Friday, February 11, 2011


So, tonight I went to the Neil Young tribute concert at Carnegie Hall. This is part of a series of annual tribute concerts organized by promoter Michael Dorf, they are fundraisers for a number of great organizations that you can read about here.

The show was pretty good, not great. Admittedly, it's tough to get momentum for a show when every artist plays just one song. The source material was great, obviously, and most of the artists selected songs that really worked well.  But it was a bit like live band karoke night.

Not to say there weren't highlights, the easy #1 being The Roots' performance of "Down By The River." Supposedly, they stole the show a few years ago when the concert paid tribute to Bob Dylan with "Masters Of War," and tonight was their amazing return. Black Thought wasn't with them, guitarist Captain Kirk Douglas sang lead, with the ladies from Dirty Projectors (who guested on The Roots' How I Got Over) singing backup vocals. They also went into "Hey Joe," (another song about "taking out" your woman).  Incredible.

The other highlights for me was the Cowboy Junkies' performance of "Don't Let It Bring You Down" and Bettye Lavette's "Heart Of Gold," which she actually recorded in the '70s. Other cool moments came courtesy of Joan Osborne ("Old Man"), Aaron Neville ("Helpless") and Pete Yorn (the acoustic "Rockin' In The Free World").

A lot of the performances were very polite and reverent, but didn't really stand out. Throughout the show I was thinking that it would be so much cooler to see Neil performing these songs. To be fair, most of the performers would probably agree with me on that one.

I wonder when I'll get to see Neil perform these songs.  But the good news is that Neil's next tour is rumored to be a Buffalo Springfield reunion. Neil, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay performed as the Springfield at the Bridge School Benefit concert a few months back, and now word is they're going to tour next fall, which is awesome news: they broke up before I was born!


cmacfin said...

Was there also and your review is spot on. The Roots were the only band that really got it. The acoustic versions mostly were sung like I was at a memorial concert. Culminating with Patti Smith practically speaking of Neil in the past tense. HE AIN'T DEAD. One question thiough, What was the name of the song sung by Waylon Jennings and is there a set list out there.

Minority said...

hey, man, thanks for reading my blog and commenting. I agree with you about Patti's comments, and I am a big fan of hers. I think you mean Mason Jennings! That was "Red Sun" from "Silver & Gold" from 2000. There's a set list on Thrasher's Wheat, which is THE blog for Neil fans.