Wherever The Party Goes
(Godfather Records GR 825/826)
Austin City Limits Music Festival, Zilker Park, Austin, TX – October 13th, 2012
Disc 1 (73:50): Love And Only Love, Powderfinger, Born In Ontario, Walk Like A Giant, The Needle And The Damage Done, Twisted Road, Ramada Inn, Cinnamon Girl
Disc 2 (77:16): Fuckin’ Up, Psychedelic Pill, Down By The River, Hey Hey My My (Into The Black). Bonus tracks, Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, PA – October 9th, 2012: Like A Hurricane. United Center, Chicago, IL – October 11th, 2012: Singer Without A Song, Mr. Soul, Tonight’s The Night
Neil Young isn’t wasting any time with his latest collaboration with Crazy Horse. After a ten year break they’ve recorded two albums in 2012, been on tour for the second half of the year including many benefits and festivals, and plan a live album from these shows to complete the “Rust Trilogy.”
Wherever The Party Goes documents the Austin City Limits Music Festival set in Zilker Park on October 13th. Sourced from the web stream it’s an excellent professional recording of the complete set and another great Young title on the Godfather label.
The Austin Chronicle reviewed his set, saying that “When ol’ Neil gets together with Crazy Horse, the results are fairly predictable. There will be lots of crunchy guitar, several jams of indeterminate length, a couple of new songs, and feedback galore. This nearly two-hour set didn’t disappoint….Young and his Horse look a little haggard, paunchy, and more than a little gray, but together they ensure ‘rock & roll will never die.'”
Although Young has utilized countless backing bands and always delivers a passionate and musically interesting set, Crazy Horse seem to truly challenge and inspire him in a way that others don’t. The set starts off with an epic sixteen minute rendition of “Love And Only Love” that has an apocalyptic tinge missing in other performances and is followed by “Powderfinger,” one of his strangest and most obscure creations.
He follows with two numbers from the as yet unreleased Psychedelic Pill. The first is the bucolic “Born In Ontario,” a quasi update of “Journey Through The Past” written forty years ago. “Walk Like A Giant,” with its whistling chorus, is one of his most ambitious tunes in years.
Young follows with a two song solo acoustic interlude. “The Needle And The Damage Done” is dubbed by the Austin Chronicle as “the neverending tribute to deceased Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten.” The second is a new song called “Twisted Road,” Young’s tribute to Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” and all good music which inspired him.
“Ramada Inn” is a fifteen minute reflective epic which Rolling Stone magazine voted as one of the best new songs of 2012. It’s followed by “Cinnamon Girl” which Young dedicates to his love. And “Fuckin’ Up” degenerates into chaos as the band admit to fucking up the solo and the ending.
“Down By The River” is classic Neil Young & Crazy Horse. The themes of anger, sorrow and loss are drawn so heavily from American folk that it could have easily fitted on their Americana album earlier in the year. Like past performances, this is stretched beyond boundaries in a constant series of feedback and expressionistic riffing. The show ends with “Hey, Hey, My, My (Into The Black).”
The bonus tracks are taken from shows right before the Austin City Limits Festival. “Like A Hurricane” is taken from an excellent audience recording in Pittsburgh. The final three are from the October 11th show in Chicago from a slightly more distant but still excellent stereo audience recording. Chicago features the first performance of “Singer Without A Song,” an unreleased piano ballad. It’s followed by “Mr. Soul” and a long and heavy version of “Tonight’s The Night,” reminiscent of the psychotic versions played back in 1973.
Wherever The Party Goes is packaged in Godfather’s trifold cardboard sleeve with photos from Austin and an excellent essay discussing the current state of the Neil Young and Crazy Horse reunion. It’s a great release to have for the excellent performance in Texas plus the bonus tracks including the unreleased song.
If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)