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Friday, April 29, 2016

Concert Reports: Neil Young + Promise of the Real - Memphis, TN, April 29, 2016

Neil Young + Promise of the Real will be performing tonight, April 29 in Memphis,TN at Beale Street Music Festival.

Got a report? Drop us a comment below.

Check Sugar Mountain for setlist updates and Chronological Grid, Recording Summary, Statistics and Extras.

Also, see Neil Young + Promise of the Real 2016 Concert Tour Dates for reviews, photos, videos and more.

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At 4/30/2016 02:23:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Here's the unconfirmed set-list from

2016-04-29, Tom Lee Park, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Beale Street Music Festival
w/ Promise Of The Real


1. Down By The River
2. Country Home
3. I Won't Quit
4. Monsanto Years
5. Western Hero
6. Out On The Weekend
7. Are There Any More Real Cowboys?
8. Someday
9. F*!#in' Up
10. Cinnamon Girl
11. Rockin' In The Free World
12. Love And Only Love

Hey Scots, is this one too short even for you?

This definitely looks like an abbreviated festival set-list. Basically an electric set without the acoustic prelude. Likely an extremely short show, but if I'm not mistaken, the show wasn't scheduled to start until 10:30pm so that probably had something to do with it.

Curious that "Are There any More Real Cowboys" and "Someday" seem to be becoming staples of the recent shows. Not my particular favorites (with a few others), but I like that the set-lists are showing variety overall.

Take my advice
Don't listen to me

At 4/30/2016 04:43:00 PM, Blogger Rhonda Holloway said...

It was an all rock show, Down by the River was over 30 mins on the banks of the Mississippi. The show didn't start until 10:50pm but went til 12:55am, so festival show yes, short show no.

At 4/30/2016 06:07:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Thanks for the info Rhonda.
Was it a good show overall? I'm a huge fan, but a 30 minute Down by the River to start the show likely would have tried my patience.

Take my advice
Don't listen to me

At 4/30/2016 09:54:00 PM, Blogger Patrick Crowley said...

Saw the show in Memphis last night.
Long guitar solos were favored over singing.
Seemed like the entire crowd went crazy for it.
It was stunning and memorable.
The 30 minutes on Down By the River started the set and it began with Neil playing a very intense guitar lick.
No "Hello", no nothing, just sonic guitar.
It was probably 15 minutes before he sang a lyric.
Neil had the crowd from beginning to end.
In response to the crowd yelling out for certain songs, Neil responded, "It's not going to happen man. There are too many songs."
The ones he played were more than enough.

At 5/01/2016 01:04:00 AM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Glad to hear it Patrick.

Some crowds don't like the extended jamming,
though it seems they're more accepting of it with Neil
being backed by the POTR. In recent years, I've seen some
shows with Crazy Horse that had the fans
restless to say the least.

Take my advice
Don't listen to me

At 5/01/2016 03:50:00 AM, Blogger growl said...

It's odd that festival audiences, despite not all being big Neil fans, seem completely blown away by his extended jams. At Austin a few years ago, many in the audience came primarily to see other bands but stayed to see Crazy Horse out of curiosity. They were amazed how hard the Old Man rocked and had a real blast. Similar at Hyde Park London.

At 5/01/2016 04:20:00 AM, OpenID flyingscotzman said...

Growl: I have to disagree in part about Hyde Park, if you are talking about 2014. I agree that many of the audience came to see other bands, but when Neil came on, it was basically just a sea of people chattering for much of the first half. I mean, you can hear it on the recordings. I was only a few rows from the front, and I had to wonder where all the Neil fans were, considering this was one of only two UK shows. It felt like Neil was the opening act, rather than the main attraction.

The London 02 show this year is also one of the slowest selling UK arena shows Neil has done in many years. There were still excellent tickets available when I checked last month, months after tickets went on sale. Compare that to Crazy Horse in 2013 at the same venue, where the majority of good tickets sold in a matter of minutes, despite there being a lot more UK shows on that tour to choose from.


At 5/01/2016 04:32:00 AM, OpenID flyingscotzman said...

Contrary to conventional wisdom, most of Neil's best guitar playing is actually relatively succinct. Neil has done the occasional near-30 minute version of Down By The River that fullly sustains its length (Rock Am Ring 2002 springs to mind - an excellent version), but generally speaking, anything over 15 minutes quickly starts to become a noodle-fest/snooze-fest. But yes, there are exceptions.

There are many elements that contribute towards a great Neil show. Impeccable pacing is definitely one of them. The best shows are the ones that build up to something, reach a climax, rather than start great and slowly build down from there. Look at 1991. Those shows were incredibly intense from start to finish, and yet Neil still found a way to save the best performance (Like A Hurricane) until last.


