Neil Young & Eagles Newcastle City Hall 9th November 1973

Neil Young & Eagles Newcastle City Hall 9th November 1973
neilyoungtix73I went along to this concert on spec, hoping to score a ticket outside. The City Hall sometimes used to let fans pay to sit on the choir seats which surround the stage. These seats are on the stage itself, facing the back of the performers. On this occasion, there was quite a queue of ticketless people hoping to see Neil Young, so they decided to let us into the choir seats. Support came from the Eagles, who were simply on fire, and in many ways upstaged Neil Young. This was the original Eagles line-up of Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner, at the time of their second album “Desparado”, and their set featured songs from their first two lps. So that included classics like “Take it Easy”, “Tequila Sunrise”, “Witchy Woman” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling”. Stunning. I became an Eagles fan that night and remain one to this day.
Neil Young was touring with backing band the Santa Monica Flyers, who were Billy Talbot (bass), Ralph Molina (drums), Ben Keith (pedal steel) and Nils Lofgren (guitar, piano). Now Neil is a pretty uncompromising performer and for this tour he decided he would play his forthcoming album “Tonight’s the Night” in its entirety.  A brave and crazy move, but then Neil Young plays what Neil wants to play; even today. imageThe stage was set out as a beach, complete with sand and a palm tree, and Neil was drinking from a bottle of Tequila throughout the show. We were all expecting tracks from “After the Goldrush” and “Harvest” but instead we were treated to a set of unfamiliar tunes, much to the annoyance of most of the audience. After he had finished playing the new songs, Young did play “Cinnamon Girl” with a crazy, meandering guitar solo, which got a great reception from the crowd; who were pleased to hear something familiar. Published setlists suggest that he also may have played “Southern Man”, although I don’t remember him doing so, and I think I would have remembered if he did, as it was one of my favourite songs at the time. A great gig, with Neil Young on great form, even if the set wasn’t what we had expected or hoped for.
Setlist: Tonight’s the Night; Mellow My Mind; World on a String; Speakin’ Out; Albuquerque; New Mama; Roll Another Number (For the Road); Tired Eyes; Tonight’s the Night; Flying on the Ground Is Wrong; Human Highway; Helpless; Cinnamon Girl; Southern Man??; The Losing End; Don’t Be Denied

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by jim bartnett on March 28, 2021 at 1:47 am

    I was at this concert, had tickets on the balcony front row and yes, the Eagles were fantastic and stole the show mainly due to Neil’s stubbornness in playing the new album in its entirety before playing anything the crowd had heard before. Pissed off a lot of us who had paid hard earned money expecting to hear at least some of the songs we loved him for. Lost a lot of respect for ol’ Neil that night that took many years to forgive but hey, genius prevails.


    • Posted by vintagerock on March 28, 2021 at 10:14 am

      Hi Jim yes it was a strange night but the Eagles were fantastic! I agree however in hindsight I would like to go back and see Neil Young again on that night. I think I would enjoy it now. Happy days Peter


  2. Posted by Steve Cuthbertson on December 12, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    Just watching the Eagles on Sky Arts and reminded me of this concert. I was there and remember the Eagles being technically brilliant. I don’t remember much about Neils set. One thing I do remember is him saying was that he thought he had heard jingle bells and that maybe it was Santa. Then he said maybe it was a figment of his imagination. I did actually record some of the concert and that was on the recording. Great memories!


  3. Posted by Jonesy on February 11, 2022 at 4:18 pm

    I must agree with the previous reviews, The Eagles were great in actual fact I went out and bought On the Border at Callers record department the following day.I was very disappointed with Neil that night but still to this day buy most of his music. A true Icon. The Eagles ….well in my humble opinion they never bettered their early albums and went off my radar when I heard Hotel California (don’t suppose that’ll bother them too much like)


    • Posted by vintagerock on February 11, 2022 at 5:25 pm

      Many thanks Jonesy. Yes Eagles were pure class in those early days. Neil was, well just Neil! Happy days Peter


  4. Posted by Baz Tinnion on March 12, 2022 at 11:09 am

    Yeah – got to agree – The Eagles absolutely rocked the place – something I certainly had not been expecting. Was going to be difficult for NY to follow – especially when he proceeded to play nearly all new material – to the annoyance of the majority of the crowd.


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