Monday, June 17, 2013

Neil Young at the RDS

Neil Young and Crazy Horse
I got a last-minute complimentary ticket for this gig so I hurried along to check out the old trouper.  The last time I'd seen him he'd leavened the endless guitar pyrotechnics with enough lyrical interludes to keep both sides of his fan base happy.  I was hoping for a similar balance.  The opening number (Love and Only Love) ground on for over 13 minutes with those irritating false endings.  Not a good portent. Neil and his grizzled buddies from Crazy Horse were clearly having fun but I suspect that a lot of the audience were not.  As the show progressed it was clear that this was going to be a heavy-metal night - the old boys punishing their guitars in unison, often forming a tight little circle as they raved on.  Cinnamon Girl provided some relief but it was temporary.

Whatever his choice of music the people in the stands at the RDS are so far from the action that they may as well not be there.  Up under the stage was the only place to be.  Ok you got the usual cider wielding louts barrelling their way back and forth, and the odd idiot dancer bumping into you, but generally there was no hassle, and the sweet smell of hash in the air gave me a mild secondary buzz.

It was good to see the great man in such good nick and so clearly happy with himself.  But I could only engage infrequently with the music.  That weird evocative voice can still work its magic - there just wan't enough of it.