I had the most fortunate experience of seeing two of my top influences in concert recently, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, and Fleetwood Mac. After undergoing a case of cognitive dissonance as my bank account glared menacingly at me after the two indulgences (ticket prices are crazy these days!) I was tossed into two completely different experiences of musical ecstasy.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Neil, stomping around the stage swaying and snarling in absolute musical freedom, hammering on Old Black to produce the magical and unique solos only he can create, his hair waving around maniacally like some mad scientist. Ralph Molina pounding away on the drums, Billy Talbot head banging while walking in circles with his bass, Poncho Sampedro providing the grunge-like rhythm guitar and humanly pitchy vocal harmonies. I have seen Neil Young two times before, but never with Crazy Horse. It was an experience I could not miss, and thank goodness I did not! They captured the raw, crazed otherworldly genius of Neil's inner depths, the ultimate band of humanness and emotion perfectly exemplified in my favorite number of the night; "Fucking Up". Grungy, dark and intense, Neil is just... well... from a different planet.
Fleetwood Mac: Perfection of production, this concert was outstanding. It was downright surreal to see my heroine goddess, Stevie Nicks, singing some of my favorite songs - her haunting, mystical aura was enchanting and moving. Lindsey Buckingham was on fire, singing and playing like he was at the top of his game. Mick Fleetwood arguably stole the show; my favorite drummer of all time, his mastery, tone and nuances are just out of this world. And of course that English personality and sense of humour ever-present. Mick, in combination with John McVie's perfect timing and bass tone, created rhythmic euphoria. What a show! Backdropped by moody videos on a huge screen and lighting to fit every song perfectly, backup singers and percussionists, a keyboard player, what a stellar experience! Very slick, not a bad note or glitch to be heard, underlying some of the biggest hits of the 20th century... oh my!
So, as aforementioned, two completely opposite musical experiences, both fulfilling and magical in their own unique ways. Are there modern day bands that achieve this level of greatness? I have yet to find any... please inform me!