Manchester Apollo, 12 March 2008
Photos by Lee Millward
The word maverick gets bandied about in rock 'n' roll with alarming
frequency. But one artist who can easily carry that title is Neil Young.
At 62, the Godfather of Grunge is still stepping to his own unique rhythm,
blissfully unconcerned with what critics, record companies or even his
biggest fans think of him.
In the second of sold-out shows at the Manchester Apollo, Young offered
himself up in two totally different flavours: contemplative acoustic Neil,
and rocking-like-it-still-matters Neil. Both were equally filling and
This was not a show for the passing fan, as Young dug deep into vintage
albums and even his unreleased vault for the two-hour performance.
Taking to a stage littered with a forest of standing lights, a wooden
Indian, and all sorts of assorted clutter, Young sat in a circle of his
guitars and eased into the evening with the gentle harmonica of the
beautiful "From Hank to Hendrix." The crowd offered up the first of many
eruptions but mostly stayed quiet and respectful throughout the journey
We were treated to a wonderful selection of tracks from his past and the
epic "Ambulance Blues," which contained the lyric "It's easy to get buried
in the past/When you try to make a good thing last." summed up the spirit
of the evening to perfection. Also in the first set were A Man Needs A
Maid, Love Art Blues, Love Is A Rose , and to finish , Old Man.....He
often wandered around the stage looking slightly confused and muttering to
himself.....Little did we know of what to expect next...
After an intermission the Jolly Roger and Union Flag were hoisted over
Ralph Molina's drum kit, and Young charged back onto the stage with his
band in tow and his amps turned up. The crowd was also ready to let it
rip, albeit mostly from their seats, as the temperature rose in concert
with the volume.
From the outset he made "Old Black" (his famous Gretsch guitar) howl and
squeal for mercy, but none was given...He was in blistering form and made
sure the capacity crowd went home happy and almost in a state of shock
that a man of his years can perform with such passion and ferocity...
Our senses were assaulted by the likes of The Loner, Powderfinger, Hey Hey
My My (a true rock anthem if ever there was one), and finally an epic
twenty minute version of No Hidden Path. There was hardly time to
recompose ourselves after such an onslaught when the band reappeared and
tore into four, yes four, encores... Cinammon Girl, Fuckin Up, Tonights
The Night, and The Sultan (from his very first band The Squires).
It might only be March , but this will surely be one of the best gigs of
the year if not the best.
Review and photos ©2008 Lee Millward/GRTR!
All rights reserved.
1 From Hank To Hendrix
2 Ambulance Blues
3 Sad Movies
4 A Man Needs A Maid
5 No One Seems To Know
7 Journey Through The Past
8 Mellow My Mind
9 Love Art Blues
10 Love Is A Rose
2 Dirty Old Man
3 Spirit Road
5Hey Hey My My
6Too Far Gone
7 Oh Lonesome Me
8 Band Intro- The Believer
9 No Hidden Path
10 Cinnamon Girl
11 Fuckin` Up
12 Tonight`s The Night
13 The Sultan
Neil Young - guitar, guitjo, harmonica, piano, vocals
Ben Keith - pedal steel, lap steel, guitar, organ, background vocals
Rick Rosas - bass, background vocals
Ralph Molina - drums, background vocals
Pegi Young - background vocals, vibraphone
Anthony Crawford - background vocals, piano, mandolin
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