083100 Neil Young/Tegan & Sara, Toronto, ON

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On August 31st, 2000 a crew of us headed to the Molson Amphitheatre on the Toronto shores of Lake Ontario to see Neil Young.  We were quite a bunch, squished into my Honda Accord (or was I still driving the big old gas-guzzling out-of-character Mitsubishi Montero at the time?) and when traffic on the Gardiner Expressway slowed to a halt in front of the Ontario Place parking lot Jojo and Karen bailed and ran for the entrance.  A minute later Doug did the same; this was the only way they were going to catch The Pretenders play their opening set, a band well worth the tuck and roll. 

Anyway, we lost them and they lost each other but we all ended up together in the end.  In the meantime the three of them saw most of The Pretenders, I and the rest of my crew (Anne-Marie and Jay, Tracy and the sadly late Suzanne and other Jay; we must have been in the Montero) spent the opening slot in traffic before lackadaisically making our way through the gate, all smiles as we walked by Tegan & Sara playing on the tiny sidestage in the concession area.  Ultimately we all (separately and together) took in a great Neil Young concert under clear, wide skies.

I’m not sure what band he was touring with but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Crazy Horse, and while he opened with some familiar material (Motorcycle Mama, Powderfinger, and Everybody Knows This is Nowhere) most of the show featured material that was unfamiliar to me, proletariat Neil Young fan that I was.  While songs like Winterlong, Bad Fog of Loneliness, and From Hank to Hendrix would eventually become hits in my mind at the time to me they were all obscure b-sides.  Heck, for the rest of the concert I probably only recognized one other song, the late-set Harvest Moon.

Even the Cowgirl in the Sand encore would have sounded brand new to my amateur ears, even though the song was released when I was just two years old.

But nevermind all that, the concert was great and made all the better by being in such great company.  I don’t know how or when we were all reunited but we were, after which the good times only grew gooder.

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