Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Bridge Concert Wrapup

Paul & Neil photo by Kim Komenich of San Francisco Chronicle

Reviews of this weekend's Bridge School Benefit concerts continue to roll in.

From Contra Costa Times review by Tony Hicks:

"Though his voice was a bit rusty, McCartney was his old self, throwing arms in the air after nearly every song and hamming it up whenever possible. He brought out Young for "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," which was a bit bumpy as McCartney tried keeping up with a tune with which he wasn't completely familiar. He went back to his strengths, through "Yesterday," "Get Back," "Let it Be," "Lady Madonna" and show-closer "Hey Jude."

Unlike recent years, nearly all the musicians hung around for the obligatory ending. You could see the excitement, even on the faces of veterans, in sharing the stage with McCartney, making it one of the rare all-star jams worth the wait."

From the San Francisco Chronicle's review by Neva Chonin:

"Had the outdoor Amphitheatre boasted a ceiling, applause for veteran crooner Tony Bennett would have brought it down. Looking dapper in black tie and backed by a slick combo, he inspired slow dancing and multiple ovations as he glided through a repertoire that included "The Best is Yet to Come," "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" and an extended version of "Maybe This Time." Highlights: An unexpected anti-war sentiment ("My personal prayer is that someday someone will find a way for people to stop killing each other," Bennett said by way of introducing "If I Ruled the World") and a duet, brief waltz and chaste kiss with guest Paul McCartney during "The Very Thought of You." "

From Griddle Hot Music by Mark Tyne:

"The Bridge School Benefit show is consistently the best musical event in the Bay Area every year. This year was no exception. Neil Young is so highly respected by other musicians that he can draw the best talent in the world to play at these shows. Over the years, Neil has made an effort to stage both baby boomer and generation x aged rock acts on the same bill. This allows younger audience members to get to know bands their parents love and visa versa.

During Neil’s set on Saturday, he mumbled, “Wow, Sonic Youth and Tony Bennett on the same stage. Isn’t that fantastic?” Fantastic indeed. Well done, Neil!"

More on this year's Bridge Concerts here and here.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Bridge School Benefit Concert - Day #1


Reports are starting to roll in from the first night of the Bridge School Benefit concerts. I've been on the phone with several long time friends getting eyewitness accounts. Expecting to Fly, Locator and Shakey have provided tidbits on a few of the many highlights including:

paul-neil-bridge2004-sat1 photo by Tim Mosenfelder

- Paul McCartney performing "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" with Neil joining in on acoustic guitar. The pairing of the legends builds on last weekend's joint performance at the Adopt A Minefield Benefit concert.

eddie-pegi-neil-bridge2004-sat.jpg photo by Tim Mosenfelder

Other highlights included Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder joining Neil & Pegi Young on "Harvest Moon". This arrangement is similar to their performance together earlier this month in in Toldeo at the Vote for Change concert.

And if that's not enough, Neil performed for the first time live in concert "Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It" from the Buffalo Springfield era. Wow! (Coincidentally, Charlie posted on Rust about Neil playing "Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It" as tribute to Bruce Palmer's recent passing. And now Charlie is requesting "Little Wing". Neil, if you're reading...)

Thanks to Roel and a very generous Rustie, last night's "Do I Have To
Come Right Out And Say It?" is available on Rust Radio in both FLAC and MP3 download. So it takes over 35 years for Neil to perform it live and we can listen to it in less than 24 hours?!

Neil introduces DIHTCROASI this way:

"Since that's such an old song, I think I'll do another one. Here's one I've never sung before. I wrote it. But I didn't sing it on the record. This is the first occasion I've had to do this -- except on the car ride on the way over here. So it might not be my usual perfect. [Takes a few strums and stops] It's already messed up."

The Red Hot Chili Peppers covered Young's "Lotta Love" with their brand of gusto. The RHCP introduced the song by saying something to the effect that it wouldn't sound like the version folks are familiar with. And it wasn't!

Everyone reports being highly impressed by Tony Bennett's set. Tony was joined by Paul on "The Very Thought of You." Tony's performance of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" was adored by the hometown crowd.

After McCartney sang "Let It Be", he commented "Let it be can mean a lot of things, this year let it be Kerry!". A positive crowd reaction seemed to agree.

From Tom's Sugar Mountain setlist archive, here's Neil's set from the Saturday concert:

10-23-2004, Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California
Annual Bridge School Benefit 18
Sugar Mountain
Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It
Field Of Opportunity
Harvest Moon w/ Eddie Vedder

Journey Through The Past
On The Way Home
Human Highway w/ Pegi on vocals
Old King w/ Pegi on vocals
Comes A Time w/ Pegi on vocals
Four Strong Winds w/ Pegi on vocals
Only Love Can Break Your Heart w/ Paul McCartney and Band
Hey Jude (w/ everyone)

Also, see Expecting To Fly's review on 2004 Bridge School Benefit Concert page with more coming soon! Eddie Vedder's setlist just added.

