Tuesday, May 15, 2018

[THOUGHTS] Neil Young is Bringing his Solo Tour to St. Louis on June 28 at The Fox Theatre

Photo by Jason Gonulsen


Neil Young is returning to St. Louis, playing the Fox Theatre on Thursday, June 28th. Tickets are $65.00 - $275.00. This will be Young's first full show in town since his last show at the Fox in late 2007; he played Farm Aid in Maryland Heights in 2009.

Trying to predict what Young might do is not a smart move. This short, six-show tour is billed as "solo," which probably means acoustic. Although in 2010 during a solo tour, Young regularly played electric guitar and sold shirts that read: "I said solo. They said acoustic."

Here a few of my thoughts about the upcoming show at The Fox:

--You might think this is an odd move for Young, since he just re-formed Crazy Horse, playing three shows with his legendary band in Fresno and two more in Bakersfield. But Young has said in recent interviews that he's not looking to do a huge tour this year when he told Rolling Stone in March: "I don’t have it in me to do another tour of barns, stadiums or anything like that right now. Maybe next year I’ll do that." Note that Young has a few shows booked with his other band, Promise of the Real, this year, too.

--When you buy a ticket to see Neil Young, it's very important to know what kind of show you might get. In 2016, I saw him headline Memphis' Beale Street Music Festival with Promise of the Real, and he began with a 36-minute, feedback-laden version of "Down By The River." Seriously, that is how he opened the show. The show at the Fox obviously won't be that, but don't rule out songs like "Cortez the Killer" or "Cowgirl in the Sand" being performed just because the show is a "solo" one.

--Solo shows aren't for everybody, I get that, but if anyone can hold your attention for two hours or so with a guitar, organ, piano, etc, it's Neil Young. The solo show in 1999 at the Fox remains one of my top concerts, if not the greatest one I have ever seen.

--Young does not tour as a solo act often. It's been four years since a proper solo tour, one that didn't hit St. Louis. You might prefer to see him with Crazy Horse or Promise of the Real, but solo shows by living legends are special, and it is possible this might be Young's last time in St. Louis. Not because he is 72, but because he simply does not play here often.

--To announce this tour, Young took to his new archives site to say, "Appearing at the incredible Fox Theatre again! I can’t believe my luck that I am going back into that dressing room with all the signatures on the walls and onto that beautiful stage with all the great folks from St. Louis in the audience. My old friend Joe, who drove Greene & Stone’s limo, was from this town. They managed Buffalo Springfield. It’s a soulful and beautiful city. I do look forward to seeing it again."

--By the way, there's a presale going on now here.

--Finally, if you're really worried about what he may or may not play at the show, here's the setlist from his last solo show in December. But beware: his song selection is bound to change.

--Here's the setlist from his last show at The Fox in 1999.

--Finally, he still has it. This ain't no victory lap. Like he recently told Rolling Stone, "When I retire, people will know, because I'll be dead. They'll know, "He's not coming back! He retired." But I'm not gonna say, "I'm not coming back." What kind of bullshit is that?"