Over Neil Young’s long and storied career, a few special shows have earned an almost mythic reputation, thanks to the dubious but nevertheless appreciated (in retrospect) practice of bootlegging. Carnegie Hall, the first release of the Neil Young Official Bootleg Series, recorded on original analog multitrack, was mixed by “The Volume Dealers” — Neil Young and Niko Bolas. This recording was made from the show on December 4th, 1970 and it was the first time Neil ever walked onstage at Carnegie Hall. There were two shows at Carnegie Hall, one on the 4th and one followed at Midnight the next morning. No bootleggers ever captured this first show, and it was, by far, a much superior show according to NY.
The concert’s generous setlist covers one of the most revered eras of Young’s career, with stripped-down versions of the tunes “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere,” “Down By the River,” “Helpless” and “Sugar Mountain’” plus “After the Goldrush,” from the album of the same name, released only nine weeks prior to the Carnegie Hall show. Neil even plays the poignant songs “Bad Fog of Loneliness,” “Old Man” and “See the Sky About to Rain” before they were recorded and released. Carnegie Hall is an album full of gems.