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Friday, April 15, 2016

BIG TOUR UPDATES: Neil Young & Promise Of The Real 2016 Concerts

Neil Young & Promise Of The Real - 2015
Photo by Jay Blakesberg
(Click photo to enlarge)

Here are a couple of tour updates for Neil Young & Promise Of The Real concerts in Spring & Summer 2016.

Neil Young & Promise Of The Real will headline this year's Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), as the Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary, on July 12.

Also, the L.A. Times reports that Goldenvoice, the organizer behind Coachella, has booked the Empire Polo Field grounds in Indio, CA from October 7-9 for a "mega-concert" that will feature the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, the Who, and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd.

According to the Times, the formalized plans are "nearing completion." The tentative schedule has Dylan and the Stones playing back-to-back on Oct. 7; Neil Young and his band Promise of the Real followed by McCartney on Oct. 8; and the Who and Waters on the 9th.

"It's so special in so many ways," Young's manager, Elliot Roberts, told the Times, "because you won't get a chance to see a bill like this, perhaps ever again. It's a show I look forward to more than any show in a long time."

Neil Young & Promise Of The Real - 2016

April 26 - New Braunfels, TX, Whitewater Amphitheatre
April 28 - Nashville, TX, Ascend Amphiteater
April 29 - Memphis,TN, Beale Street Music Festival
May 1 - New Orleans, LA - Jazz & Heritage festival

June 5 - UK, Glasgow, The SSE Hydro

June 7- UK, Belfast, SSE Arena
June 8 - Ireland, Dublin, 3Arena
June 10 - UK, Leeds, First Direct Arena
June 11 - UK, London, The O2 Arena
June 13 - France, Lille, Zenith Arena
June 15 - France, Lyon, Halle Tony Garnier
June 16 - France, Marseille, Le Dome
June 18 - Spain, Madrid, Mad Cool Festival

June 20 - Spain, Barcelona, El Poble Espanyol
June 21- France, Toulouse, Le Zenith
June 23 - France, Paris, AccorHotels Arena
June 24 - Belgium, Antwerp, Sport Palais
July 1- Denmark, Roskilde, Roskilde Festival
July 3 - Finland, Helsinki, Hartwall Arena
July 5 - Sweden, Rattvik, Dalhalla
July 7 - Norway, Larvik, Stavernfestivalen
July 9 - Netherlands, Amsterdam, Ziggo Dome
July 12 - Montreux Jazz Festival, Auditorium Stravinski, Montreux, Switzerland
July 13 - Italy, Piazzola, Anfiteatro Camerin
July 15 - Italy, Rome, Bath of Caracalla
July 16 - Italy, Lucca, Lucca Summer Festival - Piazza Napoleone
July 18 - Italy, Milan, Estathé Market Sound
July 20 - Germany, Leipzig, Völkerschlachtdenkmal Open Air
July 21 - Germany, Berlin, Waldbuhne 21
July 23 - Austria, Linz, Castle Clam

More on Europe 2016 Tour Dates for Neil Young & Promise Of The Real.

Labels: , ,


At 4/17/2016 12:45:00 AM, Blogger MoeTheSleaze said...

Here's an update from Neil on his new EARTH album courtesy of the PONO forums:

I have been listening to my new album EARTH on Audeze earphones in PONO balanced mode. The sound is amazing and i feel the music the way I love to. It is just like being in the studio but no one can hear it but me as I sit in front of the fireplace. 98 uninterrupted minutes long, EARTH flows as a collection of 13 songs from throughout my life, songs i have written about living here on our planet together. Our animal kingdom is well represented in the audience as well and the animals, insects, birds and mammals actually take over the performances of the songs at times. My listening experience in balanced mode reveals the great depth of EARTH as it was performed live with Promise of the Real. We are preparing to offer earphones and buds for listening to EARTH and your life long favorites in PONO balanced mode. These amazing products will be available in our Pono store, separately or in sets with our incredibly satisfying PonoPlayers soon. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do. PONO is alive and well, growing at the pace it needs to grow to maintain the quality you deserve. England, you are next.

Thanks for listening!


At 4/17/2016 04:03:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Get my pillow - still plenty of seats for the 02

At 4/17/2016 04:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Animals taking over the instruments! Can Neil possibly have recorded a live album as exciting as that description? Hopefully we shall soon find out.

