Mountain Mayhem: Two nights with Neil Young
For a performer as legendary as Neil Young, who’s been in the studio and on the road since the ’60s, it’s a golden opportunity to see him live today in a place he’s never been. As in, never been on stage. Over the weekend, the godfather of grunge played in Telluride Town Park, backed by Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real. Outfitted in Western attire on stage in the San Juans, they closed resembled the cast of the “Hateful 8,” directed by Quentin Tarantino in that very town just a couple years back.
In the days leading up to the shows, the extended forecast threatened rain, wind and generally unpleasant weather. By the time the weekend rolled on, however, the conditions could not have been more pleasant. Fall colors also hit their peak over the weekend, framing the box canyon in gold.
Both nights opened with solo performances by Mr. Young who was then joined by the band. On night one, they debuted four brand new songs, played for the first time ever. For the sophomore show, they played them again and even added another new track. On top of that were longtime favorites both nights, to which all sung along, including Heart of Gold, Rockin’ in the Free World, Cinnamon Girl (on Friday) and Sugar Mountain (Saturday) among many others.
The overall vibe in town and at the shows was friendly, welcoming and positive, and it was certainly fun to run into friends from the Roaring Fork Valley on the trails, in the saloons and
at the concerts.
A man of few spoken words, but many sung ones, Young closed out the weekend with a smile and a “Thank you, Colorado; Thank you, Telluride.”
If I had the time, I’d be joining the bandwagon and head to Indio, Calif., this weekend and/or next for Desert Trip, or what I prefer to refer to as Oldchella. Tickets to see Neil, Bob Dyan, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters and the Who are still available here: http://www.deserttrip.com.
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