March 18, 2010 – 11:23 am

Long may you run.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Vancouver 2010 [no label, 3CD]

Live at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, Vancouver, BC, February 18, 2010. Very good audience recording.

To celebrate the music and legacy of a band, one finds, for instance, the ABBA or the Queen tribute bands. For his second Neil Young Project (the first was in 2004), part of this year’s Winter Olympiad, veteran producer Hal Willner said: “The way I prefer to do it is to go listen to everything the composer has written. Then I put the show together just from the material. I want something that balances the well-known and unknown, and covers all styles and approaches.”

Willner, music supervisor of Saturday Night Live, is reported to have listened to about 600 Neil Young songs for this project. “They asked me to do it two years ago… I’ve always loved his work but I wouldn’t have been able to answer a Trivial Pursuit game on him before we did this.” Willner’s works include tribute projects on Leonard Cohen and Kurt Weill.

In an interview with Alexander Varty of, Willner said: “By the time we get on the stage, there will be a script. And I always find if you know exactly what’s going to happen next, then the artists can be loose within that. A lot of magical moments come out of that.

“It’s a lot of risk. But what happens then is that you’re guaranteed some once-in-a-lifetime, magical things, and you’re guaranteed stuff that’s not going to work. So what you hope for is that 95 per cent of the show is the magical part, right? And usually it works out that way.”

Brian Pascual, reviewing the show on, said: “The tricky part of the night was adjusting to the constantly rotating cast for each song. It was hard to even realize there was a string section (that Wasser was a part of on violin) until Teddy Thompson’s take on Don’t Cry No Tears. It once again spoke to the difficulty in taking on such a large initiative.

“Collett and Land Of Talk’s Elizabeth Powell executed a perfectly down-home version of Down To The Wire; Metric’s Emily Haines and James Shaw ignored the catcalls and whistles for Haines to offer a pretty faithful (and slightly sinister) A Man Needs A Maid. When Haines pleaded, ‘When will I see you again?’ it was killer. Other highlights included jazz/blues vocalist/poet Eric Mingus’ very menacing and body-shaking For The Turnstiles, Sun Kill Moon’s (and former Red House Painter) Mark Kozelek singing Albuquerque and, of course, the evening’s two crown jewels.

“With a Burt Bacharach-ian horn section backing him, (Elvis) Costello crooned a lovely Love In Mind to the delight of a completely dumbstruck crowd wowed by the fact that they were watching one legend cover another legend. Speaking of legends, Reed was bathed with a chorus of ‘Louuuuuuuuuuu’ from the crowd before silently setting up and ripping into the great Helpless.

“For a show that understandably flew by the seat of its pants for most of the night, few could complain about what they had just witnessed. Sure, the musicians probably had more fun than the audience at times, but it’s hard to fault them for enjoying a night of playing with so much talent assembled on one stage.”

Even for a three-hour Neil Young show, the setlist seemed a little too esoteric and not populistic enough, bearing in mind that this is not a concert for diehard Neil Young fans. There were no Rockin’ In The Free World or Like A Hurricane.

A fitting comment for the gig might be the one at “It wasn’t a perfect night. And it was definitely a long one. But as musical director (along with Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning), Joan Wasser/as Policewoman should be proud that nobody really f*cked up on stage and that during the three hours there was at least 90 minutes of excellence. Step up and accept your bronze medal, Hal Willner. You can go for Gold in the next Games.”

Thanks to prof_peabody who recorded the show and shared the lossless tracks on the internet.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1
Track 101. intro - Alfred Hitchcock and Olympics Anthem (2.1MB)
Track 102. A Dream That Can Last (Teddy Thompson, Jason Collett, Julie Doiron) (7.1MB)
Track 103. Everybody Knows This is Nowhere (?) (4.0MB)
Track 104. Don’t Cry No Tears (Teddy Thompson) (5.9MB)
Track 105. New Mama (Ron Sexsmith) (4.1MB)
Track 106. Down to the Wire (Elizabeth Powell - vocals, Julie Doiron, Jason Collett) (3.9MB)
Track 107. Mr. Soul (Jason Collett? - vocals, Julie Doiron? - vocals) (5.9MB)
Track 108. A Man Needs a Maid (Emily Haines - vocals, James Shaw - guitar) (7.6MB)
Track 109. Scenery (James Blood Ulmer) (11.9MB)
Track 110. For the Turnstiles (Eric Mingus - vocals & bass?, Nadine Goellner - vocals) (9.3MB)
Track 111. One More Sign (Alasdair Roberts) (5.1MB)
Track 112. After the Goldrush (Vashti Bunyan) (6.8MB)
Track 113. Love in Mind (Elvis Costello - vocals/guitar) (4.7MB)