At 5/01/2016 10:03:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

I think some of the folks who dominate the board of late are way too in their heads and not feeling the music ... chill and zone in its really an awesome trip ... Neil is 70 and rockin, his cannon grows by the year, the live shows are epic, almost all of his former bandmates have died, burned out or faded away, yet he's fresh and rockin w new abandon ... I read and re-read some of the posts here and I'm not sure if they're backhanded compliments to Neil or straight outright epic disses, the old trolls were easier to spot, the new ones seem to weave in a compliment or two before ripping in to everything that might not be perfectly to their personal satisfaction ... its a free country with free speech, just kind of a buzz kill to have to read someone's personal misery (or bad temperament or what ever) oozing out of every third or fourth comment on the board ... ok. sorry to get negative, free country, had to get that off my chest ... just it used to be the highlight of my day to check into TW, now its painful to unpleasant to read through many threads ... all that said, wow, the death of Prince (RIP Prince) reminded me how good we have it as Neil fans ... can't wait to get to one of these live shows and looking forward to the new album!!

At 5/01/2016 11:16:00 AM, OpenID flyingscotzman said...

Dan1: please read back through the comments here and decide for yourself who is making meaningful (if sometimes controversial) comments and who is encouraging argument, looking for a fight. Who is expressing themselves in a honest, clear way and who is trying to manufacture dissent where there is none. As usual, perhaps the result will surprise you.

Say what you like about any of the comments on this page, but I don't believe any us have ever accused anyone of living in "personal misery" or "oozing bad temperament". In handing out this childish, cowardly level of personal insult, you stand quite alone.

Instead, some of us realise we can make honest, balanced observations without living in constant fear of reprisal or disagreement. History shows that Neil himself has shown strong preference for these type of strong opinions over the years. His close friendship to people like David Briggs, Poncho Sampedro, Elliot Mazer, Niko Bolas, Steve Stills, Joel Bernstein etc is adequate testament to this. Make no mistake: these are people who have very strong (sometimes volatile!) opinions. Briggs even had the cheek to tell Young his performance at Bobfest "wasn't usable". I would disagree with that, personally. But was he someone "living in personal misery", or simply someone with a passionate opinion? I think the answer is obvious.

"Almost all his former bandmates have died, burned out or faded away". ?!?!?!. Ralph, Billy, Poncho, Chad, Stills, Crosby, Nash, Booker T, Steve Cropper, Anthony Crawford, Nils Lofgren etc etc etc may have something to say about that. You seem to be talking nonsense in the hope that nobody will call you out on it. I don't need to remind you we Scots have a notoriously bad temper. Sah beat et!

And to be clear: a "troll" isn't someone who just disagress with your own opinion.


At 5/01/2016 11:27:00 AM, OpenID flyingscotzman said...


Rant continues.


...what exactly is "painful to read" up until this point on this thread? You are talking sheer nonsense. I think most of us can accept and happily engage with strong opinions that differ from our own. But I'm afraid I have little tolerance for people looking to take offence in ever nook and cranny, actively seeking it out. And If you are simply looking for the "feel good factor" then it's fair to say Neil's music is probably not right for you. Unless you think Monsanto is some kind of novelty balloon factory.

All the best.


At 5/01/2016 12:04:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

seriously guys. love the passion, but really now?

We're focused on Neil Young + Promise of the Real headlining the Jazz & Heritage festival in New Orleans, LA, this evening on May Day. That would be May 1, 2016.

Spring time. plant that bell and let it ring

At 5/01/2016 12:12:00 PM, OpenID flyingscotzman said...

...Reserve the right to defend my own stance when it comes under attack. Hopefully I come across as pretty polite and respectful, if somewhat opinionated, up until that point..

What little I've heard of this year's tour sounds promising so far (I've mentioned this on other threads, though Dan1 will of course ignore that), and I'm lookng forward to hearing reports on tonight's show. Will be interesting to see if they open with an electric song or revert to the acoustic format.


At 5/01/2016 02:17:00 PM, OpenID Ed said...

I can relate to what Scotsman's saying re: the mega length jams that Neil sometimes puts out. Even with Crazy Horse, performances that exceed 15 minutes can lose their momentum at one point or another. Of course, that can happen with a 7 minute or 10 minute long jam too. Don't get me wrong, a 20 minute long Cortez the Killer is great...but a 10 minute long one is usually better (imho). Of course, when you're at a show, time isn't something you are typically paying attention to..and isn't a very dependable marker

At 5/01/2016 02:40:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

Is 30-plus minutes of DBTR too much? Judge for yourselves:

At 5/01/2016 02:44:00 PM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

The funniest comment ever here....

