The night is Young

Justin Brake
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Hey, hey ... this rock and roller is here to stay

Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Helsinki, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax - just some of the cities that didn't experience what Neil Young delivered Monday night at Mile One Centre in St. John's.

Launching his 2009 Continental Tour in Newfoundland and Labrador, Young and his electric band (Ben Keith, Chad Cromwell, Rick Rosas, Pegi Young, and Anthony Crawford) performed what not only shaped up to be as electrifying a show as their reputation predicates, but they played a few "bonus tracks," in the words of Young himself.

Legendary Canadian rocker Neil Young performs at Mile One Centre Monday night. - Photo by Justin Brake/Special to The Telegram

Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Helsinki, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax - just some of the cities that didn't experience what Neil Young delivered Monday night at Mile One Centre in St. John's.

Launching his 2009 Continental Tour in Newfoundland and Labrador, Young and his electric band (Ben Keith, Chad Cromwell, Rick Rosas, Pegi Young, and Anthony Crawford) performed what not only shaped up to be as electrifying a show as their reputation predicates, but they played a few "bonus tracks," in the words of Young himself.

Opening with "Love and Only Love," a jolting rendition of "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)," and "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere," the set was shaping up to be a carbon copy of the 2008 and early 2009 production the band offered up in Europe, North America, and the South Pacific.

But after performing staples like "Cinnamon Girl" and "The Needle And The Damage Done," Young uncharacteristically unleashed a youthful energy - not in his performance, but in his spontaneity.

"I never could figure out what a 'bonus track' was," he told the jam-packed Mile One crowd as the band seemed scattered in preparing for the next tune. "Is it something that wasn't good enough for a record? What is it? What is a bonus track?"

What followed was "Lost in Space," a song from the 1980 record "Hawks and Doves." According to sugarmountain.com, a respected online Neil Young set list archive, the song has never been performed live since its release 29 years ago.

If that wasn't enough, Young and the band also reached down deep into the pockets of his most successful album, 1972's "Heart of Gold," and pulled out - or pulled off, rather - a lively rendition of "Are You Ready For The Country?" - a tune that hasn't seen a set of ears in nearly a decade.

Between the surprises were Young standards, and not coincidentally, fan favourites, like "Cortez The Killer" from "Rust Never Sleeps," the 1979 album which would later inspire the grunge movement of the late '80s and early '90s.

"Heart of Gold" was a shoo-in, as was "Unknown Legend," but a string of numbers from the 1975 album "Tonight's The Night" was also something of an anomaly.

A bluesy "Speakin' Out" was followed by the title track, "World On A String," and "Albuquerque."

And "Words," from Young's 1970 breakthrough rock album "After The Gold Rush," was another welcomed addition to the set.

The presence of Young's wife Pegi as a backup singer usually warrants a mention in any review, but it wasn't so much her physical presence that mattered - Mrs. Young shone on "Just Singing A Song," the only song performed from Young's new album "Fork In The Road," which hits record store shelves today.

The atmosphere in Mile One Monday night was interesting, to say the least. As I peered out over the few thousand bodies crammed onto the floor, many were passing around "non-tobacco" (shall we say) cigarettes, evident by the aroma that filled the arena, heads in the front row were consistent with the music, and a woman caught my attention as her arms meandered smoothly above and around her head during "Unknown Legend".

Merely enjoying herself, the intensity of her movement reminded me that in moments such as these, there are no hierarchies, conventions, or rules. The 16- to 60-year-olds and everybody else in Mile One weren't in an arena.

Evidently, they were somewhere else.

Young and his band celebrate the release of "Fork In The Road" tonight in St. John's and then embark on a cross-Canada tour that will take them as far as Kelowna, B.C. and on to the United States. If you have tickets for tonight, you have reason to be excited - anything can happen.

Organizations: Cross-Canada

Geographic location: St. John's, Paris, Amsterdam Berlin London Helsinki Los Angeles Vancouver Toronto Montreal Halifax Newfoundland and Labrador Europe North America South Pacific Albuquerque Kelowna United States

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Recent comments

  • Sean
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    I saw the lady referred to in the article. During Unknown Legend, everytime Neil sang She rides a Harley Davidson this person would stand up and reach out like she was grabbing a pair of ape hangers on her bike. Then she'd sit down and do it again during the next chorus. It was great. The whole darn show was great. Wish I was going again tonight! He played Cortez the Killer - who could ask for more?!?!?

  • donald
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    to
    justin brake
    the song Cortez the killer is it on the Rust never sleeps album.....

