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Monday, August 10, 2015

Micah Nelson Interview on Rebel Content Tour | Rolling Stone

Neil Young & Micah Nelson
Photo by Hounds That Howell
(Click photo to enlarge)

A great interview with Micah Nelson on the recently completed Neil Young + Promise of the Real 2015 Rebel Content Tour.

From Rolling Stone by Andy Greene:
Micah Nelson: "We were playing 'Big Box' at the Nebraska show and suddenly I was floating above my body. I thought to myself, 'I'm playing a show now, and I need to keep moving my hands and get back down because otherwise I'm going to fuck up.' It was very bizarre and euphoric."

"One of the best moments was when we did 'Cortez the Killer' for 20 minutes as the encore at Jones Beach," Nelson says. "At the end, Neil played that three note riff for what seemed like 10 minutes straight while we all danced around the stage, waving our guitars like we were having a lightsaber battle. He hit the whammy bar so hard, all the strings just ripped out of the guitar. It wasn't just one of my favorite moments of the tour, but of my entire life."

"One night, as the sun was setting, Neil played 'After the Gold Rush' on the piano," says Nelson. "I said, 'Wouldn't it be great to open the show like that?' He said, 'Yeah.' Then we all just kind of came up with the set list together, though I think Neil had been conceiving it in his mind for quite some time. The basic idea was that we'd progress from acoustic to mellow to heavy and electric, but filling in the blanks was a collaborative effort."

"Every night was like climbing a mountain," says Nelson. "You start down in the Shire, and by the end, you're in the crater of Mount Doom. He never really wanted us to rehearse anything too much, just have the essence and vibe of any song. Sometimes the first time we ever did a song, we were in front of 50,000 people."

"He's a nuclear reactor," says Nelson. "He was pushing us as much as we were pushing him, honestly. One of the greatest things about the whole thing was that he was just as fired up and energized as we were. It was just peaking constantly. The whole show was this big eruption, and just when you thought it couldn't get any heavier, we just kept pushing each other."

"I'm running on fumes," he says. "But they're powerful fumes. I'm so inspired to record new material now. I learned so much from playing with Neil. It's like apprenticing with a Jedi master. Now I get to come back and apply the lessons to my own projects. I hope it never ends."

"The rumor at the end of this run was that we'd start at Farm Aid [on September 18th]," he says, "and then tour with Neil up the West Coast leading to the Bridge School Benefit [on October 24th.] I think it's gonna happen. I hope it's gonna happen. It sounds like it's gonna happen, but I honestly have no idea. It's an interesting process of getting information in the Neil world. His management will hear things after my brother and I hear them, or I won't know that something is happening until I read about it in the press. There's no system of communication. It just happens."

"This could be all over for us tomorrow," says Nelson. "Right now, he's riding the wave with us, but tomorrow he might call and say, 'OK, I wanna make a polka record with this German band.' Neil does whatever he wants whenever the muse calls him, but it seems like right now the muse is Promise of the Real, and Neil is our muse. It's a beautiful collaboration. It sounds like we're going to push it until it can't go any further."
Full interview at "Inside Neil Young's Epic Summer Tour With Promise of the Real" | Rolling Stone by Andy Greene.

Also, more reviews of Neil Young + Promise of the Real 2015 Rebel Content Tour.

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At 8/11/2015 07:33:00 AM, Blogger growl said...

I love the Shire. Then again I love Mount Doom. But which is best? Lucky for me it doesn't matter as I can have both with Neil Young.

At 8/11/2015 07:50:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

It'll look good on Micah's CV!

At 8/11/2015 02:42:00 PM, Blogger Christian said...

The setlists for this tour looked amazing. Does anyone know where I can get a torrent for one of these shows?

At 8/12/2015 08:56:00 AM, Blogger setlistthief said...

A few years ago, Clapton played a couple shows with The Allman Bothers Band and listening to those recordings I noticed how Clapton was playing like it was 1970 again. Conversely, the band was pushing the limit prior to Slowhand stepping onstage. When musicians "push" each other, incredible music is almost always the result.

Christian, go to DIME-nearly all the shows are running there.

At 8/12/2015 11:12:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@growl - everyone loves The Shire! We prefer to avoid Mt Doom, tho.

These shows were epic, to say the least and not to be missed.

@setlistthief - excellent point on Eric & ABB. POTR were definitely pushing Neil in way that The Horse just hasn't of late. Definitely a different chemistry all for the best. The Alchemy was truly magic on The Rebel Content tour.


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