Watch Neil Young: Heart of Gold
- 1 hr 43 min
Neil Young: Heart of Gold is a 2006 documentary concert film directed by Jonathan Demme. The film captures the last two nights of Neil Young's 2005 Prairie Wind tour at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. The concert was held to promote Neil Young's album, Prairie Wind, released in 2005. The concert film is dedicated to the memory of Neil Young's father, Scott Young.
The film opens with a montage of aerial shots of Nashville and the Ryman Auditorium. The interior of the auditorium is then shown as the band members and Neil Young make their way onto the stage. Neil Young is seen sitting down to play a solo acoustic set to kick off the concert. The first half of the concert features songs from his album Prairie Wind, which he wrote after he was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. Neil Young's solo performances are raw and moving, delivered with an honesty that is rare in modern music.
After the acoustic set, the band joins Neil Young and the audience is treated to lively and foot-tapping songs such as "Harvest Moon", "Heart of Gold", and "Old Man". The backing band includes a who's who of Nashville's finest musicians, including bassist Rick Rosas, pedal steel and lap steel guitarist Ben Keith, violinist and backing vocalist Pegi Young, and keyboardist Spooner Oldham. Emmylou Harris, a frequent collaborator with Neil Young, also makes an appearance on stage.
The concert film is shot in a simple and unobtrusive style that focuses entirely on the music and the performances. The camera angles are primarily focused on Neil Young and his band on-stage with occasional shots of the audience or the technical crew in the background. There are no interviews or behind-the-scenes moments, which allows the audience to become completely immersed in the music.
One of the highlights of the film is Neil Young's performance of "The Needle and the Damage Done", a song he wrote about the heroin addiction of one of his band members. The performance is heartfelt and emotional and showcases the raw power of Neil Young's voice and his guitar-playing abilities. Another standout moment is the performance of "When God Made Me", a song that deals with issues of faith and the human condition. Neil Young's strong belief in social justice is also on display through songs such as "No Wonder" and "Falling Off the Face of the Earth".
The concert culminates in a rousing finale with a rendition of "Rockin' in the Free World". Neil Young and his band are joined on stage by a local choir and the energy of the crowd reaches a fever pitch. The song features his trademark distorted guitar sound and the climax of the song includes a frenzied guitar solo that has become a signature moment of his live performances.
Overall, Neil Young: Heart of Gold is a powerful and moving concert film that showcases the artistry and passion of one of the greatest performers of our time. The film captures Neil Young's unique sound and style, as well as his deep commitment to musical expression and social justice. The concert is a testament to the enduring power of music, and a masterclass in the art of live performance.
Neil Young: Heart of Gold is a 2005 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 43 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7 and a MetaScore of 85.