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coverpic flag Canada - Full Moon 59 - 08/04/01

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Oberhausen, Germany, 23.06.01

Rock N Roll Will Never Die

For the first time in five years Neil Young And Crazy Horse toured Europe and while the 1996 tour was kind of a "Greatest Hits" package that seemed to lack real passion for the best part of the concert, the show in Oberhausen, Germany proved that Neil is in fine form in 2001, despite the fact that he didn't say a single word throughout the show that lasted about 2 hours 20 minutes.

It was at around 21.40 that Neil and his gang took to the stage at the almost sold out 12,000 seat Arena, starting off kinda slow and mellow with a very welcome Don't Cry No Tears, but as soon as third song Love And Only Love started with a two-minute trademark guitar solo it was apparent that great things were to follow. Like the four (!) brand new and unreleased songs that Neil played tonight. Standing In The Light Of Love classified as a funny Deep Purple rip-off and Going Home was a classic Young rocker and it would be no surprise if it's going to rival Rockin' In the Free World in the encores very soon. The highlights in Neil's solo acoustic slot mid-set came in the form of From Hank To Hendrix, complete with a heartbreakingly beautiful harmonica solo, but the by far best song of the night was After The Goldrush, performed by Neil on the pump organ. A real tearjerker, but in a good way - devastatingly beautiful! The only low point of the whole show was Only Love Can Break My Heart, which worked alright as a crowd pleaser, but lacked the heartfelt performance that made the rest of the songs winners one and all!

The last 45 minutes of the show - now with Crazy Horse back on stage - were the usual assortment of hits and anthems, but performed with a passion and energy last heard from this band on Weld some ten years ago. I thought they were gonna tear off the roof with a smashing Hey Hey My My and the main set's closer Like A Hurricane clocked in at around 20 minutes. I'm sure quite a few people had the feedback-drenched ending of the song still ringing in their ears DAYS after the show. But of course there were encores, too: Fuckin' Up was a lot better than the poor studio version and the closing Cinnamon Girl was a nice surprise at the very end.

"It's better to burn out than to fade away", Neil sang famously almost 25 years ago. With this great show he proved that the line doesn't apply to him. Approaching 60 and no signs of a burn out - now that's really quite an achievement!

Copyright © 2001 Carsten Wohlfeld e-mail address

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