12 July 2014 (gig)
13 July 2014
“I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to be singing on the same stage as Neil Young” said Tom Odel sitting behind his piano on the main stage at Hyde Park.
The heat clearly not getting to him he did his job as he saw it. “I’m here to gently warm you up” and he did just that. “Another Love’ closing a well received set at a sun splashed BST.
The National immediately struck a chord, they seem to be enjoying their gradual but decisive rise in popularity.
Singer Matt Berninger dressed in dark blue shirt, waistcoat and black trousers made his baritone vocals count in a succession of classic National tracks ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ a personal favourite.
Reminding me of Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski, always totally consumed by the performance, The National are effortlessly cool. They deliver proper songs and they mean them, and watching Beringer walking around the stage marshalling his group it’s clear this means everything to him.
‘Mr November’ saw him depart the stage and test the length of his mic lead walking a good 50 meters into the ecstatic audience.
Offering up a track to recently departed Tommy Ramone and with a nod to Neil Young they closed a strong set with a moving version of ‘Terrible Love’.
Before we knew it, it was time for Neil Young. Headline acts don’t come much bigger than this. Huddled together with his band center stage guitars screaming it’s hard to wish for a better musical sight.
All in black, ‘EARTH’ emblazoned on his t-shirt, black baseball cap in reverse Young spent the majority of the gig swaying to and fro millimeters away from his most trusted musician, friend and fellow troubadour, Crazy Horse guitarist Frank Sampedro. Its heart warming to see the close bond they share along with bassist Billy Talbot.
‘Going Home’ had Young speaking to the wooden Indian positioned stage right. He’s still an old hippy at heart “Whose gonna stand up and save the earth?” sung with a passion and feeling that few artists can replicate.
Watching Neil Young is always a pleasure and seeing him lost in a jam that at points seem never ending but always fresh, and exciting is an achievement in itself. An acoustic interlude saw
him deliver a solo performance of Bob Dylan’s classic ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ with the 60,000 strong crowd helping out. His own classic ‘Heart Of Gold’ followed his harmonica solo a pure musical indulgence.
“Cinnamon Girl’ saw Crazy Horse back on stage with ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ following with great applause following every false ending.
Closing the two hour set with ‘Down By The River’ taking a deserved bow with the rest of the band he munched on a few cherries and slowly left the stage. I also had the unexpected pleasure of bumping into Tom Odel in the crowd, he simply said “It was brilliant!”
I had to agree.
Neil Young Setlist
o Love and Only Love
o Goin' Home
o Days That Used to Be
o After the Gold Rush
o Love to Burn
o Separate Ways
o Only Love Can Break Your Heart
o Blowin' in the Wind
• (Bob Dylan cover) (Solo Acoustic)
o Heart of Gold
• (Solo Acoustic)
o Barstool Blues
o Psychedelic Pill
o Cinnamon Girl
o Rockin' in the Free World
o Who's Gonna Stand Up and Save the Earth
o Encore 2:
o Down by the River
• Note: (w/ Crazy Horse)
The National Setlist
Don't Swallow the Cap
I Should Live in Salt
Mistaken for Strangers
Sea of Love
Afraid of Everyone
I Need My Girl
This Is the Last Time