Not Until My Hands Bleed.

Are the words I was thinking when ferociously clapping as Neil Young finished his concert with “Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World” in Calgary Sunday night. As the concert came to a close the whole stadium had shrunk into a single charge of energy that had been induced by our very own Canadian Neil Young. Not only has this concert become one of the ultimate experience I will experience next to child birth, it was that miraculous, but it blew mine and my lovely companion’s expectations, as I am sure child birth will for the both of us. Bob Dylan cannot even compare to how amazing Neil Young was.

The show kicked off with a band that had no name, at least they didn’t bother to introduce themselves. All the information that was provided was that they hailed from Los Angeles. Their set was shortly lived but lovely enough to wet your palate for what was to come. Next, a nice surprise, Death Cab for Cutie entertained the filling stadium for about 45 minutes with cute love songs like “I will follow you into the Dark” which makes a nice little mention of Calgary. Their set not only included cute love songs but we had a running commentary of each song’s dynamics provided by the gentlemen seating right behind us. But nothing, not even the commentary could compare to what we were about to experience.

Neil Young. He managed to fill the entire stadium with a wall of sound (which from where we were sitting did not have the detrimental affect of making us shout to each other at the end of the show), provided us with “Hey Hey, My My”, “Cinnamon Girl”, “Oh, Lonesome Me”, “Everybody knows this is nowhere”, “Needle and the Damage Done”, “Old Man”, “Helpless”, “Mother Earth” on the organ while playing the harmonica, finished with “Rockin’ in the Free World” and encored with “A day in a life” by the Beatles. Note: All these songs must be experienced some how, go out and find them! By the end of the show everbody was standing, clapping along and moving to the beat. To experience this kind of effect on thousands of people is something special. To know that at this very moment everybody is happy to be where they are is almost like attaining perfection.

To add to the pure rock’n’roll that was oozing out of the stage he manage to add some visual aspects to the show. I am not talking about a wicked light show with Tusken Raiders helping out; but I am talking about the painting that was happening in the background of his show. It seemed as though a woman and a man where overlapping colours upon colours, like our pre-historic friends did 25 000 years ago, while Neil Young was making his guitar cry out oh so sweetly. The painting started out red, then turned green and went through the changing shades to turn out a mauvish colour. Although this little aspect may not be as mind blowing as Tusken Raiders it was still awesome to see all the creativity that was going on all at once. I wish I could describe it better but unfortunately I was dancing to hard to take in all the details. Maybe it had something to do with how he was dressed. He was wearing a black blazer with splattered paint all over it, work man jeans and brown boots. There was also a random prop next to the drummer: a red rotary phone, of which I wonder why it was placed there. Maybe taking in these three aspects you can come out with the conclusion that here is a man who is a symbol for the common man taking at look at our history (the rotary phone is basically history) and who is producing something more than art which is in the background.

Overall the show was a great success, a show to be remembered and cherished among those that where privileged to experience it. I am sorry you missed it. Hopefully these kind of experiences will be available to us in the future. But who knows according to our government the common man does not enjoy what art leads too but I beg to differ.


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