On to Day #2!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Paul & Neil: Adopt-A-Minefield Benefit

This weekend in Los Angeles at the Century Plaza Hotel, Neil and Paul McCartney joined forces to benefit Adopt-A-Minefield which raises awareness of land mines.

Young played an acoustic set of "Pocahontas," "Harvest Moon," "Heart of Gold," "On The Way Home," "Human Highway," "Old King," and "Four Strong Winds". Pegi joined on vocals.

Paul McCartney brought Neil onstage for "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" and the show closing "Hey Jude."

McCartney said:

"We have a bit of fun but, as you can see, we do a lot of good along the way. That's one of the magic things ... When you've worked hard and you've had a lot of luck, you get to a position, where Neil and I are at, you can do a little bit more. It's a magic thing."

A pre-show auction hosted by Jay Leno raised about $125,000, including $6,000 for one of Young's saliva-laced harmonicas. "You can clone your own Neil Young," Leno said.

Adopt-A-Minefield helps clear minefields in such countries as Vietnam, Croatia and Iraq, and assists survivors of land mine accidents.

Photo by adopt-mine-logo

This weekend, McCartney and Young will reunite on Oct. 23 and 24 during Young's 18th annual Bridge School benefit concert at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA.

bridge logo

Also, more on Paul McCartney and Neil Young.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Greatest Hits of Neil Young To Be Released Nov. 14

greatest hits cover
UPDATE 11/16/04: See review of "Greatest Hits".

No sign of the infamous Archives Box Set, but Neil's releasing a "Greatest Hits" album. No big surprises on the selection, although there seem to be few "hits" after the 1970's. Only "Rockin' In The Free World" from 1989's Freedom and 1992's "Harvest Moon" made the cut.

From the press release, Young said:

"One of the most important jobs of any musician is to provide quality sound to the people. Quality has taken a hit in recent years, but it's starting to come back thanks to DVD-stereo. There is just no comparison between DVD-stereo and a regular compact disc or even 5.1 sound. It's the difference between a true reflection of the music and a mere replica. I've always been a strong believer in analogue and this is about as close to the rewarding listening experience of vinyl as the real thing."

Other songs include: "Down By The River," "Cowgirl In The Sand" and "Cinnamon Girl" from 1969's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere; "Helpless," from the 1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young album, Deja Vu; "After The Goldrush," "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" and "Southern Man" from 1970's After The Goldrush; "Ohio," a 1970 single later included on the 1974 Crosby, Still, Nash & Young collection, So Far; "The Needle And The Damage Done," "Old Man" and "Heart Of Gold" from 1972's Harvest; "Like A Hurricane" from 1977's American Stars 'n' Bars; "Comes A Time" from the 1978 album of the same name; "Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)" from 1979's Rust Never Sleeps.

The album is scheduled to be released on November 14, according to Shakey's Garage. DVD includes music videos for "Harvest Moon" and "Rockin' In The Free World", a photo gallery and lyrics. The album is in DVD-stereo format with a visual image of the original vinyl albums playing on a turntable. Hmmm. Cool but effective use of the DVD format, eh Neil?!

So what do you think of the "Greatest Hits" package? Vote and leave a comment below.

Here are some more Neil polls from the past. Stand & Be Counted!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Vote For Change Concert - Washington, DC - October 11, 2004

The Vote For Change tour rolled through the nation's Capitol last night.

While, sadly, no Neil sightings, the five plus hour concert will probably rank right up there with some of the other great multi-artist concerts I've witnessed like Bridge 1996, Farm Aid 2000, and Free Tibet 1999.

It was Eddie & Michael. Then Michael & Bruce. Then ... well you get the idea.

We did get a nice cover of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" by Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and bluesman Keb' Mo'. Very cool indeed. What a night!

More photos and a review of the Vote For Change concert in Washington, DC over on Thrasher's Blog.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Pearl Jam and Neil Young in Toledo


Some great photos of Pearl Jam and Neil Young from the Toledo's Vote for Change tour on Pearl Jam Photo Gallery page.

Pegi Young, Eddie Vedder and Neil on "Harvest Moon" - photo by Jayson Teig

Also, here's a torrent download link for Pearl Jam, October 2nd, 2004 at the Sports Arena-Toledo,OH.

More on Pearl Jam and Neil Young musical collaborations.

Thanks e2f!
pearl jam poster

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Bruce, REM and Neil in St. Paul, MN

Neil Young joined R.E.M. in St. Paul, MN at the Vote For Change concert.

