Neil Young & Crazy Horse, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, May 4, 2024

It was also this moment of, I know the words to this, I know this, it is in my bones, it is my history.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, May 4, 2024
ain't singing for pepsi /ain't singing for coke

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I thought we were about halfway through Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s set at Jazz Fest when he sent the Horse offstage and switched guitars. Oh, I thought, some kind of solo acoustic thing.

It was solo but it wasn’t acoustic, and unlike the numbers that had preceded it which were a glorious melange of shimmer and crunch that were not always immediately recognizable there was no mistaking these chords, There was no mistaking them. 

A deep intake of breath and then you emotionally shudder into the moment. There was a subdued murmur of recognition; not everyone in a crowd can identify a song from the first few notes, but the people who did signaled that they got it. It wasn’t any kind of declaration of superiority, it was a simple we know what this is

Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming
We’re finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming

He emphasized the “this.” He did it twice, I know it wasn’t in my head.