A post-apocalyptic musical comedy, a live satellite Q&A and a whole lot of rock n’ roll came to the ShowPlace ICON at Roosevelt Collection (along with select theatres all across America) for “An Evening With Neil Young.” The latest Fathom Events marathon lasted almost four hours and gave fans a rare chance to catch singer/songwriter/social activist sharing insights on recently restored vintage footage that scored its first public screenings in eons.
As humorous and sometimes downright absurd as it all turned out, Young pointed out the kooky characters were all so absorbed in their own little lives that they failed to see the imminent danger around them (similar to how environmental and agricultural issues plaguing our planet are being overlooked today).
The 1982 movie “Human Highway” was first in the line-up, starring not only Young playing several parts, but also members of Devo, Russ Tamblyn, Dennis Hopper and Charlotte Stewart. Though it’s never been a critical favorite, the quirky social commentary about a fictional town (located near a nuclear power plant) unknowingly living out their last days on earth has steadily garnered revered cult status, especially considering the spontaneous nature surrounding the bare bones production.
Even with its weak track record, the viewing was weirdly endearing, especially when Young, Devo’s Gerald V. Casale, Tamblyn and Stewart were beamed on the screen for a wrap-up interview with Cameron Crowe (“Say Anything,” “Almost Famous”) to explain how everyone was given creative liberty to develop their own characters and regularly improvised their lines. As humorous and sometimes downright absurd as it all turned out, Young pointed out the kooky characters were all so absorbed in their own little lives that they failed to see the imminent danger around them (similar to how environmental and agricultural issues plaguing our planet are being overlooked today).
Yet as insightful as it was to flashback to the all but forgotten oddity, the true treat was seeing Young in his most natural element throughout the 1978 concert tour film “Rust Never Sleeps.” Between his solo acoustic/harmonica/piano set and another with his riotous backers Crazy Horse, the troubadour was absolutely on fire delivering classics such as “Sugar Mountain,” “After The Gold Rush,” “The Needle And The Damage Done,” “Powderfinger,” “Cinnamon Girl” and “Like A Hurricane,” likely leaving attendees clamoring to catch a current concert from this tireless creative force.
For additional information on Neil Young and the April 22nd DVD releases of “Human Highway” and “Rust Never Sleeps,” visit NeilYoung.com.