'I think some of the folks who dominate the board of late are way too in their heads and not feeling the music ... chill and zone in its really an awesome trip'

Glad to see we have a sense of humour.

We all have our own views as long as they are polite there's no problems.

At 5/01/2016 02:48:00 PM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5/01/2016 02:55:00 PM, Blogger Dan1 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5/01/2016 03:18:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Thanks for posting Babbo--last time I checked there weren't any videos posted.

Ok, I love Neil and really like the POTR, but I have to post my initial observations:

The first 5 minutes is basically unwatchable/unlistenable. It just sounds like that dissonant noise he "recently" became fond of with Crazy Horse to ridiculously extend songs. I just paused the video as DBTR seemed to be starting...

Not to be too negative, I've loved most of Neil's recent shows with POTR from what I've seen and heard. They're pretty much smokin' it!

Take my advice
Don't listen to me

At 5/01/2016 03:23:00 PM, Blogger Dan1 said...

Andy, regarding the question you asked about Luke and his chops, I see he's hanging out playing w Bob Weir too, I'm not up on POTR and Luke away from their work with Neil but the association w both Neil and Weir simultaneously impresses me and says he's legit ...

At 5/01/2016 03:28:00 PM, OpenID flyingscotzman said...

Dan1: not quite sure how describing what the crowd was like makes me "miserable" at a concert. Are you suggesting if people around me are talking and acting disinterested, then that is actually my fault? You've completely lost me again, I'm afraid.

I'm glad you have deleted your post, because in fact it was complete gibberish. I'd do the same with your latest one as well, if I were you, as if anything it is even more nonsensical.

Right, I'm off to have a haggis and play my bag-pipes.


At 5/01/2016 05:44:00 PM, OpenID flyingscotzman said...

I lied.

I didn't actually go and play my bag-pipes, instead I sat down and watched that entire 30-minute version of Down By The River.

It's the best thing I've seen by POTR so far. The band remain frustratingly inconsistent, but at least they are giving Neil some room to play on this occasion. And the "guitar hero" theatrics are a bit naff, to be honest. But overall, the musicianship from the whole band was pretty good, and Neil sounded committed and played well (his playing starts okay but suddenly steps up a gear about 10-15 minutes in). It has the spook, which to (mis)quote Jimmy McDonough, is "more than enough in 2016". The video added to my enjoyment, capturing a smoky darkness that matches the song perfectly.

And, above all, the performance emotionally moved me. Which, for the sensibly ones among us, is the whole point.


At 5/01/2016 06:41:00 PM, Blogger growl said...

This is depressing. I used to be fun. Think I will go and play my bagpipes.

At 5/01/2016 06:42:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

I'll echo most of Scotsman's sentiments regarding DBTR.

Right around the 9:00 minute mark is when it started to get my real attention. It built and waned and built again and you can tell Neil is "feeling in the moment" and through the moments. I also thought it was a fairly strong vocal performance, and for an extended jam, it seemed to keep the attention of the crowd for the most part.

For Jazz Fest and the other upcoming shows, personally I'd like to see the acoustic prelude included. I feel it gives a great sense of Neil's overall artistic ability to move people emotionally through a variety of styles. As we know, there are many sides to Neil (and his fans), thus accounting for some of the energetic discussion here.

Take my advice
Don't listen to me

At 5/01/2016 06:45:00 PM, Blogger Old Neg said...

The show I just saw in New Braunfels blew away the Crazy Horse Alchemy tour and I loved that tour, although not my favorite Crazy Horse tour by a long shot. fuckin up and walk like a giant just don't hold up to what I saw in New Braunfels. Singer without a Song. What was that? Neil is clearly more inspired on this tour. Doesn't bode well for the future of Crazy Horse but it does bode well for Europe this summer! Enjoy

At 5/01/2016 06:49:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

Per Twitter/Instagram, Jazz Fest opened with a long Fuckin' Up, followed by 22-minute Cortez, 11-minute Country Home, possibly Seed Justice, Monsanto Years, epic LAOL and encore of RITFW/Powderfinger.

At 5/01/2016 07:03:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

Fair amount of negative feedback about the extended jams, though the more hard-core crowd seemed to dig it.

At 5/02/2016 12:21:00 AM, Blogger Old Neg said...

This band is on fire. It's gonna be a sweet summer. Crazy Horse never stretched out like this in 2012. And they're just getting warmed up! Looking forward to the retread record with nature noises too! Here's hoping they bring it back to the USA in the fall.


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