112412 Neil Young & Crazy Horse/Patti Smith/The Sadies, Ottawa, ON

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On November 24th, 2012 I was privileged to see the right honourable Neil Young and his raucous Crazy Horse, once again in the building I call The Palladium just beyond the outskirts of Ottawa.  It’s sometimes hard to keep track of what the sponsors call the place year to year, but I’m sure I’ve seen Neil at Scotiabank Place, The Corel Centre and possibly even The Canadian Tire Centre, though each of those shows occurred at this very same address: 1 Cornfield Row, Kanata.

This show was unique in that it featured two solid opening acts, The Sadies and Patti Smith, and the floor was GA standing room, which I like a lot.  I hung near the back of the floor crowd a dozen or so feet in front of the soundboard enjoying the show with a bunch of beers and just as many friends.  

The Sadies country-rocked their butts off on the big arena stage and Patti Smith delivered a stand-out set, covering Neil’s It’s A Dream and rocking her massive hit Because The Night.  She’s seems like the real deal, a serious no-BS rock and roller, and come to think of it so do The Sadies.

And speaking of the real deal, here comes Neil Young with a Powderfinger/Needle And The Damage Done/Cinnamon Girl/Cortez The Killer/Mr. Soul/Hey Hey My My kind of show.  Amazingly, the two highlights of Neil’s set were both from his new album.  He played the great, catchy, and utterly appropriate Born In Ontario and the thunderous, made-for-Crazy Horse noise parade Walk Like A Giant (complete with huge robot-monster foot crunches by Neil) back-to-back, and I loved it all.  

Just like the last time I saw him in this building (whatever it was called then), he encored with Roll Another Number, and just like last time my friends and I walked out into the absurdly inefficient parking lot after the show enthralled and energized from another stellar performance by one of the world’s greatest rock and rollers, ladies and gentlemen, the incomparable Neil Young (with honourable mention to both Patti Smith and The Sadies)!

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