Saturday, June 5, 2010

Neil Young at Jones Hall

Last night, I saw Neil Young at Jones Hall near downtown Houston with Glenn and my parents. For Glenn and I it was the 2nd time seeing him live because we saw him at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles when we lived there.

Neil Young is one of my favorite singer-songwriters, and a rock legend. Nobody sounds like him now, or probably ever will.

Bert Jansch opened the show and I was blown away. He is known for being one of the (least known) best guitar players ever- and I completely agree. I heard that his style greatly influenced JIMMY PAGE of Led Zeppelin and it makes perfect sense after hearing him perform. His music is a unique mix of blues, british folk, and classical guitar. Even though he was one person with one guitar if I was just listening I would think that there were about 4 guitar players performing up there! I decided that he should tour with Robert Plant and it would be the next best thing to having Jimmy Page.

Neil Young opened the show with "Hey Hey, My My" with acoustic guitar which was incredible. He continued to play an interesting mix of his classics as well as his new songs. My favorite of the night had to be "After the Goldrush" which he performed on an antique pipe organ. It was a unique version of one of my favorite songs. I can't help but prefer his classics to his new songs, but I must say I give him props for being so prolific and not remaining stagnant in performing only songs that he wrote 30 years ago. I enjoyed his acoustic performances in this show more than the electric because I could hear his voice and the guitar better. I'm not sure how much of this was because of the venue or where I was sitting, or just the sound mixing, but during (especially the first 2 or 3) electric songs that he played the feedback made it very hard to hear the vocals or guitar clearly and not in a good way. My dad thought that they must have turned up the guitar balance more than normal because he was doing a solo performance in a fairly large venue, but to me it echoed a bit. The only song that I can think of that I would have liked to hear that he didn't play was "Heart of Gold" but I really can't complain because I heard it 3 years ago when I saw him before.

On a side note, Neil Young fans can be OBNOXIOUS! When we saw him in LA, the people sitting right behind us yelled THE ENTIRE TIME, "PLAY DOWN BY THE RIVER PUHLEEEEEASE!" He did not play "Down by the River" at that show lol! The Houston show was refreshingly quiet with exception to a few people yelling out. One lady yelled "shut up"in response which actually kind of nipped it in the bud. I just can't imagine feeling the right to yell things at any performer on stage, much less at such a rock icon! I think some people just like getting attention.