Photo by Joey Martinez
Music legend Neil Young performed his first public show since 2019 at the Greek Theater as part of Light Up The Blues which he plays annually with former Buffalo Springfield and Crosby Still and Nash bandmate Stephen Stills on April 22nd. Young began his first tour in four years at the John Anson Ford Amphitheater in Los Angeles, CA with four nights starting June 30th and returned to the Greek Theater for two nights (July 10th and 14th) a venue which has played at for over 50 years. In between The Ford and Greek Young performed at the Paso Robles Amphitheater and Santa Barbara Bowl. Over the last decade Young has toured solo without a band, reunited with Crazy Horse and Buffalo Springfield and had Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real as his backing band. Young once again is on a solo tour performing on acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, piano, and a pump organ. Young played grand and upright pianos, and had a third piano which was not used. Young, known for his model train collection, had a set onstage revolving around what looked like an old fashioned stove. Young had his famous black Gibson Les Paul and Gretsch White Falcon, and Martin acoustic given to him by Stills many years ago.
Young had played the Greek as part of CSNY in the early 70’s just after joining and it may have been the group’s first ever performance together. Young and Stills were part of Buffalo Springfield from 1966-68. Following the break up, Crosby, Stills and Nash formed not long after and would be joined by Young just a year later. Young would join the group onstage for their historic Woodstock performance halfway through the set. Young released his first solo album in 1968 and in 1970 released one of his biggest albums After The Gold Rush followed by another huge album Harvest in 1972. Young would join CSN for tours and one offs on and off like the Bill Graham Memorial Concert (1991) until 2013 when CSNY would perform for the last time at the 27th Bridge School Benefit and CSN would break-up 3 years later. David Crosby passed on January 18th this year. CSNY would release just three albums together and Young has had over 20 solo albums and over 10 with Crazy Horse and also recorded an album with Pearl Jam, Stills, The Bluenotes, Booker T. & The M.G.’s two albums with Promise of the Real. Young’s 2010 release “Le Noise” was only him and a guitar and he would embark on a solo tour following.
Young began Monday’s show (7/10) with “I’m the Ocean,” followed by “Homefires” and two Buffalo Springfield songs “Burned” and “On the Way Home.” Out of the 18-song set there were songs that had been recorded with Crazy Horse and a third Buffalo Springfield song “Mr. Soul.” “Ohio” was the only CSNY song performed Young’s biggest solo song of the night came before the encore which was “Heart of Gold.” Young’s tech Bob Rice joined in on piano for two songs. Young told stories between songs including the first time he played the Greek Theater and living in Laurel Canyon.
Young closed the show with an encore of “Love Earth” which he recorded with Crazy Horse and a cover of Ian & Sylvia’s “Four Strong Winds.” Young now 77 still sounds great is one of the most iconic artists you can see live.
Neil Young Setlist (7/10)
- I'm the Ocean
- Burned (Buffalo Springfield)
- On the Way Home (Buffalo Springfield song)
- If You Got Love
- A Dream That Can Last (Neil Young & Crazy Horse)
- My Heart (Neil Young & Crazy Horse)
- Throw Your Hatred Down
- Prime of Life (Neil Young & Crazy Horse)
- When I Hold You in My Arms
- Mr. Soul (Buffalo Springfield)
- Mother Earth (Natural Anthem) (Neil Young & Crazy Horse)
- Ohio (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
- Comes a Time
- Don’t Forget Love (Neil Young & Crazy Horse)
- Heart of Gold
- Love Earth (Neil Young & Crazy Horse)
- Four Strong Winds (Ian & Sylvia)