Neil Young - Munich - May 05, 2003 (review)


My Germanic week (part 1 : Munich 03)

     During my Germanic week, my environment always brought me back in Greendale (USA) or to Neil. On Saturday, along the roadsides, foals of the year frolic being full of life around in sunny meadows. They will be quite mettlesome this summer. On Sunday, tiredness and heat postpone my appointment with my hosts from Stuttgart. And itís in a Baden Baden street that I find my hotel of which I will be faithful during all my travel. The next morning, I see that nature spreads out in this street. The large white bunches of the flowers in chestnut trees erect proudly towards the sky. Roots break, with a push, the large layer of tar. A blackbird settles close to me, it makes me a sign and it comes back going about its birdís business. A young woman appears in front of me, says to me: "Guten Morgen" and continues her way. I know you I saw you... yes it was the day before... in my dream. How many unknown women wished hello to you at 6 in the morning in the street? I believe that it never happens. I look around for her but she disappeared from my sight. And itís at this time that I discover the street name: Industriestrasse! The head office of "Power Company" must be held somewhere around. Ah ah ah ah ah! Towards MŁnich, metal flowers breaks through the top of the trees, their petals revolves in the wind. Farther away, but not so far, noxious chimneys cough up their lungs continuously. In MŁnich city center, the small houses look doll's houses. Toy? And is the Neilís collection of train affiliated with toys too? Computer Age, who comes by motor bike, says to me that he sent a model of one train in a limited edition to The Loner, and consequently he obtained an autograph in a beautiful handwriting!!! Computer Age has already seven ones in the bag and goes again away like a hurricane expecting a hypothetical meeting with Neil. In front of a drink, I meet again Peter "Hard_To_Handle", Claudia, Rainer, Bernard and his Austrian friends, and Tom Hambleton - Californian who already attended to five shows from this tour! Then we come quickly in Philharmonie building. Larry brings the three guitars that will send me in Greendale with the help of Neil who precisely comes on stage. Neil talks much, introduces all the songs, and jams all the time he gives us his talk. His new songs are a very blues feeling (like John Lee Hooker style). And that's simply splendid that Neil launches out into this way that he never went and I canít imagine him playing these songs with Crazy Horse! But I can make a mistake. My eyes are caught by the impressive play that Neil offers to us! I didnít think he is able to play thus with acoustic guitar. Whereas in acoustic sets with Crazy Horse, Neil delivers a minimum guitar play to us, here, I am enraptured by his fingers working which I can see very well from my seventh rank. Many changes in rhythm and in the voice intonation enrich the whole. The low level of the sound, the beautiful lullabies and the attention - that I pay to understand what Neil tells with a loud and clear voice - could lull to sleep the audience that is comfortably seated in this beautiful theater which is arranged entirely in tiers. But that isnít my case!! I must point out that the exercise is really intense during all the Greendale set! For Neil as well because he consults his notes and even for a moment he stops a song to update his notes put on his chair! He says something like that to us: "It isnít that I need them... but I donít know what I wrote on them." Be_The_Rain is very energetic; the sound is increased on that occasion. The lights switch on; I can go out to stretch my legs a bit during ten minutes. Larry changes the guitars; one rusty holds out a small gift to him to be given to Neil; Larry refuses. Also donít you ever try to give anything to Neil in force, his reaction will be surely scorn and you will be deeply disappointed! Neil comes back, grabs his guitar, shouting off an energetic Lotta_Love. Then he goes towards the piano, but Expecting_To_Fly is played without feeling, without conviction. Neil comes back to his chair and plays a beautiful outset with guitar! He's got a surprise up his sleeve for us! But what is this tune then? Eldorado? No_More? Aaaaah... Don't_Let_It_Bring_You_Down. He really got me! Neil gets up, he makes a noise with his guitar, thunderous applause, and Neil waves his arms, as a director would do, then he turns round towards the audience. There are many ghosts roaming. Come back at the piano, but I think that Neil has his harmonica in his eyes and not the full moon thus heís constantly compelled to handle it and for this reason Neil loses his concentration about the piano keys... and we can hear that. Oddly he doesnít reach to make up for these wrong notes at the piano! Does he do it on purpose? Or wouldn't he reach any more to find his marks? A voice shouts: "I like your guitar!", Neil answers: "Thank you." You know, you are like a nursling, I can do what I want with you, I put you where I want and my mind is at rest, I like that. (!!!) Thank you Neil. But I think you donít talk about us in the most laudatory terms!!! War_Of_Man is wonderfully performed with a freedom in the guitar playing from time to time! The last "No one wins" stirs the megaphone. Neil comes back, hears a shout for Cortez, settles down and plays Heart_Of_Gold. "Iíve just found a heart of gold" finishes a beautiful guitar and harmonica playing. I find the Austrian rusties who, like me, think Neil gives us a big thrill by this new vintage, and we move towards a garden of beer that Rainer "Baron Rouge" has enormously a liking for. Night is wearing on and our good mood doesnít decline. Later, whereas I go towards my car, I wonder whether the woman whose I met in this very morning in Baden Baden didnít have a megaphone in her bag.

Denis Between The Rusty Words (May 14, 2003)

To be continued...  My Germanic week (part 2 : Stuttgart)

My original text 

Setlist : Falling From Above / Double E / Devil's Sidewalk / Leave The Driving / Carmichael / Bandit / Grandpa's Interview / Bringin' Down Dinner / Sun Green / Be The Rain // Lotta Love / Expecting To Fly / Mother Earth / Don't Let It Bring You Down / Old Man / After The Goldrush / War Of Man // Heart Of Gold

[Part 1 : Munich 2003]
[Part 2 : Stuttgart 2003]
[Part 3 : Amsterdam 2003]
[Part 4 : Hannover 2003]
[Part 5 : Paris 2003]