Neil Young Thrills, Inspires Detroit Faithful in Stunning One-Man Concert
Neil Young roamed the stage all by himself during a truly awe-inspiring show at Detroit's Fox Theatre last night, switching between various pianos and acoustic and electric guitars as skillfully and confidently as he's hopped across genres over his long and legendary career.
Young opened the packed concert, at what he called "the most beautiful music venue in the United States," with a strong 1-2-3 acoustic run through the classics 'My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue),' 'Tell Me Why' and 'Helpless,' then strapped on a clear-toned electric guitar to play a few songs from his most recent album, 2010's solo electric 'Le Noise.' If you're wondering at all, let us assure you it was all just fantastic and easily worth a six hour drive.
He spent the rest of the show wandering -- with brief, theatrical pauses -- between the various instruments set up on the stage and knocking out fully committed, masterful readings of songs like 'Cinnamon Girl' and 'Ohio,' frequently on fully amplified, distorted electric guitars. Without any sort of band behind him, it was kind of like watching some maniac fan play their favorite Neil Young songs in the basement, except it was, you know, actually Neil Young... and he was killing it.
Soon after an absolutely gorgeous performance of the tender piano ballad 'I Believe in You,' Young left the stage as unceremoniously as he arrived. He came back for a one-song encore -- which is how it should be done, by the way -- and rewarded the crowd with an emotionally charged reading of the new album's lead track, 'Walk With Me.'
It could be Young is singing about his wife when he says "I feel the patience of unconditional love / I feel the strength / I feel your faith in me," on this one, but it could also be that, at the end of yet another uniquely framed musical concert, where he once again left out many of his favorite hits ('Rockin' in the Free World,' 'Old Man') and performed in an unconventional way, that he's expressing gratitude to his audience for following him all these years.
The song continued with a promise nobody at the show will have any trouble believing: "I'll never let you down / No matter what you do / If you just walk with me and let me walk with you." As the song and show wound down, Neil playfully tortured his amps with feedback as the phrase "Walk With Me" echoed like a mantra into the night.
If we're not being clear enough, this was an awesome show and you should travel whatever distance you can handle to see Neil Young perform at every chance you get.
Watch Neil Young Perform 'Walk With Me' Live in Edmonton