Neil Young gives fans a “Marmite Moment” in London
About a quarter of the way through Neil Young’s concert at London’s 02 arena on Monday, he decided to visit the gates of Hades. As post apolcalyptic wind blew pieces of paper across the stage and lights flashed threateningly, he huddled with members of Crazy Horse to hand-beat guitar strings and conjour feedback in a cacophony of heavy-metal-meets-prog-rock-meets-garage-band.
It went on for 10 to 20 minutes – anarchically excruciating, yet strangely entertaining. But not what many of the people expected or sought. And therein lies the problem – there are (at least) two Neil Young’s – one who is the Americana god of “Harvest”, the other who likes to get down and rock.
“So much more than a rock gig. It had everything. It’ll live long in the memory for the right reasons,” said Tweeter @_Lunalight-
“Disappointing self-indulgence by Neil and his guitar huddle. London calling, but Neil was somewhere else. Leaving in droves,” @HappyHumanistUK tweeted
A bit harsh the last one – although lots of people did go before the final song and encore – but you get the picture. It might have been what we Brits call a Marmite Moment – a reference to the salty yeast extract that you either love or hate.
For me, it was like Marmite for dessert. I loved the rock, but was not really in the mood. Not my favourite concert, but my fault, not his.
There was a very pleasant acoustic interlude, featuring “Blowin’ in the Wind” among other ballads, and a very nice rocking “Cinnamon Girl”.
On the heavier rock front, “Fuckin’ Up” was a delight, as was “Walk Like a Giant”, even if the latter did lead into the aforementioned indulgent cacophony.
As for those in the crowd who were upset, anyone who saw that Young was playing with Crazy Horse should have known better than to expect “Harvest”.