For someone who's always tried to adapt to changing musical styles, Neil Young looked every inch the '60s folkie at Merriweather Post Pavilion Thursday night.

And for at least half of the show he sounded it too.

He opened with a simple but effective solo set, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, harmonica, banjo and upright piano.

From the start, his voice was as distinctive as ever -- a dry whining tenor that put a sharp edge on "Heart of Gold" and "Sugar Mountain," as well as on several new tunes.

The best of those was a basic blues called "This Note's for You," which, among other things, denounced corporate sponsorship of rock events.

After intermission, Young was joined by his band Crazy Horse -- now a trio -- and tore into a vibrant set of some of his best recordings, including "Cinnamon Girl" and "Down by the River."

Without Nils Lofgren by his side, Young focused intensely on his lead guitar solos, particularly on "River" and "Like a Hurricane," rocking them with a teen-ager's abandon.

At one point, however, he turned to the piano and performed a moving and somber version of the political anthem "Long Walk Home," which appears on his new album "Life."