When The World Is Turnin’ (Golden Eggs EGG 107/108)
Sportpaleis, Antwerp, Belgium – July 9, 2019
Disc 1 (70:43) Mansion On The Hill, Over And Over, Mr. Soul, Love To Burn, The Loner, When You Dance I Can Really Love, On The Beach, Unknown Legend, From Hank To Hendrix, Old Man
Disc 2 (71:22) Are You Ready For The Country, Long May You Run, F*!#in’ Up, Cortez The Killer, Cinnamon Girl, Danger Bird, Hey Hey My My (Into The Black), Throw Your Hatred Down, Rockin’ In The Free World, Roll Another Number
At 74 Neil Young shows little signs of slowing down and maintains a steady workload of music creation, both studio and live work. His live collaboration with Lukas Nelson and The Promise Of The Real has provided him with a palette to paint his rich, coloured history with. Much like Pearl Jam did in the 90’s, the younger generation is something Neil embraces and it’s obvious from their live performances, keep the Old Man on his toes.
Neil Young has been a regular artist to be featured on Golden Eggs titles, thankfully the label still maintains their eclectic offerings of artists. This new title captures Neil and The Promise Of The Real on their short nine date European tour in the summer of 2019. The recording featured is an excellent audience source, a vivid document that rivals a professional source. Perfect balance, virtually no crowd noise directly near the taper, no distortion sounding incredible at loud volumes, this captures the atmosphere and the performance perfectly.
The set list is a typically diverse mix of music that spans his career, his first single The Loner from 1968 and his days in Buffalo Springfield with an angry version of Mr. Soul are nicely represented. A nice nod to the 1990 classic Ragged Glory record with Mansion On The Hill, Over and Over, Love To Burn (an epic 17 minute version), and the always great F*!#in’ Up are played with vigor. His 70’s work is the meat and potatoes of the concert, from After The Goldrush we get an acoustic Old Man and Are You Ready For The Country?. Most certainly the deepest song in the set is a rare version of On The Beach, the title track from his 1974 album of the same name. The song is bleak and speaks of the trouble he has with fame and his own privacy, the music is equally as bleak and sparse, meaning it gets you at your core.
Long May You Run has a bit of swing to it and is played acoustically, instead of an electric guitar solo Neil does it on harmonica. A haunting 13 minute version of Cortez The Killer has that ethereal feeling, the band is in no hurry letting the music flow like Cortez himself dancing across the water. There are some really nice wind chimes that accentuate the song in certain spots, not overpowering by any means just a beautiful touch and there is some nice guitar interplay between Young and Nelson. Cinnamon Girl is sandwiched between another song from Zuma, Danger Bird and if one examines the song lyrics of all three, there is certainly references to love, both new (Cinnamon Girl), and lost (Danger Bird).
Hey Hey My My (Into The Black) is fuzzed out primordial Rock at its best, the song has not mellowed with age. Rockin’ In The Free World has lost none of its original message in its thirty year existence and its relevance in moving into a new decade is certainly not lost. The melancholy Roll Another Number from the brilliant Tonight’s The Night is like remembrance from your youth and a wonderful way to end the concert, the band harmonize the last line “Think I’ll roll another number for the road” with Neil eliciting a huge round of applause from the audience.
The packaging is tri gatefold sleeve, filled with live shots of Neil and band from the concert featured here. There are relevant liner notes on the inside and is a typically nice looking package. It’s a rather cold and blustery day here and this release goes well with the weather and the ending of 2019.