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CONCERT REVIEW: Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Photo by PETE TROSHAK

Once upon a decade or so, Neil Young revives his Jurassic quartet Crazy Horse and stomps on the terra. The Horse gallops across the land like a modern-day four horsemen, performs in front of ridiculously huge, American flag-bedecked, mock amplifiers (as seen on the cover of Weld) and takes no prisoners. Clad in obligatory denim and flannel, Neil led his troops into battle last night at the Wells Fargo Center. Not sure exactly who they were fighting, but safe to say Crazy Horse won. He swayed and howled and did violence to  his guitar, firing off volleys of distressed notes that echoed, squealed and clanged off each other before ricocheting off the arena walls to create an endless feedback loop of righteous heaviosity. Behind him the rest of Crazy Horse thundered and thrashed and crashed and burned, brightly and beautifully. At least once per song Young and the Horse would gather in a triangle mid-stage and jam, feeding off each other and egging each other on. Among other highlights they delivered explosive renditions of “Love and Only Love,” “Powderfinger” and “My, My, Hey Hey” and turned Buffalo Springfield’s “Mr. Soul” into a supercharged feedback drenched rave-up. Saving the best for last, they encored with an epic “Like A Hurricane,” with Neil in the eye of the storm as the funnel cloud of sound swirled around him. The song, which turned 37 last night,  took on a special resonance in the wake of Sandy, his voice fragile and emotional, his solos wails of pain that cut through the howling winds. Despite being surrounded by his brothers and an arena full of adoring fans, Young seemed a man alone trying desperately to harness forces of nature he couldn’t entirely understand or control.  – PETE TROSHAK

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