Neil Young @ Susquehanna Bank Center, 7/16/15

Neilticket

Epic. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of last’s night Neil Young concert at the Susquehanna Banks Center in Camden, N.J. , which is across the Delaware River from Philly. The second? Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, who accompanied Neil, are the real deal. They rock like a young Crazy Horse.

Neil sauntered onto stage at about 8:45pm, after two farmers’ daughters had sprinkled and planted seeds around the stage. (At least, from my distant seat, that’s what it appeared they were doing.) He didn’t waste any time, either, sitting at the piano and opening with the classic “After the Gold Rush.”

He sang “Long May You Run” and a few sing-alongs from Harvest…

… before closing the solo portion of the night with a heartfelt “Mother Earth.” Then, Promise of the Real joined him – and, wow. Just wow. They’re a perfect fit with and foil for Neil. Here they are with another Harvest classic, “Out on the Weekend.”

And here they are with “Words.”

The piece de resistance? A near-20 minute “Down by the River.”

I should mention, the new songs flowed perfectly with the old; and the audience, by and large, got into them. It helps, I think, that his anti-GMO/anti-corporate/pro-ordinary people stance is cloaked with rough and ragged Crazy Horse-like chords. Here’s one of my favorites from The Monsanto Years, “A New Day for Love.”

And, after being on stage for two hours and 45 minutes, Neil kicked off the two-song encore with “Cortez the Killer”…

A raucous “Cinnamon Girl” closed the show, which ended – by my clock – at exactly 11:58pm.

Overall, the 28-song-strong set was extraordinary. Songs from Everybody Knows This Is NowhereHarvest and Harvest Moon; a Buffalo Springfield gem (“Flying on the Ground is Wrong”); and guitar jams that were absolute wonders to behold.

The setlist:

After the Gold Rush
Heart of Gold
Long May You Run
Old Man
Mother Earth
Hold Back the Tears
Out on the Weekend
Unknown Legend
Peace of Mind
From Hank to Hendrix
Harvest Moon
Wolf Moon
Words
Flying on the Ground Is Wrong
Walk On
Bad Fog of Loneliness
A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop
People Want to Hear About Love
A New Day for Love
Down by the River
Workin’ Man
Big Box
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Monsanto Years
If I Don’t Know
Love and Only Love
Cortez the Killer**
Cinnamon Girl**

(** = encore)

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