Neil Young Announces First Tour in Four Years

The solo acoustic West Coast theatre concerts will centre songs from his back catalogue that have never been played live before

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jun 9, 2023

Neil Young hasn't gone on tour in four years, but that's all about to change: the legendary singer-songwriter is announcing an acoustic solo tour of the West Coast that will begin as soon as next month.

UPDATE: (6/9, 3:42 p.m. ET): As promised, Young has announced the tour dates — featuring special guest Chris Pierce — today. Thus far, the 13 scheduled shows will take place in the US. See those below.

He shared the news in a Zoom call late Wednesday (June 7) afternoon with paid Neil Young Archives Patron subscribers, Rolling Stone reports.

We have to wait another day to know exactly where Young will be playing (what even is the West Coast?), but the venues will apparently be theatre-sized — and it's safe to assume he'll be avoiding the Ticketmaster hoopla at all costs. He said on the livestream that the tour will kick off with a multi-night residency at a "tiny, little unknown theatre that's close to one of the most well-known theatres in the world."

The musician also told call attendees that he's been rehearsing a setlist of approximately 15 songs from his extensive back catalogue that he has never played live before. "I don't want to come back and do the same songs again," he explained. "I'll feel like I was on some sort of carnival ride. I'd rather be doing these others songs I haven't done… I won't have to compare how I'm doing 'Heart of Gold' to [how I played it in] 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, 2020…"

Selections reportedly include "Song X" from 1995 Pearl Jam collaboration Mirrorball, "Prime of Life" from 1994's Sleeps with Angels and a 1982 Trans outtake entitled "If You Got Love." Of course, Young wouldn't be one to not include at least a little bit of fan service — so these previously un-performed tracks only known to hardcore fans will constitute what he estimates is 80 percent of the set.

"They're not new songs. They're old songs. But I wake up with them in my head every morning," he said. "They are songs that apply to my life right now, and apply to everyone's lives in this era that we're in. Some of them were written 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago, but never really played live."

A storied critic of pandemic-era touring, Young performed live for the first time since 2019 at an old-growth forest protest in Victoria, BC, in February. In April, he went on to make his first headlining performance at an autism benefit concert, paying tribute to David Crosby alongside Stephen Stills.

Neil Young 2023 Tour Dates:

07/01–02 Los Angeles, CA - John Anson Ford
07/04–05 Los Angeles, CA - John Anson Ford
07/07 Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl
07/08 Paso Robles, CA - Vina Robles Amphitheatre
07/11 San Diego, CA - The Shell
07/13 Los Angeles, CA - The Greek Theatre
07/15 Berkeley, CA - The Greek
07/17 Bend, OR - Hayden Homes Amphitheater
07/18 Ridgefield, WA - RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater
07/20 Auburn, WA - White River Amphitheatre
07/23 Napa, CA - Oxbow RiverStage

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