i realise for a fifteen year old to tell neil young "cool idea, wrong environment" is extremely self-righteous.

anyway,
adios amigos.

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for the chimp

Post  reecemcgibbonson on Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:56 pm

Hi Mr Chimp

I think you're kind of getting in the NY groove in a cool way - you're not self-righteous at all my young friend. The path isn't hidden, but it might be a bit long for some...

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Art of noise

Post  helpless on Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:44 pm

This was the man who has gone his own way, often against the prevailing wind, for all his life. It wasn't just a gig, it was guitar art. I absolutely LOVE the sound of that Gretsch guitar cranked up loud to the point of feedback scream, and so does ol' Neil. You can see it, he loves the power, and gets totally lost inside the noise of it. I thought the 'No Hidden Path' version was really beautiful. I absolutely loved it. Like watching huge waves crashing on a beach or a thunderstorm breaking.

Not to everyone's taste of course, but Neil is a force of nature, and will go his own way regardless until the end.

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what a gig

Post  jimbhoy on Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:15 am

only got one thing to say BRILLIANT,what a weekend with neil topping it off on a half soaked half sunny day,who cares the whole day was fantastic all the bands supporting neil done there bit big style, hats of to them all,,but neil was,well what can i say ,giving us some older stuff from his first and second album ,which some folk did,nt know but got into it anyway and fookin up ,he sure did spread it about,the man still and will always give us the joy ,a neil gig will never be forgotten ,i hope the neil virgins will now realise neil aint just another rock gig ,its a bit more special than that,,im just glad to have been a part of it all ,well done vince power ,it was a great venue a great gig and a great crowd ,i think at the end of the day everybody went home with a big cheesy drunken grin on there face feeling great,,i know i did,,,,,,,,GOD BLESS NEIL YOUNG

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Re: Neil Young Set

Post  The Philosopher King on Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:27 am

hailtothechimp - you're about the wisest 15 year old I ever read anything by. I wish I was that considered at 15.

I loved No Hidden Path, but hey it's easily in my top 3 favourite Young songs anyway, so 25 minutes of it was heaven to me, and indeed like blessed says, it felt like huge waves crashing on a beach. Young is so inspiring as a musician; he paints audio pictures, equal to any Picasso or Mataisse I've ever seen. Picasso painted Guernica, Young painted No Hidden Path with a guitar and a glorious voice. Luckily for Young, he gets the chance to paint his pictures over and over again, to new audiences, every night, and he used that chance last night to make the canvas for No Hidden Path even bigger, or in this case, longer - about half an hour long.

I honestly think that musicians like Young, and Lennon, Morrison, Hendrix, history will come to see them in the same light that history sees Bach, Mozart, and the like. These guys, and Young is surely in there with the greatest of the modern contemporary musicians, they have the same ability that the classical greats had, to change people's vision, their ideals, their hopes and their dreams. They certainly allow me to see the world with a less jaded eye. And in that half hour of listening to No Hidden Path, I certainly felt the veil lift from my eyes a little. I felt purer for the experience of it!

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No Hidden Path

Post  Helterskelter on Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:54 pm

Show some respect. Neil Young has always pleased himself first. If you're a real Young fan then you would know this. Even back in '73 with the Tonights The Night set there were people moaning and whining about our hero not playing any of the crowd pleasing favourites. So the Hop Farm was a good balance of something for everyone.
I personally liked everything played and the so called dirge of No Hidden Path was just another song in his canon along the same lines as classics like Down By The River or Cowgirl In The Sand. To not appreciate these extended shamanic grooves to me means you must be very narrow minded and psychically dead. There's just no pleasing some people - I bet you were the person sitting in your deckchair reading a book while the fabulous Primal Scream were playing. I mean, why bother going?
Neil sang the words of John Lennon in the last song of the night, "I'd love to turn you on..."
Well, don't waste your time Neil - it would be like giving strawberries to a pig! pig

Happily "deluded"... Arrow

AM

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Re: Neil Young Set

Post  DirtyYoungMan on Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:25 pm

Helterskelter wrote: Neil Young has always pleased himself first. If you're a real Young fan then you would know this. Even back in '73 with the Tonights The Night set there were people moaning and whining about our hero not playing any of the crowd pleasing favourites. So the Hop Farm was a good balance of something for everyone.
Happily "deluded"... Arrow

AM

Not only does he do and play what ever he wants, he enjoys confounding the audiences expectations. People can be put out by this if they want, but its a bit late to start complaining. I personally was grateful for the chance to see him and would have been happy with whatever he played. No Hidden Path may have been overly long and I admit I would have liked others (Powderfinger, Hurricane etc) but the reason like and respect him so much is precisely for that. He does whatever the hell he wants and you can bitch and moan as much as you like, but it won't do any good. If you dig it you dig it and if you don't you don't. To expect a greatest hits set would have been pretty naive, and to my mind, would miss the point of Neil Young completely. (this rant isnt directed at you Helterskelter Wink )

Helterskelter wrote:
There's just no pleasing some people - I bet you were the person sitting in your deckchair reading a book while the fabulous Primal Scream were playing. I mean, why bother going?


I have to say though, even as a fan of Primal Scream's earlier stuff, I could have sat down and read a book during their set, they seemed like they could'nt be bothered.

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Re: Neil Young Set

Post  traffordcat on Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:33 pm

wizard2953 wrote:hidden path should have been cut to about 5 mins

to make way for a medly of cortez cowgirl and hurricane with a full version of down by the river

then the day would have been complete for me

I really liked the whole 'no hidden path' performance. Would have also loved Cortez the Killer and down by the river. - perhaps he should have had another half an hour? Very Happy
All in all, I thought the set was spot on!

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Neil Young set

Post  Beryl Guru on Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:42 pm

Dunno what you're on about...it worked for me...please organisers make this the Neil Young Festival and try and get him back every year for as long as poss. Anyway thanks for a great festival with great bands that complemented each other well. LOVED IT!!!

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Re: Neil Young Set

Post  adje on Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:03 pm

I wonder what some of these people who are complaining about Neil's set would have thought about his "Greendale"tour?

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Re: Neil Young Set

Post  hopmusic on Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:13 pm

I could have listened to No Hidden Path for for the rest of the night !

Yes it would have been great to have Cortez or Cowgirl or any number of others but they are all great songs and just to have Neil playing a selection live and such a brilliant set - what more is there to say - its best just to enjoy it all and keep the memory.

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