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Dear Telegram Staff (especially Justin Brake),

    I am a regular reader of the Telegram and what I saw in your newspaper today April 7 2009 made me quite embarrassed to admit that. I am also music fan and in particular, a Neil Young fan. I was at his concert last night at Mile One Centre as was your reviewer Justin Brake. A concert review itself is very subjective thing. Though I agreed with many of Justin's opinions, I could not believe the number of glaring mistakes allowed to be printed in his article. Here are the mistakes made in the review:

    Between the surprises were Young standards, and not coincidentally, fan favourites, like Cortez The Killer from Rust Never Sleeps, the 1979 album which would later inspire the grunge movement of the late '80s and early '90s

    - Cortez the Killer was a track from Neil Young's 1975 album entitled Zuma

    And Words, from Young's 1970 breakthrough rock album After The Gold Rush, was another welcomed addition to the set.

    - Words is a track from his 1972 classic album Harvest

    If that wasn't enough, Young and the band also reached down deep into the pockets of his most successful album, 1972's Heart of Gold, and pulled out - or pulled off, rather - a lively rendition of Are You Ready For The Country? - a tune that hasn't seen a set of ears in nearly a decade.

    - His most successful album was indeed from 1972, but it was entitled Harvest

    Very poor research Mr. Brake. All of this information can be checked very easily online, but all serious fans of Neil Young were definitely disappointed with your numerous gaffs in this review. This review is probably being referenced by music fans all over the planet to see how Neil Young's opening night performance was. Perhaps Neil himself checked out the review. I am quite embarrassed frankly and I believe there needs be some corrections printed in your next issue. Aren't editor's supposed to ensure that the information printed in all articles is accurate? I must say that the ball was surely fumbled on this one.

  • Mona
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Does anyone know the name of the band that opened for Neil on Monday night? They didn't introduce themselves and I asked loads of people but no one knew who they were.

  • Glenn
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Mona Matthews..

    they are called Everest
    http://spin.com/articles/meet-everest-neil-youngs-hand-picked-opening-band

  • Artie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Right on Doug from PA!!

    Live music is better...bumper stickers should be issued

  • dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    im going to see neil in kingston, ont. monday! last time he was there was for his fathers funeral a few years back. does he play jouney through the past or helpless or ordinary people??? the kingston ''k-rock centre'' only holds about 5000 plus G.A.floor, so nice @ tight,up close @ personal for sure!

  • Patrick
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    To Peter.....I was there as well and he really puts on a great show. However, grunge is grunge and if you like 8 minute songs with 4 minutes of guitar stroking at the end of each song, you'll love this show. Peter mentioned that the fans were totally into it. Not sure which fans you are referring to but the 3 thousand or so on the floor in general admission clapped along to one or two songs and they basically stood montionless for two hours. Most people in the stands sat for 90% of the time.
    Nontheless, Neil Young is a legend and legends don't come this way too often and I am glad that I finally got to see him.

  • Robyn
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    He played for two hours with no breaks! Utterly spectacular! Everest finished at 8:30pm and Neil & co. took the stage at exactly 9:14pm after the set change. Man can that guy still rock it at 60 odd years old! There are two jumbotrons as well so you can watch him make love to his guitar - sent shivers up & down my spine... Anyone going tonight is in for one heluva show!!! Thanks Neil, Pegi, Ben, Chad, Rick and Anthony!!! Keep on rockin' in the freeworld everybody!!! Peace & love :o)

  • Charlie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Totally awesome guy...can he ever play that guitar, and his vocals were crystal clear. I loved the opening song selection, it got me settled in, then the surprises, or Bonus Tracks as he says were fresh, and lots of Harvest songs, even You Ready for the Country . Of course I had to hear Old Man and Heart of Gold, but Words was special, then what really got me moving in my seat was Rockin' in the Free World...Thank you Neil & Electric - for such a small band you really know how to ROCK!

  • darryl
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    its great that neil came to the rock, and that he played some of his songs that were not necessairily hits, saw him in october of last year in regina from the front row, got tickets for the edmonton show in a few weeks, i love this guy..coolest cat ever...hes 60 plus and still goin strong..

  • Gerard
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    The opening band is called Everest.

  • wayner
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    How long did he play? Did he take a break?

  • AnnD
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    The opening band was Everest & they had lots of energy-good start to a fabulous night

  • Peter
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Neil (& band) came on stage at 9:15 PM, played 2 solid hours, no breaks, encore @ 11:20. Arguably the best show ever at Mile One. Crowd totally into it. Kudos to Mile One for getting him here--goes to show you the fans will come out (2 Sold Out shows; 8,500 + per show) if a quality act comes this way. I'll be there again tonight!

  • Biff
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I saw Neil Young last autumn in Calgary. I'm looking forward to seeing him again in a few weeks.

  • Linda
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    It was awesome
    It was fabulous
    It was excellent
    Going again tonight!
    KEEP ON ROCKING ..................

  • Ryan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    This was the most intense and amazing show, It was a dream come true as a life long fan of Neil young, to get to rock out with him in our own Mile one, Your are the Man Neil!!!!

