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Neil Young brings his heart of gold to Reno Events Center
by Krystal Bick
Oct 31, 2008 | 891 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy photo - Folk rock legend Neil Young performs Saturday night at the Reno Events Center.
Courtesy photo - Folk rock legend Neil Young performs Saturday night at the Reno Events Center.
Singer. Performer. Activist. Legend.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 1995 inductee, Neil Young is all of these things, going strong since his catapulted start in the turbulent 1960s.

And on Saturday night at the Reno Events Center, he’s bringing a taste of his unforgettably innovative sound that has forever left its mark on the music industry.

The native Canadian, best known for his essential hits like “Heart of Gold,” “Cinnamon Girl” and “Rockin’ in the Free World,” first got his start as a folk singer in the Toronto scene, collaborating with artists like Joni Mitchell. Soon after, Young joined with Stephen Stills in one of the numerous incarnations of the band Buffalo Springfield.

Despite the demise of Buffalo Springfield, Young’s solo career took off in 1969 with the release of his self-titled album “Neil Young,” the first of 35 more albums to follow in his extensive music career.

Hits like “The Loner” and later collaborations with his backup band Crazy Horse that produced “Down by the River” and “Cowgirl in the Sand” started putting Young on the map. His musical acclaim garnered him a spot in the renowned Woodstock Music Festival with his other group, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young — comprised of Young, Stills, David Crosby and Graham Nash.

Young’s distinctive style with jamming guitar riffs, often reminiscent of contemporary rocker Jimi Hendrix, set the performer apart, particularly for his ability to mix in acoustic, folk styling. Other instruments Young has under his belt include the banjo, keyboard and harmonica, all adding extra dimension to his raw, expressive guitar playing and unmistakable voice.

Popular albums like “After the Gold Rush” (1970), 1972’s best-selling album “Harvest” and “Rust Never Sleeps” (1979) established Young as a constant musical influence in the ‘70s, topping album charts and producing several hit top 10 singles like “Heart of Gold” and “Old Man.”

Dubbed by Rolling Stone as “a dedicated primitivist, Young is constantly proving that simplicity is not always simple,” championing his “three basic styles — solo acoustic ballads, sweet country rock and lumbering garage rock.”

Constantly changing, Young has taken on an eclectic mix of genres, drawing attention throughout the years and generations of listeners for his stylistic gear-changing. His follow-up album after “Rust” was the quieter, more acoustic “Hawks & Doves,” which was later followed by heavily electric “Re-ac-tor.”

In 1986, taking a more philanthropic approach, Young and his wife, Pegi, founded San Francisco’s Bridge School Benefit, an annual concert held to help fund a learning center for children with communication disabilities.

And although he collected numerous Grammy nominations through the years, most recently for Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song and Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for his 2006 album “Living with War,” Young has never received a single golden gramophone. The oversight has earned the Grammy Awards severe criticism from music bloggers and critics alike.

But today, with the political messages on “Living with War,” which cry against the war in Iraq and sing of the general lack of faith in the federal government, Young has proven that even at age 63, there is no stopping this rocker at heart. And as his popular song on the “Rust Never Sleeps” album goes, “My my/hey hey/rock and roll is here to stay,” Young has proven that some things are meant to stick around.

Touring with Neil Young are alternative, indie bands Death Cab for Cutie and Everest.

Tickets are $52.75, $69.75, $97.75, $177.75 and can be purchased online at or at the Silver Legacy box office.

The show starts at 8 p.m.
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