The entire starcasm staff road tripped from various locales to the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches today, but it wasn’t to get drunk and ogle college girls in bikinis – it was to get tipsy and ogle the “Granddaddy of Grunge” Neil Young!
The falsettoed rock and roll legend was performing at the Panama City Marina Civic Center to kick of his six-city “Gulf Coast Tour” to benefit those affected by the BP oil spill. It just so happens three of our staff members graduated high school on that very stage, one of which (yours truly) witnessed his high school graduation rehearsal held up by a disgruntled student with a gun! (Luckily we were all sheltered from the powder and the finger.)
One of us couldn’t resist getting one of the high school pen and ink drawing tour shirts! Here’s a bad photo of it:
It was well worth the trip for us prodigal fans as Neil delivered a spirited and diverse set that featured tunes from throughout his 40+ year music career ranging from old classics like “Down By The River” and “Cinnamon Girl” to very recent tunes like “Love and War” and “.” In addition to the diverse timeline, Neil also took advantage of all the instruments on stage, which included numerous acoustic and electric guitars, the piano used by opener Allen Toussaint, his “Hurricane” pipe organ and a tack piano.
And speaking of Allen Toussaint, the New Orleans music legend owned the crowd with a charismatic opening performance of songs like “Happy Times,” “Whipped Cream,” “Working In A Coal Mine,” “Yes We Can Can” and a version of “Southern Nights” that included a spoken poetic recounting of Allen’s memories as a kid leaving the city to visit relatives in the country whose houses were “built old” and were all a “shotgun apart.” Unfortunately the mesmerizing narrative was cut short when Allen ran out of time, but the crowd had already been given more than enoguh to justify a rousing standing ovation.
After Allen left the stage, brother Neil Young took over wearing his Panama-style hat and matching light-colored suit. The crowd roared with applause but as soon as Neil hit the first note of “Hey Hey My My (Out Of The Blue)” the crowd was instantly silent. The rest of the evening was pure bliss.
Here is the complete set list:
1. My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)
2. Tell Me Why
4. You Never Call
5. Peaceful Valley
6. Love And War
7. Down By The River
10. Sign Of Love
12. After The Gold Rush
13. I Believe In You
15. Cortez The Killer
16. Cinnamon Girl
17. Old Man
18. Walk With Me