110 of 110 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2001
After reading somewhat mixed reviews here, I came close to passing this dvd by. But now, having had my walls rocked by this performance, the negative words in some reviews don't hold rain water with me. What you have is the best seat in the house to an ultimately impassioned concert taking place at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Young is amazing as he leads the troups through a set that covers much of his career and hits a cressendo with World on a String, Tonight's the Night and an incredible performance of Cowgirl in the Sand. You truly get a concert experience with the 5.1 surround sound and feel you're part of a crowd that is not fazed by pounding rain. This concert is so much better than the cd of the same name. Don't expect Crazy Horse-like energy from the backup musicians, they mostly provide the canvas for Neil to paint his artwork on. Bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn was statue-like the entire show but as Neil blew the sky's roof off the outdoor setting, even Dunn was moved to blinking to the beat.
Fans of Neil Young won't be disappointed unless they're expecting some sort of MTV Video, this is a rock concert.
65 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2000
Neil Young's Archive project has been in the works for so long, one has to wonder if it'll ever see the light of day. I remember it was original touted as a sequel to Decade, spanning the second ten years of his career--a period that ended in 1987! While we wait, however, Neil is providing us with plenty of great material, and this new DVD is no exception. I think if someone wanted one purchase to crystallize and boil down Neil's career to its essence, this might be the best one. No one show or CD can cover everything he's ever done, but this comes close. Not as pretty as the Silver and Gold DVD, not as ragged as the Year of the Horse movie, this show has elements of power and beauty, sometimes displayed simultaneously. Highlights include chestnuts like Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and I Believe In You, as well as newer songs like Razor Love. The band is terrific, including veterans like Don Dunn of Booker T & the MG's on bass, Jim Keltner on drums, Spooner Oldham on the keys, and Neil's old pal Ben Keith on several instruments. Though this show took place at Red Rocks in Colorado, I saw a similar show from the same tour this summer in New Jersey, and I loved it then, too. There aren't too many big hits here, although there is an eighteen minute Cowgirl In The Sand that the band launches into just as the heavens open up, but it's all good. If you're a big Neil fan and you've never seen him do great songs like Winterlong and World On A String and Peace of Mind live, here's your chance. Don't miss it. And if you're not a big fan of Neil's voice, well, his wife and his sister sing backing vocals, making this more listenable for you than a solo show or Crazy Horse concert would be.
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This is one of the finest concert recordings ever made for several reasons:
1) Neil Young.
2) absolutely no, I repeat no audience shots.
3) one of the finest concert venues (visually, I can't attest to the acoustics... someone else will have to do that) hands down.
4) the intriguing set list. I'm of the opinion that Neil selected this particular band to put on video the particular songs, the particular types of songs, given voice here. I view it as a companion video to 'Live Rust', creating a historical record of the 'other' Neil Young. This Neil is a country/folk rocker, and this Neil has plenty of country/folk rock in his litany to choose from... 'Motorcycle Mama', 'Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere', 'Powderfinger', 'I Believe In You', 'Unknown Legend', and the list goes on and on. Neil selects gems from nearly each and every stage of his career, and the performances just get better and better as the concert (actually filmed over at least two nights at the Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver) progressed. 'Powderfinger' would be the best song on this recording if it wasn't for 'Razor Love', and 'Razor Love' would be the best song if it wasn't for 'Walk On', and 'Walk On' would be the best song if it wasn't for 'Words', and 'Words' would be the best song if it wasn't for 'Cowgirl In the Sand'... it's that kind of a performance.
