Originally, we (The Rockists and our fans) had planned to catch the Aqueduct/Georgie James double bill at the Black Cat on Friday, Nov. 16. Then we were all gonna go see Art Brut and the Hold Steady on the NME Rockin' Riot Tour or whatever it was called the next Tuesday. But G.L. and Rob failed to procure tickets for the latter, and I was surprised at the very last minute ("minute" being the operative word) with tickets to the incredibly-expensive Neil Young show at D.A.R. Constitution Hall that Thursday.
After getting the message that a ticket -- a $157 ticket, mind you -- was waiting for me (on behalf of the DCist, where I wrote a full, more professional review than you'll find here) merely ten minutes before show time, I threw on some jeans, grabbed my crutches, hobbled down to Penn Ave, and hailed a cab. I got there to discover Neil's wife Pegi was actually opening up. Very forgettable. Dad Rock for dads whose good taste left them years ago, and who now only want to hear soothing alt-country ditties by gracefully-ageing, somewhat earthy women. But seriously, it wasn't all that bad, just not all that good either.
Neil on the other hand was Neil: odd, eclectic, and shakey as ever. He opened with a solo acoustic set which covered a surprising number of totally unreleased songs written 30 years ago, and then came back to whip up some guitar fury with a band of his closest buddies. The new material off Chrome Dreams II isn't great or anything -- though "Dirty Old Man" was hilarious -- but scattered throughout the set it wasn't a letdown either. All in all, a hell of a show from my favorite solo performer of all time.
Here's the setlist:
Neil Young at D.A.R. Constitution Hall 11/15/07
From Hank To Hendrix / Ambulance Blues / Sad Movies / A Man Needs A Maid / No One Seems To Know / Harvest / Try / Mellow My Mind / Love Art Blues / Cowgirl In The Sand / Heart Of Gold // The Loner / Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere / Dirty Old Man / Spirit Road / Bad Fog Of Loneliness / Winterlong / Oh, Lonesome Me / The Believer / No Hidden Path // Cinnamon Girl / Like A Hurricane
*He also played the next night at DAR too. Setlist here.
Neil Young - "From Hank to Hendrix"
And just for fun, a TRS favorite covering a classic Neil cut:
Okkervil River - "Mellow My Mind"