Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Love and only love will endure (thx to NME for the pic)

Birmingham LG Arena

An amazing and surreal show, part of an arena tour that has been rumoured to the final time the mighty grunge behemoth Crazy Horse will go on tour.

Starting with the a full-scale playback of the “God Save The Queen” – not the Sex Pistols version, unfortunately – with band and road crew standing to attention throughout, and finishing with “Powderfinger”, this show had soaring highs and tedious lows, all delivered in front of a retro futuristic backdrop of TVs and scientists in white coats.

The highs? Epic renditions of “Cortez The Killer” and “Love to Burn” delivered with Young’s trademark intensity and his bands typically louche swing. “Ramada Inn” hit an unexpected emotional note, with its narrative of a marriage turned sour and “Mr Soul” punched hard light a prize fighter.

Lows… well, there were a few, including a far too long feedback interlude in “Walk Like A Giant” and an infantile, extended coda to “Fuckin’ Up”.

In the middle, a too-short acoustic segment saw Young deliver a beautiful version of “Blowing in The Wind” and a new, plangent tune, “Singer Without A Song”, both which provided welcome contrast to the two-plus hours of furrowed brows and raging hurricanes of sound.

But it was all about the ragged glory of Shakey and The Horse tonight, and the set, drawn both from  his latest record, Psychedelic Pill, and his extensive back catalogue, will have kept all but the most hardened Young watcher happy.

Like a hurricane, brother.

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