This is certainly a different ballgame from 'Live Rust', or the 'In Berlin' concerts. 'Live Rust' was a greatest hits compilation, featuring first a solo acoustic set, and then the unparalleled Crazy Horse electric set. 'In Berlin' still drew from the 'Rust Never Sleeps' zenith of Neil's career, but offered a glimpse of the radical transitions Young would be flipping through in the 1980's, seemingly trying to find his footing in a changing landscape, and mastering several distinct genres in the process. Both recordings feature a smattering of drama, 'Live Rust' telling a chronological story of growing up, and toying with the off-beat Road Eyes, while 'In Berlin' features the high energy presence of Nils Lofgren. Another Neil concert tape, 'Weld', is in a league all it's own, featuring Neil as the Godfather of Grunge, and giving Crazy Horse it's wildest workout. That recording is significantly marred by audience shots of some of the most unforgettable concert groupies around (after a bit, you would prefeer to forget, but you can't).
'Red Rocks Live - Friends and Relatives' is none of that. It's just Neil and his friends (Jimmy Keltner on drums, Donald 'Duck' Dunn on bass, Ben Keith on a variety of guitars, but mostly steel guitar, and on keyboards) and relatives (wife Peggy Young and sister Astrid Young doing an admirable job on backing vocals). The filming is, for the most part, right on the money. It alternates between at least two nights of filming, one calm and the other blustery, and culminating in a drenching downpour that finally works its way onto the performers, and adds some REAL electricity and thunderous appeal to the epic final runs of the first encore, 'Cowgirl In the Sand'.
Don't believe any of the criticisms you read here. Sure, Neil is older, sure, some of these songs have probably been performed again and again and get to be old hat to the performers (I was watching the CSN portion of 'Woodstock' the other day and thought... would you ever get as fresh a performance as this ever again?... impossible). On the other hand, like old wine there are elements of the performance that only improve with age... the arrangements get tighter, better thought out, and carry a certain nostalgic appeal that only time can muster. This is a performer giving us impressions of songs that have lived with us through the decades, and if you can't appreciate that... well, you just don't realize what you are missing.
Highlights include some terrific romantic ballads, such as 'Winterlong', 'Harvest Moon', 'Peace Of Mind', and 'Razor Love', touching blues numbers such as 'Bad Fog of Lonliness' (a staple of Young concerts for many years, and available for the first time here on an official release) and 'Fool For Your Love', upbeat rock numbers such as 'Walk On' and 'World On a String', and classic performances of 'Words' and 'Cowgirl In the Sand'. The acoustic set features 'Daddy Went Walking' and 'Buffalo Springfield Again', displaying Young's continued relevance. There is also a very appealing version of "Tonight's the Night', featuring Neil on a bluesy piano while Keith handles the lead guitar lines on his steel guitar. I'm also fond of the vibes on 'Winterlong'.
In short, this is nothing less than an essential componant of any complete Neil Young collection, and dare I say an essential componant of any well-rounded library of rock history. At the very least, if you enjoy watching a great rock show... get this now.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2000
It is wonderful to see an uninterrupted concert of Neil's. Having seen Neil Young many times over the last thirty years, I'm sure that anyone who attended any of his Summer 2000 out-door venue concerts would agree with me when I say that this was some of the best interpretations of his songs ever. My only objection to this video was that it could have been longer, and it should have included some of the other gems that I saw him do when I attended the Jones Beach Long Island show of this tour. That aside, this video is a must for anyone who loves Mr. Young's music. The video is flawless & crisp and the sound is true.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2000
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This DVD does an excellent job of presenting Neil's performance at Red Rocks. I was lucky enough to be there. Despite the cold rain, Neil put on a wonderful show. This disc does a fantastic job of presenting what it was like that evening:the steep walk up to the seats, Neil and company's great performance, even the rain-soaked crowd are seen in accurate detail. The sound quality could have been a bit better, but with over 120 minutes of fine music and footage, this DVD is bound to please both old and new Neil Young fans. Highly recommended.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2004
I have 2 other dvds by Neil Young, 'year of the horse' and 'rust never sleeps", by far this one is my favourite. I like 'rust never sleeps" because it takes place in 1979 so you get to see him when he was at his prime, also nice selection of songs. I like 'year of the horse" because there's interviews with him and his band so you get to know him a bit. 'Red rocks' takes place in the year 2000 but like a good aged wine Neil Young never looses his appeal. Some of my favourite on this dvd are 'words'and 'cowgirl in the sand'. I like the long ones when Neil lets loose and goes crazy with his guitar. I will quote from James Bond, 'nobody does it better, makes me feel sad for the rest, nobody does it better, Neil your the best'.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2005
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
For the ungodly low prices you can pick this up for, it's a must buy for Neil fans. The DTS sound is great and the band sounds super.
