October 14, 2012


Neil Young & Crazy Horse's Ear-Shredding ACL Fest Set By the Numbers

C Flanigan
C Flanigan

It’s rare to see a bonafide rock n’ roll legend in 2012 who still delivers a stage show that shames most of the modern acts. But Neil Young is (and has always been) a very rare specimen. 

When Young and Crazy Horse got together at Austin City Limits 2012 Saturday night, their peerless performance and simpatico shredding energized thousands of otherwise weary festival-goers. Me? I was rain-soaked, mud-splattered, aching and exhausted, but I ended up headbanging ‘til it hurt simply because their kick-ass concert left me no other choice. 

So here’s our By the Numbers Breakdown of Neil Young’s 2012 ACL Fest Set. Because numbers don’t lie!

Number of people saying how much Neil Young means to them prior to the concert starting: Every 1 out of 10

Number of dad jeans worn by Neil Young & Crazy Horse: 3 pairs 

Number of minutes the band jammed before Neil sang one note: 9

Number of Native American totem poles onstage: 1

Number of Hendrix shirts worn by Crazy Horse: 1

Number of songs the Willie Nelson baseball cap stayed on Neil’s head: 3

Number of dead-drunk adult men dragged out of the show by friends: 2

Number of American Sign Language interpreters onstage: 2

Number of ASL interpreters Neil Young approached and jammed with: 1

Number of Canadian flags flapping in the Texas night: 5

Number of times Neil complimented the quality of the Texas air: 1

Number of minutes the lengthiest guitar-noise freakout lasted: 9

Number of acoustic songs (sans Crazy Horse): 2 ("The Needle and the Damage Done," "Twisted Road")

Number of songs Neil dedicated to his “sweetheart”: 1 (“Cinnamon Girl”)

Number of people singing “Why do I keep f*!#in up?” as if it were their life story: 1

Number of times Neil Young admitted he “f*!#ed up” a song: 1

Number of minutes spent with a guitar facing into an amp: 3.5

Number of minutes “Down By the River” lasted: 20

Number of songs from their upcoming album Psychedelic Pill: 5

Number of classic Neil songs: 7 (including "Hey Hey, My My" and "Powderfinger)

Number of Christmas carols inexplicably playing as exit music: 1 (“What Child Is This?”)

Check out pics of Neil Young & Crazy Horse rocking Austin in our ACL Day 2 photo gallery, and definitely don’t miss Willie Nelson giving his take on the Texas town that keeps busting tour buses for drugs (yeah, we got to talk to him—yeah, we were really psyched).

And here's the setlist, for those of you who are into that sort of thing: 

"Love and Only Love"
"Born In Ontario"
"Walk Like A Giant"
"The Needle and the Damage Done"
"Twisted Road"
"Ramada Inn"
"Cinnamon Girl"
"F*!#in Up"
"Psychedelic Pill"
"Down By the River"
"Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)"