Whether it be Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Prince or even Neil Young, an unlikely tension emerges during shows by artists whose careers span decades with record releases that can be counted by the dozen.
Fans often leave these shows unfulfilled. Most surprisingly, it's not the casual, wide-eyed, first-time-seeing-this-icon-and-I can't-wait fan that stomps out kicking their just purchased concert T-shirt down the street. It's the older, wiser, been-there-done-that-before fan who wants to be wowed in new and unexpected ways by a guy like Neil Young — who plays Jones Hall tonight.
It's this seasoned fan, that will sit at Starbuck's for an hour before a show, combing through all 33 Young studio albums dating back to 1968 (and that's not even counting the albums he made with Buffalo Springfield; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Pearl Jam or any other band besides his own backing group, Crazy Horse) in order to concoct the perfect setlist that should be played ... only to be disappointed when only one or two of those songs are actually performed.
I have been to quite a few momentous Young shows in the last 15 years and I always hear one or two of these complainers who totally miss Young's genius while waiting for "Old Man" to be performed.
If this description fits you, let me save you some time: Throw your dream setlist out and go to the Young show without any preconceived notions.
If you must guess at song, be reasonable. Young is 64-years-old, he's playing a symphony hall and his primary backing band is lone folk guitarist, Bert Jansch. Giving these parameters, there is probably not going to be any distorted electric, moon-braying sprint through "Rockin' in the Free World."
This show is titled the "Twisted Road Tour" and Young has an album coming out called Twisted Road later this year. So, at worst, this is a chance to hear songs few else have.
Beyond that simply enjoy the show. Young is a rock and folk legend and the best thing to ever come from Canada besides Rush and maple syrup.
Neil Young, 8 p.m. tonight at Jones Hall