Neil Young’s January 22nd, 1971 concert at the Shakespeare Theater in Stratford, Connecticut, has been released as a live album and concert film. It’s a solo acoustic gig from the After the Gold Rush period, just three days after his famous show at Toronto’s Massey Hall.
The Shakespeare Theater show was filmed by a German television crew, but their footage sat in the vault for the past five decades. It will finally be released as part of this package. Young has released a trailer that shows bits of “Tell Me Why,” “Cowgirl in the Sand,” “A Man Needs a Maid,” “Dance, Dance, Dance,” “Down by the River,” “Helpless,” and “Sugar Mountain.”
The Massey Hall gig circulated for decades as a bootleg and was officially released in 2007, but only portions of the Shakespeare Theatre stand have been heard by fans. “[Producer] John Hanlon and I both feel Shakespeare is superior to our beloved Massey Hall,” Young wrote last year on the Neil Young Archives. “A more calm performance, without the celebratory atmosphere of Massey Hall, captured live on 16mm film. Young Shakespeare is a very special event. To my fans, I say this is the best ever. Young Shakespeare is the performance of that era. Personal and emotional, for me, it defines that time.”
Over the past few months, Young has released the 10-disc set Neil Young Archives Volume II: 1972 – 1976 and the 2003 live album Return to Greendale. On February 26th, he will release the 1990 Crazy Horse live LP Way Down in the Rust Bucket.