Missed Neil as he passed through SoCal this past week, and regret it — Rolling Stone says this is his best tour in “decades,” and for good measure throws in a video of an epic 17-minute version of what some consider his greatest song Cortez the Killer.
But my fave review I’ve seen from this tour comes from the Independent in Santa Barbara. It’s long, but the opening and closing are too strong (and too unique) to go unnoticed:
Let’s be real. There’s a good chance human civilization has about half a century left until we render the world inhospitable. It’s almost impossible to imagine a way in which we could disentangle ourselves from the gridlock of our unsustainable ways in time to meet the needs of unborn billions, or in time to put the brakes on a rapidly accelerating climate shift. Certainly not, at least, when so much power seems to rest in the hands of a greedy few, or in the hands of a populace too afraid or too numbed to disturb the peace.
“Look at mother nature on the run in the twenty-first century,” Young sang at the show’s opening. Who knows if this kind of protest rock really moves mountains, or just makes us feel like we can; but it is heartening to know that there is someone bearing witness at the very least, should we look upon these times and see missed opportunities in our policies and lifestyles. Young, in his undying rock spirit, asks us to be more, to give our children the promise of something more real and something more free, and that night, he gave us a very real hope that we still can.
Thanks, Richie DeMaria. (Who points out Young will pay a fine for exceeding the curfew at the Santa Barbara Bowl.) And here’s another of his classics, a much shorter song, from this tour. For some reason this version — despite the handheld quality — gives me chills.