Neil played together on "Country Feedback" with REM and then later with Bruce Springsteen on "All Along the Watchtower" and "Souls of the Departed".

At the encore finale of "What's So funny about Peace Love And Understanding" Neil joined onstage all the performers, including John Fogerty and the show concluded with "Rocking in the Free World".

Even the Bruce fansite Backstreets was impressed by the evening:

" 'Any Canadians for Kerry in the house? I thought I saw one here earlier...' said Bruce. And yeah, Young had been out earlier for "Country Feedback" with REM, but that didn't diminish the "holy shit" factor as Neil faced off with Bruce for monster jams on "Souls of the Departed" and a fierce "All Along the Watchtower." Even Clarence got swept away. Blow, Big Man, blow! Wail, Shakey, wail! And the wind began to howl... Neil was back in the encores trading off vocals with Bruce on "Rockin' in the Free World" along with Fogerty, all of REM, and Neil's wife Pegi."

bruce-neil-vfc-stpaul-2004-9 Awesome photo gallery of Bruce & Neil by Muriël Kleisterlee and Jos Westenberg on the Be True website and a review here (in Dutch).

More on Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Bridge School Benefit Concert 2004


The legendary annual Northern California benefit concert event is chronicled over the years in support of the Bridge School.

Now in it's 18th year, a look back at photos and reviews of the Annual Bridge School Benefit Concerts over the years on Thrasher's Wheat Page of the Moment.

This year's artists include Paul McCartney, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tony Bennet, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, Sonic Youth, Los Lonely Boys, and Tegan & Sara.

Also see, Thrasher's Wheat Photo Of The Moment from the 2003 Bridge Concert of Neil & Pegi - arm in arm - waving to the audience.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Neil Rocking The Vote

neil-detroitBrandy Baker / The Detroit News

It was a busy night for Neil in swing state Michigan this weekend. The man who once said he "wouldn't sing for politicians" did just so on Sunday.

Neil Young, wearing a T-shirt with "Canadians for Kerry" joined the Dave Matthews Band concert at the Vote for Change Concert Tour on Sunday at the Palace in Auburn Hills, MI. The concert was one of six sold-out shows in Michigan organized to get out the vote on November 2.

Dave Matthews introduced Young by saying "a good friend of ours," before launching into a 15 minute electric performance of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower."

Young said to the audience of more than 13,000:

"Some of you may know I'm a Canadian, and I'm here representing Canadians for Kerry. The rest of the world couldn't be here, but they say hi."

Young then dedicated the next song to Spain and played "Cortez the Killer" and the anthem "Rockin' in the Free World".

Neil’s wife Pegi Young also joined the band for the last of the three songs. This was Young’s 7th appearance with DMB since 1997.

Young also joined the Dixie Chicks and James Taylor at the Fox Theatre in Detroit where he sang “Harvest Moon” and “Heart of Gold".

Peter Frampton, Pearl Jam & Neil photo by Jayson Teig

On Saturday night, Neil joined Pearl Jam onstage in Toledo, Ohio. Neil played "Harvest Moon" acoustic with Eddie Vedder. Later Neil joined in with Pearl Jam on "All Along the Watchtower", "Act Of Love", "Cortez The Killer", "Rockin' In The Free World". And one of the surprises of the night was Peter Frampton joining Neil and PJ onstage for the jams.

Here's the "Act of Love" MP3 download.

It was not a total surprise that Young joined the tour after the initial announcement that he would participate -- although his name never appeared on any official lineups. A Thrasher's Wheat Poll earlier indicated that fans are evenly divided on Neil's participation in politics.

Also, Bruce Springsteen, REM & Pearl Jam performed at other benefit concerts throughout the state this weekend. More coming soon here on Neil News.

Brandy Baker/The Detroit News

More on the Vote For Change Tour.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Bruce Palmer: 1946 - 2004

Bruce Palmer

John Einarson is reporting that Bruce Palmer has died of a heart attack at age 58.

All Music Guide's biography of Bruce Palmer:

"Born in 1946, in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada, the enigmatic Bruce Palmer is known mostly as the original bassist in Buffalo Springfield, one of the greatest rock groups of the 1960s. Although Bruce Palmer did not sing or write any material during his time in the band, he was a vital member, both on-stage and (at least in the beginning) in the studio, for providing much of the "rock" muscle in the band's folk-rock with his powerful, creative basslines.

He was also its most mysterious member, playing with his back to the audience and often even posing in photographs with his face away or hidden from the camera. Some bad luck and personal problems interrupted his stint in Buffalo Springfield several times, however, and he was eventually replaced by Jim Messina shortly before the band split up."

Bruce, Rest in Peace.

More on Bruce Palmer and Buffalo Springfield.

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