Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Neil Young-Powderfinger

Only saw the legendary Neil Young one time in concert, during the short-lived Stills-Young Band incarnation, which bore the terrific song Long May You Run in 1976 but very little else of note. The concert was at the Nassau Coliseum during late 1978 or early 1979, had to be around that time because I was definitely living in the Hofstra University dorm, Tower E. But I went with some friends from Astoria and we drove to the show from there. At that time, whether deserved or not, Young had a temperamental reputation regarding his live shows as one of those tortured artists who may show up, play one song at the piano, and then leave the stage never to return, or on another night you might only get a 45-minute show. But on this night we got a smattering of his hits like Heart of Gold and After the Gold Rush, along with some old CSN&Y stuff and solo hits courtesy of Stephen Stills like Love the One You're With. But the group that night was not up to Crazy Horse standards, his terrific backup musicians who played on earlier recordings like Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Zuma and Tonight's The Night, which would of course reunite not long afterward for perhaps Young's last true masterpiece, Rust Never Sleeps. From that album comes the song on this video, Powderfinger, which would be one of the highlights from the concert film of the same name released in 1979. Like that album, the movie was divided into acoustic and electric sets, which Young has always alternated unevenly but compellingly between during various stages of his career.

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