Alibi V.13 No.9 • Feb 26-March 3, 2004 

Music Magnified

Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Saturday, Feb. 28; Tingley Coliseum (all ages, 7 p.m.): Neil Young has spent nearly 40 years exploring the American Dream on big-picture terms—not just the wife, car and 2.3 kids all crammed into a little house with a white picket fence, but the essence of the American experience. And as an outsider (Young is Canadian) he's been more successful than most.

But his latest album/film/DVD/concert tour, Greendale, is his pièce de résistance. Greendale tells the fictional (although some would say at least partly autobiographical) story of a day in the life of the Green family, living in coastal Greendale, Calif., but more than that, it's a societal biopic—sort of like TV's the Waltons trapped in an episode of “Big Brother” or “The Real Life.” In concert, Young performs the soundtrack with Crazy Horse while actors lip sync the lyrics and act the various parts of Green family members.

It's a little weird in that bedheaded Neil Young way, but Greendale is also perhaps the penultimate statement on the American Dream as it evolves into the 21st century. The ultimate statement won't be made in our lifetime, which is a damn good reason to get your tickets now.