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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Concert Wed Nov 14 2007

Review: Neil Young @ Chicago Theatre, 11/13

I have a theory that pertains to shows like last night's at the Chicago Theatre: the more high profile an artist, the more annoying the crowd. Maybe it's because the majority probably only go to one or two concerts each year or that they think they're entitled to yell out whatever they want because they paid an absurd admission. Whether it's the fat dude wearing a sleeveless button-down shirt and sweatpants or the soccer mom in her best Lane Bryant, it typically comes down to many oldsters trying to relive their glory days while totally forgetting what they were all about. What unites this riff raff is thankfully the same thing that keeps them quiet at least during the songs. When Neil Young plays, people listen. However, between songs is a different story.

On Tuesday night, on tour to promote Chrome Dreams II, Neil Young took a page from Rust Never Sleeps by performing acoustic and electric sets that wound through his deep discography. The acoustic set highlights were old album tracks like "Mellow My Mind" and "Cowgirl in the Sand" that drew huge ovations. Obviously, the 62-year old's voice isn't the same as it was when he recorded many of these songs, so he wavered a bit on the high notes. But his guitar-playing is still subtly fantastic.

Now, one great thing about a concert by an artist with such a rich history is the element of surprise. Any next song could potentially be one of hundreds. But that didn't exist on this night because a painting depicting an interpretation of each song was displayed on the side of the stage. So everyone in the audience knew at one point that "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" would be next. There was no chance for pure elation when identifying the first notes. (And the artist made at least one spelling error - "Bad Fog of Lonliness.") With 4 songs from Chrome Dreams II at the core of the electric set, "The Loner" and "Oh, Lonesome Me" sounded like gold to the ears of anyone wanting to hear classics. A 20-minute jam on "No Hidden Path" ended the set and gave way to the encore of "Cinnamon Girl" and "Tonight's the Night." Both were tremendous, naturally.

Tuesday's audience was in for a special treat - "The Sultan." You may ask, "What are you talking about?" Well, "The Sultan" was an instrumental recorded by Neil Young's first band, the Squires, in 1963. The record is very rare and it's doubtful the song's been performed live in 40+ years, but we heard it. Overall, this was a performance that clearly showed the range of Neil Young through the years. Between forgotten album tracks, hit singles, political attacks and good-natured anthems, he treated the audience to a hint of where he's been and what he's done through his career. And what a career it's been.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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