May 20, 2011
“Live music is better, bumper stickers should be issued!” were the words I wanted to yell out between songs, but just couldn’t muster the courage at the recent Neil Young concert. Others weren’t so reserved. Everyone had reason to be enthused. The anticipation was electric. This was “home-ice advantage” for Young as well as the fortieth anniversary of Neil’s landmark concert at Massey Hall. The 1971 concert was released on CD a few years ago. Now there will be another for the Massey archives as the two night concert was filmed for a DVD documentary.
There’s no doubt–Neil’s on top of his game. The concert was a nostalgic “journey through the past” with selections from his early catalogue. Older favorites were mixed with recent songs from 2010s Le Noise. Compared to other concerts, I noticed something very different at this one. Even though it was a full house last Wednesday, there was an uncanny intimacy in the performance. Neil Young has the rare ability to convey a feeling that he’s playing just for you. I guess that’s what he’s referring to when he sings “this note’s for you.”