Neil Young Impresses Solo at the Tower

Neil Young Review

By Ed Condran

Neil Young’s aging fan base may have finally mellowed but one of rock’s leading senior citizen’s is still edgy.

That’s so for Young, 65, artistically and as a performer. Young often glared at the capacity crowd at the Tower Theater Sunday night as he concluded two nights of sold out solo shows at the venerable Upper Darby venue.

On occasion fans would loudly request favorite Young tunes. However, that’s a stark contrast to a solo show rendered by Young at the same venue 20 years ago.

Young was previewing tracks for ‘Harvest Moon’ by his lonesome back then. Boorish fans weren’t pleased. “Hey, ‘Sugar Mountain was once a new song,” Young exclaimed.

Fans were well behaved this time around, at least by Young standards. They were attentive while he showcased tracks from his latest album, ‘Le Noise,’ a solid collection inspired by life and loss that alternates between cacophonous rock and softer, folkier numbers.

Young effectively ended the set with the new moving cut ‘Walk With Me.’ However, there were points when Young was utterly transcendent. The gorgeous ‘Helpless,’ ‘My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)’ and ‘Down By the River’ were more than worth the price of admission.

It was just Young and a wall of noise. He alternated from guitar to piano to pipe organ. The eccentric icon appeared to chat with a cigar store Indian, one of the few objects adorning a spare stage set.

The quirky Young proved to be mesmerizing whether stooped over in that familiar manner while jamming away on his guitar or tickling the ivories.

The waves of noise were a reminder, who is truly the Godfather of grunge.

There were moments in which Young and his old warhorses took fans to another place, which felt awfully good.

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