Neil Young Digs Deep Into Catalog at Roxy 50th Anniversary Show
Neil Young took the stage at Los Angeles’ famed Roxy Theatre on Wednesday night and delivered complete performances of two of his most beloved albums: Tonight’s the Night (1975) and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969).
The concert came exactly 50 years after Young opened the Roxy on Sept. 20, 1973. That night he was backed by the Santa Monica Flyers, essentially Crazy Horse under a different name.
Most of the musicians who backed Young in 1973 returned for the 50th anniversary show, including drummer Ralph Molina, bassist Billy Talbot and multi-instrumentalist Nils Lofgren, who was originally supposed to be on tour with Bruce Springsteen before the Boss was forced to postpone dates.
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Many of the songs Young performed at the Roxy hadn’t been played live in decades, or, in one case, ever at all. A trio of Tonight's the Night tracks – “Borrowed Tune,” “Lookout Joe” and “Tired Eyes” – hadn’t been heard in concert since 1973.
Meanwhile, the Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere song “Round & Round (It Won’t Be Long)” had never been performed, largely because backing singer Robin Lane had been prominently featured in the album version. Young and his band rearranged the song for their Roxy gig, with Molina handling some of Lane’s harmonies.
In total, Young and his band delivered 19 songs during their enrapturing Roxy performance. A full set list from the evening can be found below.
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The show was a fundraiser for the Bridge School and the Painted Turtle, charities helping children in need. The famed venue fits approximately 500 people, and tickets went for $1,000 each.
Young will perform a second show at the Roxy on Thursday night. He previously promised that "all songs will predate the original Roxy opening 50 years ago" (Tonight's the Night barely made it, as it was recorded in 1973 but released in 1975). Young has three further albums recorded before the Roxy's opening - his 1968 self-titled debut, After the Gold Rush (1970) and Harvest (1972) - so if he wants to change things up for the second night, there's is still a wealth of material to choose from.
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Neil Young, 9/20/23, The Roxy Theatre, Los Angeles
(Tonight's the Night portion of the set)
1. "Tonight's the Night"
2. "Speakin' Out"
3. "World on a String"
4. "Borrowed Tune"
5. "Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown"
6. "Mellow My Mind"
7. "Roll Another Number (For the Road)"
9. "New Mama"
10. "Lookout Joe"
11. "Tired Eyes"
12. "Tonight's the Night"
(Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere portion of the set)
13. "Cinnamon Girl"
14. "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere"
15. "Round & Round (It Won't Be Long)"
16. "Down by the River"
17. "The Losing End"
18. "Running Dry (Requiem for the Rockets)"
19. "Cowgirl in the Sand"