Neil Young, Alabama Shakes at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 8/5/12 (photos) - Reverb

Neil Young, Alabama Shakes at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 8/5/12 (photos)

Neil Young & Crazy Horse headlined their first of two nights at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Sunday. Alabama Shakes opened the show.

Full review and photo gallery of Monday night’s show.

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Tina Hagerling is a Denver photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. Check out more of her concert photography.

  • Kdennis

    Stellar show from Neil and the Horse. Upsetting expectations is a given with Neil Young, and he did it again last night – spoiler alert – playing no songs from his new Americana album. But six brand new songs were all on point for some powerful guitar soloing and plain-spoken poetry. Throw in Mr. Soul, Powderfinger and a clutch of other classics played with the enthusiasm of a youthful garage band, and it was an unforgettable night for Neil Young fans.

    • Mjiac Mhs


      Neil young was horrible. First and last time I ever spend money to see Neil.

      • Bridget Stacy

        You have got to be kidding me?!  That was a spectacular concert – Neil Young was nothing short of amazing.  I’m not sure what your taste in music is, but it sounds like you should have saved your money for Britney Spears.

      • Hotflash

        Agree Neil was BAD.  The 20 minute endings were a waste of time he could have played older, better known songs.  For $150/ticket, this was not worth the price. 

    • Mjiac Mhs

      To all you burned out TRUE NY fans….your losers…that was the worst concert I’ve ever seen. NY is full of himself. I have supported Neil since I was 15 ( 1979) but never seen him because his ticket prices were to high. This summer I took the plunge. The show was horrible. I was in the 13th row and almost everyone was sitting there bored out of their minds. The only people dancing and enjoying the show were drunks and burners. Go smoke another fatty!!!!! NY will never get another penny from me. I can’t believe I passed up sturgis for that crappy show.

  • tractorboy

    Dude, you must not have been listening because that was a great show.

    • Blltrujillo85

      Dudes, I haved followed Young for many years and must now say this was one of the all time worst concerts ever seen by me. Self indulgent is he and will never respect those who know him or follow him.  Our points of view don’t count, Well Neil Young won’t be counting dollars from anymore me he doesn’t care anymore anyway.

      • Dave9200

        What are you talking about?  This is what he has ALWAYS done.  And guess what?  That is what has got him this far in the music business.  To think otherwise is just ridiculous.  If you have followed Neil for many years you would know to expect this.  He released Harvest in 1972 and scored his ONLY #1 hit and then went on tour and played new songs.  And guess what? Those songs are now considered critically acclaimed and many are considered masterpieces.  I bet the people at those shows count themselves lucky to have been there, yet it was controversial at the time.

        Neil has made his career, and made his legion of fans, off the back of doing what he wants to do, when he wants to do it.  That’s the only way for an artist to perform.  And even saying that, you still got a show where more than half of the songs are classic Neil songs, and the rest were brand new.

        Hey just like the tour is called; The Past, the Present, and the Future.

        Eat a peach.

      • Bridget Stacy

        I’m sure he’ll miss you being there .  That show was amazing.

  • Lfd1

    We saw Neil Young tonight, Aug 6, 2012, at Red Rocks.  His voice was right on, his music good, and his energy exceptional, but we found the show to be majorly lacking in that he performed only 4, perhaps 5 oldies.  Lots of jamming and never ending endings made for an overall boring evening.  We were hoping that he would at least finish the performance with a couple of his biggest old time hits, but no, his first encore song was “she’ll be coming around the mountain” and the second and final song was an oldie, but not one of his best.  I commented as we were leaving that he performed for himself, not for the audience.  We agree with the reviewer who said Neil was self indulgent. Major disappointment for us who were in the Woodstock era.

    • Dave9200

      What? How was the energy exceptional but the show boring? 

      If you know ANYTHING about Neil Young at all, you would know not to go to expect to hear the ‘biggest hits’.  Sure, every now and then he’ll play a set filled with crowd favourites, but he is just as likely to play a set of brand new material.

      Clearly if you’re disappointed by ‘Roll Another Number’ then you aren’t a big fan.  That’s one of his classics and any big fan would be ecstatic to hear that song.  By my count, he played 8 songs that can be considered hits/classics, over half of the set list in terms of songs.

      Neil hasn’t had many ‘hits’ to begin with, but you got: Cinnamon Girl, Mr. Soul, The Needle and the Damage Done, Powderfinger, Love and Only Love, Fuckin’ Up, Hey Hey My My, and Roll Another Number.

      On top of that, you got the rare treat of hearing NEW Neil Young & Crazy Horse songs before they’re even released, as well as hearing an old unreleased song from the 80s never before played live.

      If you go to a Neil Young concert expecting to be showered with “hits” (whatever your definition of that is) then you’re sure to be disappointed.  You got a show littered with new songs, old songs, and a song from their just released album.

      And when you bought the ticket what was the tagline for the tour?  Oh right, “Past, Present and Future”.  Sounds a lot like what you got and what you paid for was exactly that.

      Keep on rockin in the free world.

    • Bridget Stacy

      Cinnamon Girl?  The Damage Done?  How many more oldies did you want to hear?? 

    • old man fan

      Go buy a greatestest hits album or turn on an FM radio if you want to hear hits! I’ll take an evening full of exceptional energy and suprises anytime!

      Tue fans get it!

      • Mjiac Mhs

        I wish I could be tue fan.

    • tittyfarkjesushark

       hilarious…well, that last song, “roll another number” was for you.