  • Ryan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    'Just Singing a Song' is a great tune.

  • Peter
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Doug: Neil (& band) are camped out next door at The Delta. I think he has the entire 11th floor. His band was in the bar last night after the show (minus Neil). They've been in town since last Thursday rehersing across the street at the Convention Centre.

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Words is on the Harvest, not After The Goldrush, by the by. And Cortez is on Zuma, not Rust. Great review, though. Solid research on prior setlists and Lost In Space. Can't wait for Kelowna!

  • Mr. Ed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    An excellent review!

  • Kerri
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    LOL My mother thouroughly enjoyed the Neil Young concert. I was speaking with her on the phone earlier. Unknown Legend is her absolute favorite song ever...she was the lady 'riding the Harley Davidson' that was mentioned in the article LOL!

  • matt
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    the band was Everest!

  • rob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Opening band was a group called Everest

    Neil rocked. It was like taking a masters class in rock and roll.

    A must see event.

  • LTD
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Have heard sooooo many great comments and reviews from last nights show. I'm going this evening, and absolutely can not wait!! Saw a clip on NTV of him doing Hey Hey My MY, and the clip has got me pumped for tonight's show! I've heard cameras were allowed, is this true? Didn't want to take the chance in taking it, and having it taken from me...so if someone could let me know that would be great. would love to get a couple of stage shots of Neil and the band.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Cortez the Killer was first issued on the album Zuma in 1975. Zuma is a fine album that is often overlooked. Young later included Cortez on Live Rust.

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Best show EVER seen in St. John's.

  • Doug
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Yes, I concur with Mr. Ed, an excellent review by Justin B., wish I'd been there.

    Any sightings of the Neil and band 'out & about'??


    Live music is better......

  • bon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    tapers !! where are you!!!

  • Ryan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    @Mona The opening band was Everest.

  • Shaky
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    Best show ever at Mile One would have to be a toss up between Pearl Jam and the White Stripes with Neil coming in at a close third.

  • Sean
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    I saw the lady referred to in the article. During Unknown Legend, everytime Neil sang She rides a Harley Davidson this person would stand up and reach out like she was grabbing a pair of ape hangers on her bike. Then she'd sit down and do it again during the next chorus. It was great. The whole darn show was great. Wish I was going again tonight! He played Cortez the Killer - who could ask for more?!?!?

  • donald
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    to
    justin brake
    the song Cortez the killer is it on the Rust never sleeps album.....

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Dear Telegram Staff (especially Justin Brake),

    I am a regular reader of the Telegram and what I saw in your newspaper today April 7 2009 made me quite embarrassed to admit that. I am also music fan and in particular, a Neil Young fan. I was at his concert last night at Mile One Centre as was your reviewer Justin Brake. A concert review itself is very subjective thing. Though I agreed with many of Justin's opinions, I could not believe the number of glaring mistakes allowed to be printed in his article. Here are the mistakes made in the review:

    Between the surprises were Young standards, and not coincidentally, fan favourites, like Cortez The Killer from Rust Never Sleeps, the 1979 album which would later inspire the grunge movement of the late '80s and early '90s

    - Cortez the Killer was a track from Neil Young's 1975 album entitled Zuma

    And Words, from Young's 1970 breakthrough rock album After The Gold Rush, was another welcomed addition to the set.

    - Words is a track from his 1972 classic album Harvest

    If that wasn't enough, Young and the band also reached down deep into the pockets of his most successful album, 1972's Heart of Gold, and pulled out - or pulled off, rather - a lively rendition of Are You Ready For The Country? - a tune that hasn't seen a set of ears in nearly a decade.

    - His most successful album was indeed from 1972, but it was entitled Harvest

    Very poor research Mr. Brake. All of this information can be checked very easily online, but all serious fans of Neil Young were definitely disappointed with your numerous gaffs in this review. This review is probably being referenced by music fans all over the planet to see how Neil Young's opening night performance was. Perhaps Neil himself checked out the review. I am quite embarrassed frankly and I believe there needs be some corrections printed in your next issue. Aren't editor's supposed to ensure that the information printed in all articles is accurate? I must say that the ball was surely fumbled on this one.

  • Mona
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Does anyone know the name of the band that opened for Neil on Monday night? They didn't introduce themselves and I asked loads of people but no one knew who they were.

  • Glenn
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Mona Matthews..

    they are called Everest
    http://spin.com/articles/meet-everest-neil-youngs-hand-picked-opening-band

  • Artie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Right on Doug from PA!!

    Live music is better...bumper stickers should be issued

  • dave
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    im going to see neil in kingston, ont. monday! last time he was there was for his fathers funeral a few years back. does he play jouney through the past or helpless or ordinary people??? the kingston ''k-rock centre'' only holds about 5000 plus G.A.floor, so nice @ tight,up close @ personal for sure!

