For brevity, these are the things that made the most impression on me.
I love the album Home Before Dark, it is my favourite to date, and it’s wonderful being able to watch Neil sing three songs from it. The title track is such a gentle ballad with so much to it; not only the beautiful words, and the liquid notes of the music, but all the feelings it conjures up. The enjoyment of performing Don’t Go There came across clearly both from Neil and from the Band. I think this will become a firm favourite. And Amazing Grace, the words are just stunning and the song is compelling and exciting.
Brooklyn Roads has always been a favourite of mine right from the beginning, partly I think because I too am a dreamer and built my own castles. First of all the setting was perfect, the Band in the background providing the melody which just poured forward effortlessly, and Neil quietly perched on a stool in the foreground This was more than a song, it was a story telling. You could see that, in his memory, he was actually there climbing those stairs, and that was what made it seem as fresh a tale as when he first told it to us all those years ago.
When he roams the stage as he sings, it makes the show all that much more exciting, but when seated the concentration seems to be more on the emotions that the song conjures up. And that was very clear from the expressions on his face as he re-lived his past, and allowed us to share an insight into his journey.
I am in awe at the power of Hell Yeah, and in awe at the insight he has allowed us into his thoughts. To be able to see his face as he was singing it, made it that much more powerful and true. I wonder whether the advice in the song is for himself or for the listener, either way it is worth listening to and accepting. This is truly an amazing commentary on a life lived to the full, and a reassurance to us that all is well and will continue to be so.
Watching America, it was obvious that Neil knew he was giving the audience what they wanted, and it was what he wanted too. So much energy, once again he was living the song. And yes, he poses for the camera, he has to, but you can see that he is completely genuine in his emotions.
Watching Brother Love, I finally, after all this time, ‘got it’. It was an outstanding performance. Once again, Neil was living the story, as only he can. I hesitate to use the word ‘powerful’ again, but I can’t think of a better one. The lighting during this song perfectly complimented the music and the voice. And it was fun to see the Band and Neil exhibiting so much enthusiasm for a song which they obviously love performing.
This has to be the next best thing to being at a concert. With all the camera close-ups, we are given the opportunity to see the impeccable teamwork between Neil and the Band, all cogs in one vast machine, which produces the most marvellous musical and visual entertainment. Everything from start to finish is so professionally produced. I liked the fact that the clapping and the cheering from the audience after each song, was faded out. They were the reason for him being there, but they were very much secondary to Neil’s performance, the focus, quite rightly, had to be on him.
We have always known that Neil puts everything that he has of himself into a show, now we can see his face up close while he is doing it. We are so very privileged to be allowed this insight. Thank you Neil.