      “i’m not going back to woodstock for a while, though i long to see that lonesome hippie smile/I’M A MILLION MILES AWAY FROM THAT HELICOPTER DAY, NO I DON’T BELIEVE I’LL BE GOING BACK THAT WAY”

  • av56

    We agree that Neil was self indulgent and the concert was boring.  After waiting all summer for this concert, we were truly disappointed.  We won’t be comin around the mountain to see Neil next year.

    • Dave9200

      Self indulgent?  Haha, this is hilarious.  Have you ever seen a Neil Young & Crazy Horse concert before?  Long songs and extended solos are the norm, and it has been a staple of their shows since the 1960s.  In 1970 they were playing 15:00-20:00 versions of Cowgirl in the Sand (then a new song), and in 2003 they were playing 25:00 versions of Like a Hurricane.  THIS IS WHAT THEY DO.  This is what has made Neil Young & Crazy Horse such a revered live band.

      Baffles me that anyone would pay their $$ for a Neil Young & Crazy Horse show, and then be upset at long songs, new songs, or a lack of hits.

      We live in the internet age.  It doesn’t take much Google effort to look at what the show is going to be like and decide if you want to go.

      These gripes are truly humourous to anyone who has seriously followed Neil Young’s career.

      • Countryguyatheart35

        Neil Young could literally walk on stage, take a dump, then walk off stage and Dave9200 would think it was the best show ever.

        • Dave9200

          Nope, just providing a much-needed dose of realism on what a Neil Young concert experience is, but thanks anyways.

      • Mjiac Mhs

        So now we have to google setlists….which I did. I knew the show was going to suck when I saw the Albuquerque set list. NY is a punk. I’ll never give a cent of my hard earned money to NY again. Smoke up all you true NY fans…..

        I’ve been to many show in the past 35 years and that was by far the worst show I have ever seen. NY needs to hang it up!!!!

    • Bridget Stacy

      Good, hopefully there will be more tickets for REAL Neil Young fans.

    • Bud

      Excellent line….”We won’t be comin around the mountain to see Neil next year.” Thanks for the chuckle. I may decide to see him next tour all depending on the setlist he chooses to perform. I truly respect Neil Young as an artist and consider myself to be a fan. On the other hand, I let my $$$$ do the talkin’ (this Buds for you) and will make the “to see or not to see” choice based upon the songs he decides to play. I didn’t attend either show although I was really looking forward to seeing him along with Crazy Horse. Bottom line, if he would have played Cortez the Killer, I would have been there in a hearbeat. 

      • Rex

        I”ve been attending Neil Young concerts for forty-some years. This was a great show — not the best, but one of the best. Classic Horse sludge stompfest — dirty, loud, and distorted, with extended jams, fierce singing, great playing, and a couple of terrific new songs. If you don’t like that kind of thing, wait until he tours without Crazy Horse. To those who want a greatest hits show from Neil — you’re delusional, it’ll never happen. That’s what makes him an ARTIST and not a brand. If you want to feel all warm and fuzzy, go to a Journey concert.

      • Bdajo55

        Cortez the Killer – my friends and I attended the concert and to be honest that song was the main reason I went.  I saw Neil 12 years ago and thought he put his heart and soul into the performance as he did Sunday night as well.  My expectations were a little too high i suppose.

    • the dude

      try not to fall off the side

  • JoshFM

    Neil Young does what he wants, when he wants. And he has earned the right to do that. I don’t like paying $120 face value for Row 28 at Red Rocks, but it’s Neil Young and Crazy Horse! Fuck ‘n A!. He set the prices to flip the finger to scalpers. Poseurs need not apply. True fans buck up, “I’m 66 years old and I’ll rock your fuckin’ socks off,” says Neil.   

  • the dude

    some of you folks have either smoked way too much weed or the air’s too thin where you live. I listened to the bootleg. This is an epic show. You’re not a real Neil fan if you don’t see that. Half of you probably weren’t even there. God Bless Neil Young

    • Bdajo55

      Not an epic show.

    • Mjiac Mhs

      Make the world a better place. Punch a TRUE Neil young fan in the face. That show was the worst concert I have ever been to. There’s 3 hours of my life I will never get back.

  • Lrust

    Neil did not play music, and I am unclear on what he was repeatedly shouting, was it “You should fuck her or was it You’re a fucker.? Nice legendary lyrics Neil!  He is only ripping his fans off.  Don’t be so foolish to believe this was music.  Alabama shakes put him to shame.  Time to go away Neil.   You were once so very very good.  I am embarrassed I took my grown children to see a former incredible songwriter.  Now Neil has become what he once despised.

    • tittyfuckjesussuck

       uh, maybe you’re thinking of the song “fuckin’ up” off 1991’s “ragged glory” album?  the refrain is “why do i keep fuckin’ up”.  he played it right after another little known song…”cinnamon girl”.

  • Phred

    Having grown up in SoCal in the late 60s/early70s, my friends and I would often drive up Topanga Canyon on Friday and Saturday nights in hopes of catching NY trying out some new songs in one of the local establishments that he was known to haunt.  Got lucky on a couple of occasions and we were able to see and hear a unique and amazing talent.  At the concert on Sunday, I was again lucky enough to see a unique and amazing talent.  Neil is Neil, and part of what makes him magical is that he doesn’t go down the same road twice, but is constantly looking to expand himself as a musician.  Admittedly, sometimes its good and even spectacular, and sometimes not to my liking…but either way you will be exposed to one of the greatest composer/musicians of our time.  As one other person said “if you want a concert of greatest hits, buy an album..don’t go see him live”