Disc 2
Track 201. On the Beach (Joan as Police Woman - vocals/violin, Elvis Costello - guitar) (11.1MB)
Track 202. Helpless - (Lou Reed - vocals/guitar) (8.6MB)
Track 203. Harvest (Jenni Muldaur - vocals, Lou Reed - guitar) (6.8MB)
Track 204. Albuquerque (Mark Kozelek) (4.6MB)
Track 205. Bandit (Ambrosia Parsley) (8.5MB)
Track 206. Country Girl (Bill Priddle) (6.8MB)
Track 207. intro jam (6.2MB)
Track 208. Harvest Moon (Brendan Canning) (8.1MB)
Track 209. Expecting to Fly (Janine Nichols - vocals, Kevin Hearn - vocals) (6.2MB)
Track 210. Needle and the Damage Done (Kevin Hearn?) (4.2MB)
Track 211. Out on the Weekend (Sam Goldberg) (7.6MB)
Track 212. Star of Bethlehem (Jenni Muldaur, Ron Sexsmith) (4.7MB)
Track 213. Wrecking Ball (Vashti Bunyan, Ambrosia Parsley) (6.6MB)

Disc 3
Track 301. Powderfinger (Mark Kozelek) (7.0MB)
Track 302. I Believe in You (Teddy Thompson) (7.2MB)
Track 303. Don’t Let It Bring You Down (Elizabeth Powell, Joan as Police Woman) (4.1MB)
Track 304. On the Way Home (Eric Mingus) (2.9MB)
Track 305. Walk On (Kevin Drew - vocals/campfire host) (9.1MB)
Track 306. Cowgirl in the Sand (Elvis Costello - vocals/guitar) (9.8MB)
Track 307. Cinnamon Girl (Elvis Costello - vocals/guitar) (10.4MB)
Track 308. Fuckin’ Up (many guests onstage) (13.6MB)
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Track 309. Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Julie Doiron - vocals, Kevin Drew - vocals) (9.0MB)

Artist List:
Chris Brown *keyboards in house band
Vashti Bunyan
Robert Burger *keyboards in house band
Brendan Canning (Broken Social Scene) *bass in house band
Fred Cash *played bass in house band
Jason Collett (Broken Social Scene)
Elvis Costello
Julie Doiron
Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene)
Michelle Fairman? *cello in house band
Nadine Goellner
Sam Goldberg (Broken Social Scene, Hawaii)
Emily Haines (Metric, Broken Social Scene)
Kevin Hearn (Bare Naked Ladies)
Shahzad Ismaily *guitar and other instruments in house band
Colin James
Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon, Red House Painters)
Danial Lapp *violin and trumet in house band
Eric Mingus
Jenni Muldaur
Janine Nichols
Ambrosia Parsley (Shivaree)
Justin Peroff (Broken Social Scene) *drums in house band
Ben Perowsky *played drums in house band
Elizabeth Powell (Land of Talk)
Bill Priddle (Treble Charger, Broken Social Scene)
Lou Reed (Velvet Underground)
Alasdair Roberts
Ron Sexsmith
James Shaw (Metric, Broken Social Scene)
Teddy Thompson
James “Blood” Ulmer
Joan Wasser (Joan as Police Woman)
Andrew Whiteman (Broken Social Scene)
Doug Wielselman *clarinet, sax, guitar, ultravibes in house band

Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) was on the bill but prof_peabody noted, “I didn’t see him.”


Click on the link to order albums by Hal Willner.

  1. 5 Responses to “NEIL YOUNG AT THE WINTER OLYMPICS 2010”

  2. in the news letter you had an article’What BigO Readers Like’
    This is exactly the sort of offering that keeps me coming back everyday to see what surprise you BigO crew have delivered.
    Eclecticism rules!
    BTW I did download Neil Sedaka great show, classic childhood singalong.
    Long may YOU run…:-)
    Cheers and cheering,

    By Riq on Mar 19, 2010

  3. Terrific stuff. I love Hal Willner’s approach - most musicians that I like benefit from an outside influence exercising a litle editorial control.

    By chris stoodley on Mar 19, 2010

  4. Does anyone have the recording of k.d.Lang wonderful performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games?

    By walter on Mar 26, 2010

  5. Can’t wait to listen. Thanks BigO

    By Matt on Apr 1, 2010

  6. That performance of Needle and the Damage Done is by Alasdair Roberts rather than Kevin Hearn

    By David Jennings on Jun 17, 2011

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