Neil Young has announced his first tour since 2019 where he will play songs he has never performed live before next month.
It comes after he launched a surprise comeback at a tree-logging protest in Canada back in February.
The singer and environmental activist, 77, announced the news to his fans on Wednesday during a live Zoom call with paid Patron subscribers to the Neil Young Archives.
His tour on the West Coast begins on July 1 at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles which seats 1,200 people and finishes on July 23 at the Oxbow RiverStage in Napa, California.
Tickets will go on sale at 10am on June 14 and he is using Ticketmaster’s Face Value Exchange to prevent resellers from getting hold of them and charging extortionate prices.
Young has remained out of the limelight largely since he demanded Spotify remove all of his music because it hosted Joe Rogan’s podcast, which Young claims shared vaccine misinformation.
In an open letter to his manager and record label telling them to have his catalogue taken down, the Heart of Gold singer writes: ‘They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.’
Neil Young has announced his first tour since 2019 where he will play songs he has never performed live before next month
It comes after he launched a surprise comeback at a tree logging protest in Canada back in February
The singer and environmental activist, 77, announced the news to his fans on Wednesday during a live Zoom call with paid Patron subscribers to the Neil Young Archives
Young has announced 13 shows in 22 days across California, Oregon and Washington.
He will only be playing old songs he has never performed live instead of his traditional hits.
‘I don’t want to come back and do the same songs again,’ he said.
‘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…’
The Grammy-winning singer has prepared a song list made up of 15 tracks and it includes ‘Song X’ from his 1995 album Mirror Ball with Pearl Jam, ‘Prime of Life’ from 1994 record Sleeps With Angels, and ‘If You Got Love’ from 1982 album Trans.
He added: ‘I did a demo of [If You Got Love] a few years [after Trans] with a synclavier, a drum machine, harmonica, and some effects.
‘I listened to it [recently], and it turned me on again. I’m now doing it with the organ and harmonica. It’s pretty cool.’
Young believes his hardcore fans will know 80 percent of the tunes and insisted ‘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.’
He previously had a tour scheduled in 2019 but he postponed it to work on film projects. Young was going to return in 2020 but that plan was disrupted by the pandemic.
The legendary artist then made a surprise return to the stage by performing at a demonstration against tree logging in Canada in February. It was the first time he had performed live since Farm Aid in September 2019.
His tour on the West Coast begins on July 1 at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles and finishes on July 23 at the Oxbow RiverStage in Napa, California
Tickets will go on sale at 10am on June 14 and he is using Ticketmaster’s Face Value Exchange to prevent resellers from getting hold of them and charging extortionate prices
The performance was part of the United For Old-Growth protest, promoted by the Wilderness Committee campaign group.
He sang a selection of his most popular hits, including ‘Comes a Time’ and ‘Heart of Gold’.
Organizer Torrance Coste tweeted a video of Young performing to a crowd of several hundred people and said: ‘Sometimes you organize a rally and rock legend Neil Young comes and sings at it as a surprise.
The protest was against the Canadian government’s supposed failure to protect old-growth forests. It also included a peaceful march and rally.
Young then performed an extended show with former bandmate Stephen Stills at the Hollywood Bowl on April 22 and later appeared at the same venue to play at Willie Nelson’s 90th birthday concert.
He was reluctant to perform in public for so long due to concerns about coronavirus.
‘I don’t want to play until you feel safe, and it is indeed, safe,’ he said after pulling out of Farm Aid in 2021.
‘My soul tells me it would be wrong to risk having anyone die because they wanted to hear music and be with friends.’
Young, who is married to American actress and environmental activist Daryl Hannah (pictured together in 2018), demanded last year that Spotify remove his music
Young asked Spotify to remove his music because of podcaster Joe Rogan, saying: ‘I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform … They can have Rogan or Young. Not both’
In the since-deleted online letter, he specifically took aim at comedian and podcaster Rogan, who signed a $100 million deal with Spotify in May 2020, giving them exclusive rights to his show The Joe Rogan Experience.
‘With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE [Joe Rogan Experience], which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence,’ he wrote.
‘Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.’
‘I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform … They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,’ continued Young, who is married to Blade Runner actress Daryl Hannah, 61.
Much of his music is no longer on the platform, but some of his hits remain on compilation albums.
The singer sold 50 percent of his catalogue to U.K. investment fund Hipgnosis Songs last year, reportedly for $150 million.