  • Patrick
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    To Peter.....I was there as well and he really puts on a great show. However, grunge is grunge and if you like 8 minute songs with 4 minutes of guitar stroking at the end of each song, you'll love this show. Peter mentioned that the fans were totally into it. Not sure which fans you are referring to but the 3 thousand or so on the floor in general admission clapped along to one or two songs and they basically stood montionless for two hours. Most people in the stands sat for 90% of the time.
    Nontheless, Neil Young is a legend and legends don't come this way too often and I am glad that I finally got to see him.

  • Robyn
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    He played for two hours with no breaks! Utterly spectacular! Everest finished at 8:30pm and Neil & co. took the stage at exactly 9:14pm after the set change. Man can that guy still rock it at 60 odd years old! There are two jumbotrons as well so you can watch him make love to his guitar - sent shivers up & down my spine... Anyone going tonight is in for one heluva show!!! Thanks Neil, Pegi, Ben, Chad, Rick and Anthony!!! Keep on rockin' in the freeworld everybody!!! Peace & love :o)

  • Charlie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    Totally awesome guy...can he ever play that guitar, and his vocals were crystal clear. I loved the opening song selection, it got me settled in, then the surprises, or Bonus Tracks as he says were fresh, and lots of Harvest songs, even You Ready for the Country . Of course I had to hear Old Man and Heart of Gold, but Words was special, then what really got me moving in my seat was Rockin' in the Free World...Thank you Neil & Electric - for such a small band you really know how to ROCK!

  • darryl
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    its great that neil came to the rock, and that he played some of his songs that were not necessairily hits, saw him in october of last year in regina from the front row, got tickets for the edmonton show in a few weeks, i love this guy..coolest cat ever...hes 60 plus and still goin strong..

  • Gerard
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    The opening band is called Everest.

  • wayner
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    How long did he play? Did he take a break?

  • AnnD
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    The opening band was Everest & they had lots of energy-good start to a fabulous night

  • Peter
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Neil (& band) came on stage at 9:15 PM, played 2 solid hours, no breaks, encore @ 11:20. Arguably the best show ever at Mile One. Crowd totally into it. Kudos to Mile One for getting him here--goes to show you the fans will come out (2 Sold Out shows; 8,500 + per show) if a quality act comes this way. I'll be there again tonight!

  • Biff
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    I saw Neil Young last autumn in Calgary. I'm looking forward to seeing him again in a few weeks.

  • Linda
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    It was awesome
    It was fabulous
    It was excellent
    Going again tonight!
    KEEP ON ROCKING ..................

  • Ryan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    This was the most intense and amazing show, It was a dream come true as a life long fan of Neil young, to get to rock out with him in our own Mile one, Your are the Man Neil!!!!

  • Ryan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    'Just Singing a Song' is a great tune.

  • Peter
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Doug: Neil (& band) are camped out next door at The Delta. I think he has the entire 11th floor. His band was in the bar last night after the show (minus Neil). They've been in town since last Thursday rehersing across the street at the Convention Centre.

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    Words is on the Harvest, not After The Goldrush, by the by. And Cortez is on Zuma, not Rust. Great review, though. Solid research on prior setlists and Lost In Space. Can't wait for Kelowna!

  • Mr. Ed
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    An excellent review!

  • Kerri
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    LOL My mother thouroughly enjoyed the Neil Young concert. I was speaking with her on the phone earlier. Unknown Legend is her absolute favorite song ever...she was the lady 'riding the Harley Davidson' that was mentioned in the article LOL!

  • matt
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    the band was Everest!

  • rob
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Opening band was a group called Everest

    Neil rocked. It was like taking a masters class in rock and roll.

    A must see event.

  • LTD
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Have heard sooooo many great comments and reviews from last nights show. I'm going this evening, and absolutely can not wait!! Saw a clip on NTV of him doing Hey Hey My MY, and the clip has got me pumped for tonight's show! I've heard cameras were allowed, is this true? Didn't want to take the chance in taking it, and having it taken from me...so if someone could let me know that would be great. would love to get a couple of stage shots of Neil and the band.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Cortez the Killer was first issued on the album Zuma in 1975. Zuma is a fine album that is often overlooked. Young later included Cortez on Live Rust.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Best show EVER seen in St. John's.

  • Doug
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Yes, I concur with Mr. Ed, an excellent review by Justin B., wish I'd been there.

    Any sightings of the Neil and band 'out & about'??


    Live music is better......

  • bon
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    tapers !! where are you!!!

  • Ryan
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    @Mona The opening band was Everest.

  • Shaky
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    Best show ever at Mile One would have to be a toss up between Pearl Jam and the White Stripes with Neil coming in at a close third.