Sunday, February 17, 2008

Neil Young @ The Grand Rex, Paris

Neil Young was in Paris at the end of last week for the second leg of his 2008’ Continental Tour. After Antwerp and before Amsterdam, the Loner played two consecutives nights, Thursday and Friday, at The Grand Rex. It was his first visit to France since 2003 (Greendale Solo Tour). The Grand Rex is one of the most famous and prestigious venues in Paris like the Olympia Hall. The audience was very much international: people from all over Europe came to city of lights including “Rusties” as well as lonely fans that usually filled Neil Young concerts everywhere. The Canadian played for more than two hours. The first part was a solo acoustic set; the second one was an electric one backed by his old friends Ben Keith, Rick Rosas and Ralph Molina. The band came back for two encores. That is for the facts.
Since Friday, I tried very hard to convince myself – me, a hardcore fan of the Loner since decades - that this show was amazing like every Neil Young performances I attended before. First, when I stepped out of the show after midnight, I had the feeling that I was lucky enough to be here again that night as well as a bit sad that maybe I saw the "old man" (62) for the very last time. Secondly, I had the sensation that it was not as magic as everyone tried to pretend at the end of the show. It was just a very good performance, that’s’ all (but, let me tell you that with Neil Young it’s always a very high level of quality, nobody, except Dylan, is able to fight against a setlist like the one he offered us last Friday, no one). So, where was that little thing called magic (love) that I experienced so many times before in every of his shows since 1974? Neil just did his job like a very well trained professional artist. He is experimented and very respectful of the audience, ok, but there was a lack of real emotion. Songs after songs I felt quite unsatisfied and waiting for THE moment that never came even during songs that I enjoyed very much like Ambulance Blues, Love Art Blues or Oh, Lonesome Me. It’s hard for me to say, something didn’t work.
Sure, in few days, I will regret what I am writing know, but, it’s a way to be honest with myself and not to be blind because this man changed my life long time ago.
By the way, between you and me, he’s the best… Rock and Roll will never die and keep on Rockin’ in the free world.

Neil Young - Mellow My Mind .mp3
Neil Young - Harvest .mp3
Neil Young - Mr. Soul (Dance Remix) .mp3
Neil Young - Cinnamon Girl .MP3

Photos: Uli SchätzleNeil Young – Le Grand Rex, Paris – February 15, 2008



Anonymous Neil Cake said...

It sounds to me like you allowed your expectations to get too high - such that it would be impossible for Neil to match them, no matter how good he was.

I have tickets to see him in Manchester in March, and like you, I can't wait. I've seen him once before - with Crazy Horse in 2001 - and was blown away by that. I have such high regard for Neil, and as I'm aware that this is probably the last chance I'll get to see him, I'm finding it hard not to get carried away myself - but I don't want to be disappointed on the night, and I don't want that disappointment to be largely my own doing.

I guess it can't be helped though eh?

12:49 PM  
Blogger leaky sparrow said...

I heard that the previous night was far better. Anyway, I can't change it.

I wish you a very very good show in Manchester, and, sure I would like to be there too...

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Rockers said...

Hey hey Mr Sparrow
Any chance at all of a repost of the 'Dance Mix' of Mr Soul?
Been searching for ever meeting many dead ends

Much obliged to ya

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