Continuing the fan-friendly billing that began at his annual Bridge School Benefit in California on October 25-26, Neil Young once again shares the stage with his critically praised protégés Wilco this Friday. The Philadelphia show comes at the twilight of a 20-date tour across most of the U.S. and Canada.
With just three shows remaining before the classic rock journeyman can grab some much needed R&R, expect to hear all your favorites, plus some new material from Young's 2006 anti-Bush protest record Living With War and his long-anticipated sequel to an album that never was, 2007's Chrome Dreams 2.
Wilco fans will be happy to learn that a collabo version of Dylan's classic "I Shall Be Released," featuring an appearance by Young, has become a tour staple as well.
The first half of the tour, Young was supported by indie rock darlings Death Cab For Cutie, another Bridge School stagemate. But as the tour headed East, away from DCFC's Seattle homebase and towards middle America and Wilco's Chicago headquarters, the switch has drawn sellout crowds throughout its run.
Joining Young for all dates are youthful up-and-comers out of L.A.s indie scene, Everest. Keeping the tour demo in tact, Everest comes with a familiar alt-country sound tinged with bits of psychedelia and British-pop circa 1972.
Fans of Death Cab will appreciate the atmospherics and moody mid-tempo shuffle of Everest, while Wilco fans will be impressed by the deference paid to the experimental alt-country masters. Fans of Young's earlier, more folky work may have a tough time getting on board with some of Everest's more prog-rock leanings on certain tracks. But every time the old heads begin to grumble, Everest brings them back with counterpointed passages straight outta the Neil Young songbook.
For Philly rock purists, this is one of your last chances to catch a show at the legendary Spectrum, which is being torn down next summer.
Promoters have saved the best for last, promising some of the best shows in the closing months that the venue has ever seen.
Sorry to get your hopes up but fans may be disappointed to find that the only tickets still available for this rare double bill are $250 and are side-view seats. StubHub still has 'em though, at just over $100.
And for the rare touring schedules of these two legendary artists, that might just be a steal. Too broke to boogie? Well, it is the holidays. Maybe if you stand around the arena looking sad, you might find a scalper with a heart of gold. Yeah, I went there.
Wachovia Spectrum, Friday Dec. 12, at 7 p.m.