Neil Young in Dundee; Death Cab tonight…

Category: Blog — @ 5:49 pm April 3, 2006

Another notable music-related event I attended this weekend was a screening of the new Neil Young film Heart of Gold at The Dundee Theater. It’s worth checking out for Young fans, though it pales in comparison to his ultimate concert film, Rust Never Sleeps. Here we see a reflective Young performing a mostly acoustic set in Nashville sometime after an aneurysm scare that resulted in successful brain surgery. Backed by a band, strings, choir and a robotic, ghostly-looking Emmylou Harris, Young performs most of his new album, Prairie Wind, written just prior to his surgery. That influence, as well as the death of his father, adds weight to the proceedings. The concert is set up by brief interviews with longtime band members, then launches with a handful of Prairie Wind songs, most of which are forgettable. He then uncorks his usual chestnuts, further making the PW stuff pale in comparison. From a filmmaking perspective, Demme spends a lot of time on tight crops of Young’s face (a la Silence of the Lambs) and wide shots of the stage. Not exactly exciting. The sound, on the otherhand, is amazing, especially in the Dundee Theater, which I’ve always thought had a superior sound system. See it while it’s still here, cuz it’ll be gone before you know it.

Tonight: The sold-out Death Cab for Cutie concert at Sokol Auditorium. Opening band, The Cribs, is (according to AMG) a British trio influenced by The Beatles with a couple albums out on Wichita Records. The last time I saw Death Cab there was maybe 300 downstairs at Sokol Underground — it was packed, but not a sell-out (I think they’ve probably been through here since then). While I like their CDs, I’ve always thought their live show was somewhat lackluster. Now that they’re “huge” I suspect they’ll be bringing more to the stage than the usual stand-there-and-sing performance…

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