Neil Young, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, knew he had to do something to give back. “I couldn’t see coming back here and just playing and have it be business as usual,” he tells The Associated Press, in reference to performing regularly in the hard-hit Northeast region.
The two-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, joined by his band Crazy Horse and opener Everest, will go beyond business as usual with a benefit performance 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City.
“A Special Evening with Neil Young & Crazy Horse” could bring in more than $250,000, with all proceeds to go toward the American Red Cross relief effort.
According to Young, he was asked to take part in another benefit — Wednesday’s all-star event at Madison Square Garden in New York — but had another commitment. The MSG show’s lineup will include Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Kanye West and The Who.
“It wasn’t going to make much difference whether I was there or not, so I decided to go someplace where I could make a difference,” Young tells the AP.
Young hasn’t performed in A.C. with Crazy Horse in more than a decade. The band, which consists of Billy Talbot, Ralph Molina and Poncho Sampredo, is touring behind “Psychedelic Pill” (Reprise), their second collaboration with Young to be released in 2012; they also released “Americana” in June.
“Psychedelic Pill” is the 35th album of Young’s storied career, which includes the 1972 classic “Harvest,” among many other solo records, as well as his stint with the legendary Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. This year, Young also has released a well-received memoir, “Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream” (Blue Rider Press).
The Toronto native can be expected to deliver an impassioned performance, if his show with Crazy Horse last week at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center is any indication.
Young gave a “hellacious 13-song, two hour-plus show that went on ringing in satisfied customers’ ears long after they exited” the venue, Philadelphia Inquirer critic Dan DeLuca says.
The Philly show featured such tracks as, “Love and Only Love,” “Born in Ontario,” “Walk Like a Giant” and “Ramada Inn,” with a fitting, 10-plus-minute encore of “Like A Hurricane.”
But Young tells the AP “anything’s possible” with the setlist for the benefit, possibly including some surprise appearances.
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Opening act Everest is a Los Angeles-based alt-country quintet that has toured with Young several times. The band is out on the road behind its third record, “Ownerless” (ATO Records).