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Thursday, August 14, 2014

"Living With War" - Neil Young & Crazy Horse at Mönchengladbach, Germany - 2014



Neil Young & Crazy Horse's "Living With War" from 2014-07-25, Warsteiner Hockeypark, Mönchengladbach, Germany.

A roadtrip memory from Tomer | Rusties:
PART ONE - "LIVING WITH WAR"

Every story needs to start at the beginning I guess...So for months I've been waiting for the Neil & Crazy Horse show in Tel Aviv. It was the concert of the year for me. Neil only played Israel once, back in the Mirror Ball tour 1995. Two nights in Jerusalem. I was only 12 years old at the time, so I wasn't there...After almost 20 years, many people, old fans and new fans alike, were waiting to see Neil again in Israel. July 17th 2014 was supposed to be a legendary and historic date that all of us will remember for a long time. About 40,000 people bought tickets for the show. I have a music blog in Hebrew and as a big Neil fan I started a couple of months before the show to write a special project dedicated to the music of Neil. It had 8 parts and the final one was the ultimate post dedicated specifically to Neil with Crazy Horse career all over the years. It was the perfect article to get the fans here prepared to the show. I post it about three weeks before the historic date. And then all the bad stuff started here.

Me and many of my friends and Neil fans got worried. When the days went by and still everyday I could hear the sirens in the center of Israel and hearing/seeing the big explosions in the sky (Our "iron Dome" system taking down the rockets), I knew the chances are not good. Then a few days before July 17 we got the bad news and it was cancelled. It was a really bad feeling, cause Neil and the crew really wanted to visit here, but they couldn't. And I can understand that. You can't put 40,000 people in an open park when there are alarms and threats to the city.

Myself and many people I know were so disappointed. I've seen Neil & The Horse before, last year in London, but I just didn't want to miss them this year. Especially when I was waiting for so long for the home show that needed to give some two hours of "Freedom" and happy break for all the people . So I decided to enjoy it anyway and started my own "Operation German Horse"...A spontaneous trip to three shows. I quickly arranged all the things. Talking with some rusties friends I knew to get my tickets, booking last minute flights, checking hotels (and my finance situation) and more. I said to myself there's no way I'm gonna miss them this tour. So one home show in Israel turned into three shows in Germany.

Before I left I've met Howell in Tel Aviv. He was coming anyway, because he did a whole trip in Israel before coming to the (cancelled) show. We walked the city, I showed him some places and we ate dinner together and talked. We should have been excited for the concert here...But it was great meeting him anyway. I also had plans to arrange a nice Rustfest in Tel Aviv. At my regular pub here where the owners knows me and the place even have a playlist of mine to blast out for us Neil fans. That also didn't happened and made me sad. All you rusties would have loved Tel Aviv, I'm sure. But now I'm off to see a lot more rusties in person. The excitement of the journey to the shows was mixed with "leaving" all my friends here that had tickets for the home show and won't be able to see The Horse live.

So now the journey begins. I landed in Dusseldorf on Friday the 24th. Gerd, who was supposed to come to Tel Aviv (straight after Istanbul), picked me up from the airport and we went to dinner and drinks and see some of the city. Later on he also drove me to my Hotel in Monchengladbach. I thanked him so much. He helped me a lot on this trip. Then I wake up on Saturday and it's time to the first show! Right before 12:00 I walked to the concert area and Gerd saw me on the way from his car, stopped and we went there together. Four people were already there (the two youngsters from Holland, Peter and Patrick).

Later on more rusties arrived and I met a lot of people and saw many faces for the first time, that I knew only from Facebook and stuff. Then Roel arrived as well. He's one of my closest friends I know because of music. This is the 5th year in a row we're meeting for concerts in Europe. He also gave me the Rust Radio t-shirt, because this is our first Neil concert together. I love that guy.

Now to the concert - I was on the rail and Roel and Ruby Inthedust were behind me. We talked a lot and then it was time for Neil and the Horse to take the stage. It's been only a year since I saw them last time, but I was so excited. The show was great, I saw some stuff I never seen. Was happy to get Cortez and Barstool Blues, Love To Burn and some more. There was one moment though in that show that I will never forget...It was one of the most powerful and emotional experiences for me at shows. It was when Neil started playing Living With War.

You all know that he started playing it right after the cancellation of the Tel Aviv show. And for a reason. I fly to a lot of shows out of Israel, making these special trips for music every time I can. It set my soul free and I forget about anything every time when I'm in the music for a couple of hours. But this time it was very hard to disconnect from everything. Especially when the concept of Neil's setlist this tour is very much about love, save our planet, peace and anti-war. I had some teary eyes in the middle of Living With War. It was even harder when Roel & Ruby behind me tapped my back and were very supportive and understood the meaning of this song for me, right now. Because I AM living with war...I took personally every word on that song and I can relate to it very much as you can all figured out. I thought about all of my friends and the 40,000 people back home that couldn't see Neil because of the stupid war now. After the show I told everybody that I was seeing this in Germany, but my heart was at home with them.

PART TWO - "LOVE AND ONLY LOVE"

So after the first show ended I hanged a bit with some people, but had to cut short cause had an early flight in the morning to Dresden. Me and Ruby found out we're on the same flight, so it was nice taking the trip with friends. Throughout all the time in Germany I've met and made so many new friends. The rusties family is really special. Every show bunch of people came over to me to say hi, shook my hand or gave me a hug, and told me how they're happy that I made it to here. There was a "Lotta Love" I received. And this is what it's all about. The love of music bring people together and it's my favorite thing way up there with the music itself. Love will break it down...No matter where you are coming from, how old you are and what language you're speaking. We all actually speak the same one. Music.

