Greendale Live at Vicar St. (Live)

Greendale Live at Vicar St. (Live)

While Greendale Live at Vicar St. is intended as a secondary accompaniment to the Greendale album, it in some ways feels like the more fitting presentation of Neil Young’s rambling rock opera. For all of its ambition, Greendale can feel more like a collection of demos than a fleshed-out album. Vicar St., recorded before a live audience in Dublin several months after the Greendale sessions ended, features Young alone with an acoustic guitar. Without Crazy Horse there to pad the songs with their magnificent grit, Young appears more focused and invested in the nuances of each piece. His vocals are more pressing and emotional than and his familiarity with the material gives him a sense of control that was lacking on the sometimes-slapdash studio counterpart. This is Neil Young in his element. Alone with an acoustic guitar he can relate the saga of the Green family like a hobo troubadour unraveling his homegrown epic poem.

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