Sunday, 13 July 2014

Live review & pictures: BST Hyde Park - Neil Young + Crazy Horse and The National, London 12/7/14

Since the change of sponsors the summer festival in Hyde Park has taken on a more boutique, genteel feel (last week's misguided booking of The Libertines not withstanding). Thankfully there was no repeat of the issues that beset The Libertine's show and the whole day passed off without a hitch.

Lucy Rose, main stage at BST Hyde Park 12/7/14
First up on the main stage was Lucy Rose. Genuinely chuffed to be there as Neil Young has always influenced her, she engaged well with the large crowd who were watching her.

Phosphorescent in the Barclaycard Theatre at BST Hyde Park 12/7/14
After Lucy we made our way to the Barclaycard Theatre, a venue that would more appropriately be called the Barclaycard Sauna. I honestly don't think I've ever been in a venue as hot as it was in there. By the time Phosphorescent came on we'd all last about half a stone, but despite the conditions they played a great set that was really appreciated the the packed crowd.

Heading back out into the fresh air, my plan was to watch Tom Odell just to get in a good position to see The National, but his show was a bluesier, rockier one than I imagined and it was definitely worth watching. There's no denying that 'Another Love' is a pretty massive tune.

The National, Hyde Park 12/7/14
The National were billed as playing a 'full set', but in actuality they only had 75 minutes. So we were a few songs short, with no acoustic version of 'Vanderlyle...' to close with, but they still managed to pack in 17 tracks. Matt took his usual detour into the audience for 'Mr. November' and finished by throwing his ice bucket off the stage and smashing what was left of his bottle of wine by throwing it high into the air as he walked off.

Matt Berninger of The National, Hyde Park, London 12/7/14
Here's The National's setlist:
  • Don't Swallow The Cap
  • I Should Live In Salt
  • Mistaken For Strangers
  • Bloodbuzz Ohio
  • Sea of Love
  • Afraid of Everyone
  • Squalor Victoria
  • I Need My Girl
  • This Is The Last Time
  • Abel
  • Slow Show
  • Pink Rabbits
  • England
  • Graceless
  • Fake Empire
  • Mr. November
  • Terrible Love
Neil Young + Crazy Horse, Hyde Park, London 12/7/14
Despite the ages and ailments of Crazy Horse (broken bones last year, a minor stroke this year), Neil Young continues to drag them round the world, and it's easy to see why. You can see the enjoyment he gets from playing opposite Poncho Sampedro, in fact he seemed to be having a great time all evening, going as far as to dedicate 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' to all the 'sad bastards'. The set was a mix of new and old, with some rarities in amongst the crowd favourites. Solo acoustic versions of 'Blowin' In The Wind' followed by Heart of Gold' provoked a mass singalong, but the high point of the night was undoubtedly the near 20 minute closing version of 'Down By The River', which frankly was worth the admission price alone. Young is a legend who's written some of the all-time classic songs which he can still play and sing note-perfectly live, and watching him live is a really special thing, it almost feels like an honour to be there in his prescence. Here's the setlist:
  • Love and Only Love
  • Goin' Home
  • Days That Used To Be
  • After The Gold Rush
  • Love to Burn
  • Separate Ways
  • Only Love Can Break Your Heart
  • Blowin' In The Wind
  • Heart of Gold
  • Barstool Blues
  • Psychedelic Pill
  • Cinnamon Girl
  • Rockin' In The Free World
  • Who's Gonna Stand Up and Save The Earth
  • Down By The River

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