Day 2 of the Desert Trip festival featured a stunning set from the amazingly timeless Neil Young and a powerfully sprawling performance from the surprisingly spry Wings/Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney.
Neil Young kicked off proceedings on a stage that resembled a Native American campsite: 6 giant teepees flanked a piano as Neil stepped up to open with a rousing rendition of After the Gold Rush.
With both guitar and a harmonica strapped to him he took the audience on a journey through many hits, including Comes a Time, Heart of Gold and Human Highway. The band was tight and, despite the goading digs at presidential hopeful Donald Trump (“come back tomorrow night [Roger Waters] is going to build a wall and we can make mexico great again”), the mood was effervescently upbeat.
The big show came in the form of Paul McCartney. Dressed in a sharp suit he was all business, and after a fantastic mashup of remixed hits from his back catalogue, Macca took to the stage, the instantly recognisable opening chord to A Head Day’s Night ripping out into the night air.
Over the course of nearly 3 hours he played almost as many songs as Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones combined the previous night, taking the audience on a journey through one of the most diverse and successful set of songs in music history. From the delicate acoustic Blackbird, to the heavy rock Helter Skelter, to the anthemic sure-fire crowd-pleaser Hey Jude, the crowd lapped it up.
As one of the evenings big surprises, Neil Young returned to the stage in order to join Macca on a powerful rendition of A Day In The Life / Give Peace a Chance. He remained on stage to help out during the very first live airing of The Beatles 1968 track Why Don’t We Do It In the Road?
Another surprise followed later in the set as he launched into The Rolling Stones’ I Wanna Be Your Man, a form of repayment for their performance of Beatles hit Come Together the previous night (review here).
The Desert Trip festival will continue on Sunday night with performances from Roger Waters and The Who. The festival continues the following weekend.
Neil Young setlist
After the Gold Rush
Heart of Gold
Comes a Time
Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)
Out on the Weekend
Words (Between the Lines of Age)
Down by the River
Rockin’ in the Free World
Paul McCartney setlist
A Hard Days Night
Can’t Buy Me Love
Let Me Roll It / Foxy Lady
I’ve Got a Feeling
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five
Maybe I’m Amazed
We Can Work It Out
In Spite of All the Danger
I’ve Just Seen a Face
Love Me Do
And I Love Her
Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite!
A Day in the Life / Give Peace a Chance
Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?
Ob La Di, Ob La Da
Band on the Run
Back in the USSR
Let It Be
Live and Let Die
I Wanna Be Your Man
Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End