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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Neil Young with Wilco: Live at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts (12-13-08)

By Rob

NOTE: My setlist for Neil Young conflicts with that of SugarMountain.org -- the popular source for Neil Young setlists. I'm confident in my setlist. For instance, I am positive Young performed Old Man directly before Heart of Gold, whereas SugarMountain.org has Old Man following Heart of Gold. Disparities like that put faith in my setlist being the more accurate of the two. Here is the setlist, according to SugarMountain.org

A shot of Neil Young at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA (12/13/08)

On December 13th, James (fellow contributor to TWOTF) and I saw Neil Young live for our first time, and Wilco for my second time. Our tickets were for general admission on the floor, and we had an excellent line-of-sight. We caught the last two or so songs from Everest, the opener. Their stuff seemed nice, albeit slightly underwhelming. Then came Wilco... I saw Wilco for my first and only other time 4 or so years ago when they played in gymnasium at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy at Saturday's show in Worcester, MA

I didn't know what to expect going into yesterday's show. Neil Young has gone by the same set list for many of his recent tour dates, with the exception of three or so songs each night. Don't get me wrong, it is a spectacular setlist. It's just that both Neil Young and Wilco have done a lot of touring, and Neil Young has been playing some of the same songs for over 30 years, let alone a single tour. It was hard not to wonder whether these acts would phone it in to some extent. What happened, in short, was this: Wilco seemingly phoned it in on a few songs (see below), while Neil Young played his set like it was a going away party for the elite portion of the songbook.

The following is Wilco's setlist from last night:

* - This is an great rendition. Why would I pay $90 to hear the studio version? There has to be something special about it. In this case, there was something very special and worthwhile about this song.

1. Via Chicago*
2. Impossible Germany
3. You Are My Face
4. Spiders (Kidsmoke)*
5. Hummingbird
6. Forget the Flowers
7. Jesus, Etc.
8. Hate It Here*
9. Walken*
10. I'm The Man Who Loves You*

Nels Cline put on a great show, as is custom to a Univeristy High School (Los Angeles, California) alumnus. Any song that I've indicated to have been a strong, live rendition was made as such in large part to, if not entirely by, Nels Cline.

It took close to 40 minutes (OK, maybe it was closer to 35 minutes) to break down Wilco's equipment and set up for Neil Young. The stage looked like a stop on Antique Roadshow. One amp appeared to be at least 20 years old. I'll never forget the artist at the back of the stage who, for most of the set, had a spotlight on him while he painted. I had read that a man painted on stage during NY sets, but I hadn't thought about the logistical aspects of that. I don't want to make it sound like Kanye West at Bonaroo -- the wait for NY wasn't neither unusual nor painful ...But watching two roadies carry the painters equipment on stage doesn't help the clock move any faster.

Luckily we were surrounded by a group of characters, and the wait was actually enjoyable for us. For those who didn't have the best 35-minute wait, NY made it worth the wait...

The following is Neil Young's setlist from last night:

1. Love And Only Love*
2. Hey Hey, My My*
3. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere*
4. Powderfinger*
5. Spirit Road
6. Cortez The Killer*
...Fantastic guitar solo and back-up vocals
7. Cinnamon Girl
8. Oh, Lonesome Me
....Introduced the harmonica for the first time in set
9. Mother Earth
....Played on organ w. harmonica (solo)
10. The Needle And The Damage Done*
....Acoustic (solo)
11. Light A Candle
12. "Cough Up The Bucks"
13. Fuel Line*
14. "Hit The Road And Go To Town"(?)
....I don't recall which song this was. I know it was a new one. A lyric I remembered: "no fear of failure for a crazy fool." If anyone has the complete lyrics for this song, I'd greatly appreciate it. (Post in the comment section!)
15. Old Man*
....Popular sing-a-long
16. Heart Of Gold*
....Popular sing-a-long
17. Get Back To The Country*
18. When Worlds Collide
19. Just Singing A Song*
....A great guitar solo -- fantastic jam
21. Cowgirl In The Sand*
....Possibly the best guitar solo of the night
22. Rockin' In The Free World*
ENCORE: A Day In The Life

1 comment:

SteveH said...

Thanks for the setlist & mini-review.

My notes agree with yours: "Old Man" preceded "Heart Of Gold".

But my notes agree with sugarmtn that "Get Behind the Wheel" (new song) followed "When Worlds Collide".

Keep rockin'....