My only real complaint is with the videography. This is Red Rocks! Why does it look like it was shot in my basement? Way overuse of red lighting too. Was there more than 100 people there? You'd never know from watching this DVD.
Everything else about this DVD rocks. Buy it. Cowgirl is worth the price of admission all by itself!
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2003
Make no mistake about it -- of all the Neil Young concert DVDs that are out there, this is *by far* the best. As has been pointed out, the set list is wonderful. The performances are great -- Neil does have some trouble with the high notes, but Neil's voice was never Pavarotti's -- get over it, people. I love the band -- they're a bunch of older guys (sometimes I think Neil was obsessed with picking band members who look older than he does), but don't mistake their lack of physical motion for a lack of passion -- they rock. Keltner in particular is wonderfully fluid and dynamic in his playing. The venue is great, Neil is in a good mood. As to the so-called Neil Young fan below who made a comment about Neil's hair, you should be ashamed, ashamed, ashamed of yourself. If you are commenting on Neil's appearance, of all things, you obviously don't understand the first thing about Neil Young or his fans. What a low blow. For those of you who love Neil's music and want to have the closest thing to actually seeing him live, this is it. Sure, the Berlin DVD is good, but its entirely different thing -- with much poorer video and audio quality. I happen to love Trans and the songs on it, but lots of people don't -- if that describes you, Berlin is not a great place to start. I would rank Red Rocks as the number 1 disk, followed by Silver & Gold with Berlin and Rust trailing. I've never seen Year of the Horse.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2003
Theres a ton of different ways of looking at this dvd, and you can appreciate some of its detracters comments. But this dvd is unbelieveable. i first bought the cd, and the dvd is 10 times better.
we have an great lineup, including former bass player for Booker T and the MGs, Duck Dunn. Ben Kieth is there, which isn't surprising considering the number of projects he and Neilworked on together. Tim Keltenr is there too, and he's a force to be reckoned with. And lets not forget Spooner Oldham, who worked on Harvest Moon and countless other hits with Neil. To top it off, we get vocals from Neil's wife(Pegi) and half sister(Astrid).
Some people complain how the musicions backed off and let Neil do his thing, them just sort of supporting him. Thats why he picked them!!!! All the stuff he's done with Crazy Horse and others, he likes to be able to flourish, and these guys let him do that. Believe me, if there was a true all star cast up there, it wouldn't be as good.
Lighting is lighting. The main focus should be on what you hear, not what you see. And considering the conditions, the lighting is pretty damn good.
The list of songs on the DVD are quite numorous, but the great ones are the long jams: Tonight's The Night, Words, and a tremendus Cowgirl In The Sand.
Bottom line, this isn't Live Rust or Weld, because its not supposed to be. Its just Neil and the gang tooling around, having a good time.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2003
There are certain music videos that I consider "Must-Haves". This is by far one of them. Neil runs through a list of old and new while playing to an audience that is cold from a consistent 2 hour rain and snow storm in Colorado. His band is hand picked with all legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. His wife and sister are fantastic as vocalists-and they are freezing! This DVD is in DTS sound which is spectacular. The "In Berlin" DVD does not hold a candle to the audio quality. This is a true "surround sound" gem. Others have commented on his "passion" during this performance not being there and his voice not up to par. What DVD are you watching? For all true fans of Neil Young and of home theater audio and video quality, this DVD is a must-have!