Neil Young rocks for 2 hours to open day 2 of Desert Trip

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Neil Young per­formed for nearly two hours to open the sec­ond night of the Desert Trip mu­sic fes­ti­val, match­ing the en­ergy of band mem­bers half his age. Wear­ing his trade­mark black hat, Young started his set alone be­hind the pi­ano, open­ing with “Af­ter the Gold Rush,” ac­com­pa­ny­ing him­self on har­mon­ica. He then strapped on an acous­tic guitar to play “Heart of Gold” and “Comes a Time” be­fore his band, Prom­ise of the Real, joined Young on­stage.

There were sub­tle and overt political over­tones to the per­for­mance. Women dressed as farm­ers, in plaid shirts and over­alls, pre­tended to throw seeds and tend small plants on­stage be­fore Young came out. Later, men in haz­mat suits acted as though they were spray­ing the grounds. Young wore a T-shirt that read “Wa­ter is life.” The band’s non­stop set in­cluded “Har­vest Moon,” “Pow­derfin­ger,” and “Wel­fare Moth­ers,” which Young joked was “Don­ald Trump’s new cam­paign song.” A high­light was “Down By the River,” which be­came an ex­tended 10-minute jam, with Young shred­ding his well-worn Les Paul. “To­mor­row night come back,” Young told the crowd. “Roger (Waters) is go­ing to build a wall and we’ll make Mexico great again!” Paul McCart­ney topped Satur­day’s bill.

‘Bea­tles fa­natic’

De­spite a bill of sep­tu­a­ge­nar­i­ans (Bob Dy­lan and the Rolling Stones played Fri­day), Desert Trip is not just for baby boomers. The per­form­ers’ av­er­age age is 72, and there may be a lot of gray hair in the au­di­ence, but mil­len­ni­als are in the mix as well. Nine­teen-yearold McKenna Haner said she was “raised on the Bea­tles” so she came to the fes­ti­val to see McCart­ney. “I’m a Bea­tles fa­natic,” she said. Haner and her friend Seven Pap­panas­tos, 17, said they were acutely aware they were among the youngest in the crowd. They didn’t mind, but said the older con­cert­go­ers are “very ag­gres­sive.”

“They act like, ‘We’re older. We de­serve this,’” she said. Pap­panas­tos said at­tend­ing the show came with a cost - be­yond the $199 sin­gle-day ticket price. “I got in­vited to three par­ties this week­end,” he said. “All their par­ents are out of town here.” The Desert Trip fes­ti­val is be­ing held at Em­pire Polo Club in In­dio, Cal­i­for­nia, home to the Coachella Val­ley Mu­sic and Arts Fes­ti­val each spring. But where Coachella is aimed at mil­len­ni­als, Desert Trip tar­gets more af­flu­ent baby boomers who grew up with the fes­ti­val’s fea­tured rock­ers. “You guys are go­ing to have a rock­ing, wild week­end in Palm Springs,” Mick Jag­ger said, adding coyly, “We’re look­ing for­ward to see­ing the di­nosaur park.” (There ac­tu­ally is a di­nosaur ex­hibit in nearby Cabazon, Cal­i­for­nia.) The Stones brought lit­eral and fig­u­ra­tive fire­works to the stage for their two-hour set. Jag­ger was his inim­itably en­er­getic self, skip­ping and shuf­fling across the stage and chat­ting warmly with the crowd.

The hit-packed per­for­mance in­cluded “Wild Horses,” “Miss You,” “Gimme Shel­ter,” “Mid­night Ram­bler” and “Sym­pa­thy for the Devil.” They even cov­ered the Bea­tles’ “Come To­gether.” When the band closed with “Sat­is­fac­tion,” py­rotech­nics lit up the desert sky. Bob Dy­lan kicked off the fes­ti­val just af­ter sun­down with an 80-minute per­for­mance. Wear­ing a black suit with a white hat, the 75-year-old rocker took the stage with­out fan­fare and sat be­hind the pi­ano. He did not ad­dress the au­di­ence or say any­thing be­tween songs.

Backed by a five-piece band, he per­formed se­lec­tions from through­out his cat­a­log, in­clud­ing “Tan­gled Up in Blue,” “Bal­lad of a Thin Man” and “Make You Feel My Love.” Dy­lan oc­ca­sion­ally crept out from be­hind the pi­ano to sing at a mi­cro­phone cen­ter stage, pulling a har­mon­ica from his pocket to play. He closed with “Masters of War” and silently left the stage. The fes­ti­val re­peats next week­end. — AP

Paul McCart­ney, left, is joined by Neil Young dur­ing his per­for­mance on day 2 of the 2016 Desert Trip mu­sic fes­ti­val at Em­pire Polo Field in In­dio, Calif. —AP pho­tos

Paul McCart­ney, right, per­forms along­side gui­tarist Rusty An­der­son dur­ing his per­for­mance on day 2 of the 2016 Desert Trip mu­sic fes­ti­val.

Paul McCart­ney, cen­ter left, is joined at the mi­cro­phone by Neil Young dur­ing McCart­ney’s per­for­mance on day 2.

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