The international rusties were so nice. From everywhere; Germany, Holland, The UK and Ireland, France, the US and others. And of course Israel now. So much fun. Had very nice talks with everyone. About music, life and beyond.

On Sunday it was time for the Dresden show. We all said it's a good place for Down By The River, because of the beauty of the stage, right on the river behind it and the cool old buildings in the back. We got our place on the rail dead canter. Before the show started I talked to Mark, Neil's old time soundman, telling him I came from Israel. He was happy to see me, said that it's really too bad about the Tel Aviv show. This will continue after the show. Anyway, show started and we indeed got "River", as an opening song. 25 minutes of madness. It was a fantastic show. Every song in there got ripped real well by Neil and Poncho. They were very much into it. When it was over Mark came down and handed me the setlist, telling me he's sorry for not coming to Tel Aviv. What an awesome guy he is. After the show we had a fest at the pub and it continued to the street up until 3am or so. Rusties playing guitars, singing, talking and sharing smiles. Had a blast and met even more new people.

I woke up pretty late on Sunday for the long trip to Mainz. My buddy Gerd picked me up from my hotel, we jumped in his car and started the ride. He told me a lot of interesting stuff on the way, with some history of the cities and roads we ride into. We had a stop at his long time friend's house in Erfurt (spelling it right?). Then he dropped me at the train station and I made my way to Mainz. Went out to eat in the evening and came back to the hotel to sleep some. I was pretty tired.

Next day it was time for my final show. Arrived pretty early again and saw all the familiar faces, including my buddy Mark from England who does the numbers system It was cool meeting again at Neil & The Horse show, cause last year in London I was the first guy at The O2 and Mark was the second. We heard Tonight's The Night on soundcheck, hoping for a surprise, but it didn't happen. Instead we got an intense 2:20 hours show. Again opening with "River". This one and Love To Burn were like 50 minutes together. Crazy. They also didn't drop "Cortez" like in Dresden, so was happy to see it again. Fantastic show to end my short journey. When it was over I called Mark on stage telling him quick two things; First was thank you very very much. And second that I hope they'll get to come to Israel sometime soon. He told he knows and that they'll try and come over.

It's always bittersweet after the last show. I knew I was flying home the next day, so you gotta say goodbye to everybody. Had a nice gathering at a pub and then some of us went to some Rusties' hotel and played there until 3:30am I think. Harry, Lucas and the main man Uwe were playing. When we called it off I was walking to my hotel, bit drunk, bit tired, and full of joy.

PART THREE - "GOIN' HOME"

On my last day I walked the city of Mainz for a couple of hours, had something to eat and then left to Frankfurt Airport for my flight in the evening. At the airport I started writing all this…I was looking at the pictures, remembered all the moments at the shows and the good times with all the people. My favorite movie of all time is “Almost Famous” and there’s a line in there I’m always relating to (as for many others in the movie) every time I’m going back home from the road. It goes ”This is the circus. Everybody’s trying not to go home”. And that’s indeed the general feeling. Especially for me, coming from Israel, not knowing when will be the next time I’ll see this entire people.

But the Neil experience of 2014 is not over for me. In October, my birthday month, I’m gonna fly to the US for a month and I got tickets for the Boston solo shows. Hope to see some rusties in there once again. And I sure hope that somewhere in the near future all the rusties will come here to Tel Aviv, for the show that we’re all missing in Israel. Until then I’ll keep traveling for music as far as I can go to, when I can.

Those five days in Germany are going to stay with me for a long time. In my head and in my heart. I want to say a really big thank you to ALL the people I’ve met. To everyone who helped and shared some of my amazing experiences. I’m back to reality now, at home, finishing this review. Hoping to see you all again. Hoping the many fans here will get to see Neil. And I just hope in general.

Thanks all Rusties for being a part of my journey. The music wouldn’t sound the same without you.

Peace,
Tomer.
Thanks so much for the roadtrip memories. Was it all just a dream?

Praying for peace yet we are Still Living With f'g War.

namaste


Neil Young & Crazy Horse + Dorene Carter & YaDonna West
Photo by Martin Stubbersfield | Rusties

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7 Comments:

At 8/14/2014 11:06:00 AM, Blogger Ruby Inthedust said...

So good to re-read the story of your amazing journey, Tomer! And still so sad, that you had to go on that trip! What stays is the pleasure to have met you and to be friends now!

 
At 8/14/2014 02:52:00 PM, Anonymous Soldier Steve said...

Awesome Story. I Am Going To Be Listening To All The '14 Europe Shows Thanks To A Great RustiE Friend Tom.Thanks To The Folks Who Tape The Shows. I Will Think of You Tomer When I Listen To Those Shows You Attended. Rock On. Anyone Hear How Billy Talbot Is Feeling?

 
At 8/14/2014 02:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the best shares I can remember here. Thanks for writing it up and posting it! Let's hope Neil reschedules the Israel show, just like he rescheduled the aborted CH tour from last year.

 
At 8/14/2014 06:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

not so fast, anon @ 2:53
I don't wanna beat a dead horse here but my unused capitol theater ticket stubs remind me that he did not re-schedule ALL cancelled shows from last year.
just say'n (& hoplessly hoping)

Forever Younger

 
At 8/15/2014 09:15:00 AM, Anonymous Tmd3q said...

Wonderful story Tomer! So glad I got to meet you and share some of the shows with you. Take care my friend!
Terri

 
At 8/15/2014 12:13:00 PM, Blogger Celtglass said...

Extraordinary story and review Tomer! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. Beautifully written!

 
At 8/20/2014 11:22:00 AM, Blogger johncarvill said...

Can't say whether the decision to play 'Living With War' had anything to do with events in Israel and Gaza, but it should be pointed out here, if only for clarification, that the people who are 'living with war' are the Palestinians.

Just sayin'...

 

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