There are moments when listening to Neil Young that make me extremely happy to be alive. Live at Massey Hall is one hell of a snapshot of a time and place. Playing songs off of Harvest prior to its release to a crowd of overzealous Canadians. Before “Bad Fog of Loneliness”, they start to clap – he stops and asks “Why are you clapping? You don’t even know this song!” He plays it, and then while fooling around with his guitar thereafter, begins to start playing the intro guitar riff to “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” for about three seconds. To me, this is hilarious. I laugh out loud at things like this. No one in the crowd can be heard laughing. He chuckles to himself and moves on into “The Needle and the Damage Done” – a song he describes as “not that funny” after telling the crowd that they each probably know a junkie.
I’ve gotten to the point with Neil Young that it’s these things which keep me coming back, on top of the music. The crowd is screaming for more after he plays “See the Sky About to Rain” which wouldn’t be released on an album for several years. Something is lurking in Massey Hall. There’s a spirit within Neil Young and the words that come out of his mouth. It’s completely incredible. It moves through me.