2 July 2009

Neil Young at Hyde Park

The day after headlining at Glastonbury, Neil Young topped the bill at Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park. There were quite a few other acts on the bill but I was there just to see Neil.

Unfortunately to get anywhere near the front for Neil I had to stand through Fleet Foxes which was probably the most boring concert I have ever seen.

But all that was quickly forgotten when Neil powered and growled his way in to My My Hey Hey. Intentions were announced, the crowd were engaged and the singing along started.

The show was a fairly typical trawl through Neil's extensive back catalogue with a spotlight on Everybody Knows this is Nowhere (1969) and Ragged Glory (1990) which each provided three songs. We also had the expected foray into his acoustic collection, such as Old Man and The Needle and the Damage Done.

This was all very good stuff indeed but the last part of the show was just sensational. We were treated to an elongated version of Down by The River that bounced and cavorted has only a long Neil Young jam can. This led in to Rocking in the Free World (with lots more crowd singing) that screamed its defiant message across Hyde Park to the accompaniment of belligerent lights.

That would have done but an encore was expected and duly arrived. Arriving with it unexpectedly was Paul McCartney who supported on vocals Neil in A Day in The Life.

Neil Young albums are usually a little patchy with a song or two that feels a little below the standard of the rest but live Neil is always good and always worth seeing, even if you do have to sit through the Fleet Foxes first.


  1. I envy you, not having to listen to rubbish warm-up bands, but to listen to the man with the haunting voice. Out of the super group he was an on-off member of (C, S, N and Y), he is decidedly the one who has made the most interesting music, although I have to say, to listen to Crosby and Nash doing some harmony singing is out of this world. They sound like one rich voice!

  2. i have seen him twice - hyde park & previously at finsbury park with booker t & the mg's. Blown away both times but hyde park was the best - unreformed rock & roll from first to last. No prizes for fashion but who cares!!


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