Neil Young Concert Review - Greendale Tour

Oslo, Norway - 4/23/2003

By Anne

Neil Young News

ed - originally posted to rust@yahoo.

Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 20:50:41 +0200
From: Anne H
Subject: Oslo concert *spoiler* - review, setlist

I went off to the Oslo concert house last night, ticket in my pocket. After having heard about the Stockholm happening I'd braced myself to the fact that the surprise effect would not blow me over. It did.

So beautiful...! Can you experience the "essential Neil Young"? I felt I did yesterday.

Setlist Oslo Konserthus 042303:
1. Love And Affection
2. New song (Summer Of Love?)
3. New song (Devil's Door?)
4. New song (Coast Highway?)
5. New song (Carmichael?)
6. New song (Someday You'll Find What You're Looking For?)
7. New song (Sharing Your Love?)
8. New song (Grandma Green?) (Pump organ)
9. New song (Mr. Clean?)
10.New song (Be the Rain?)

10 minute break

11. Lotta Love
12. Expecting To Fly (Grand piano)
13. Don't Let It Bring You Down
14. Old Man
15. After The Gold Rush (Piano)
16. Harvest Moon
17. War Of Man
18. Heart Of Gold

These new songs were packed with Neil's energy, and so bubbling over with pre-release-enthusiasm that I find few words to say. It's amazing how intensely close even a concert hall feels when Neil is so in to it. He's deep into bluesy music at this point, and doing this fantastically. IMHO the 4-5 blues songs were the best - if you also add "Someday You'll Find What You're Looking For", - which was best of all. This was the song written about the Greendale album's song character which Neil probably identifies strongest with. There were several very good ballads. One maybe two could seem a bit monotonous to me; here I'd mention "Carmichael".

As mentioned the song cyclus is like Neil having written a book. Picking out all his characters, breathing life into them, telling this increasingly absurd family story through these songs. In concert he was very chatty and was telling us all the more details about them. Relating also some of the funny little tales his inner eye would see when playing his acoustic guitar solos. Such laconic humor! The Green family of Greendale becomes an ironically exaggerated, rural USA micro-cosmos, seen by a person who's experienced rural life. At the same time focused on a series of important matters, - environmental and political issues, our day's media insanity, FBI surveillance, our rights as individuals. Like Neil tends to do, there are many levels going on at one time.

The joy and playfulness was a great pleasure to share with him. Neil had this funny megaphone box, connected to a microphone, the horn often moving as he moved. This was used for instance in his Mr. Clean (blues). Artistically this worked so fine. Next song he took off more and more in megaphone playfulness, using it perhaps as a medium saying stuff he might not have said without this channel. It accumulated to using it also in his in between comments, like in the middle of some war comments he suddenly megaphone-cried, "Go to your houses! Lock your doors! We're here to liberate you!"

Second set was beautiful. Simply. We Norwegians have lacked the chance to indulge in acoustic Neil concerts - and certainly not with this kind of sound quality. When Neil performs his old songs as he did last night, he gives them new life.

Lotta Love was great, where every verse was sung all the more heartfelt. Then he moved to the grand piano, and did an "Expecting to Fly" that simply opened this song's full dimensions. ..This is one of the most beautiful songs Neil has ever made. DLIBYD, Old Man, ATGR and Harvest Moon were sung in intense atmosphere, and of enormous pleasure to the audience. War of Man became special because of the war. He then bowed to all and left, and it took a lot of clapping to get an encore: Heart of Gold, to the jubilant cries of the Norwegian audience.

Anne H

Neil Young Greendale

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