Re: Pono. I know Neil is very sincere and all that. But he's in denial about it. He's dug himself into such a deep hole these last few years that it's now impossible to dig himself out.

Make no mistake: the Pono business has been showing cracks ever since day one, and it's only a matter of time until the whole thing collapses. And I'm sad to say that I think that will be a good thing, because it's done absolutely nothing to improve the musical experience in the way that was promised. If it was actually an improvement (even just a worthwhile placebo) then I would be the first to rave about it.

But in fact it's done a lot of harm. It's turned music fans into sound quality perfectionists, listening for differences that aren't there. Comparable to a movie fan who stares at the screen so intently that he misses the film entirely.

When Neil was asked about whether the very lo-fi album A Letter Home would sound better on Pono, his reply was along the lines of "it's such a good album that it sounds great whatever you play it on". That's an intelligent reply. A shame, then, that he doesn't seem to realise the same applies to all his other albums, as well.


At 4/17/2016 10:15:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

Scotsman, are you a musician?
I'm just a music lover so can't comment from that perspective and I haven't done a ton of research on Pono and hi res. But find it curious that you've been so adamant for so long about this subject and its you on one side of the argument and basically almost all the great musicians on the other side ... Neil put out a video once and it was a long list of whose who of musicians that we all love and admire and they all were pretty clear they HEAR and FEEL a difference with hi-res ... perhaps you're stuck on the science and maybe the science is with you, I don't know ... my sense is that science is limited, science once thought the world was flat ... i put my money on Neil and the musicians ... music is spiritual and its about deep feeling ... science probably needs to catch up with what Neil and his cohort of great musicians already feel ... seeing you on the blog for a while I know you're extremely opinionated and I admire your passion and conviction, if not hardheadedness, but when I view this debate I can't help but wonder how all these lifelong savant musicians can be so wrong on this ...

At 4/17/2016 11:18:00 AM, Blogger John said...

I'm a musician and a scientist, my gut feeling is that when Neil Young asks you to be in his ad for his new toy, you'll obviously hear things that aren't necessarily there. Take people out of their listening rooms, the hifi shop or Neil's Lincoln with built in Pono and run a double blind study and you find that hi-res audio starts to sound less startling than expected.

I love how everyone here is on science's side when it supports their viewpoint (global warming is real) but not when it goes against their opinions (hi-res audio is likely bunk and GMOs aren't actually bad).

At 4/17/2016 11:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dan,

How can so many musicians be wrong? They all knew in advance which was the Pono version and which was the lower-resolution. And so they heard what Neil wanted them to hear. At first this sounds like too simple an explanation, but of course, it tallies with our own experience. If Neil invited us to go for a drive and listen to some music in his car, we'd all probably be raving about the experience, too! I bet even an mp3 would sound amazing if he said it was.

If you don't believe me, then consider that Neil himself has claimed those early demonstrations of Pono were "jury-rigged" (his words, not mine). He adjusted the volume in between demo-ing different resolutions, which of course dramatically affected the sound. You can try this yourself: play Weld quietly, then after a few minutes, crank the volume a few notches. Of course the louder version sounds more impressive (or at least, very different), and it's got nothing to do with resolution.

Bottom line - those musician testimonials were heavily edited into a short advertising video solely designed to sell Pono players. Of course, there is another side to the story.


At 4/17/2016 11:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


John beat me to it.


I'm looking forward to the person coming on here and angrily saying "if you can't hear the difference you are mentally damaged and need to be shot" or something equally nasty. There's always one.


At 4/17/2016 11:35:00 AM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Okay, focusing on Neil's comments about the new album "Earth" he says it's 13 songs "from throughout his life about Living here on our planet together." Of course I'm not going to take anything Neil says too literally, but based on the live POTR tour, I've "narrowed" the potential song options to these 30:

Wolf Moon
People Want to Hear About Love
Mother Earth
Comes a Time
After the Goldrush
Everybody Knows This is Nowhere
Harvest Moon
Field of Opportunity
Country Home
Are You Ready For the Country?
Rockin' In the Free World
Who's Gonna Stand Up?
Here We Are in the Years
Goin' Back
Ambulance Blues
Cortez the Killer
Monsanto Years
Unknown Legend
Long May You Run
Down by the River
From Hank to Hendrix
Field of Opportunity
Human Highway
One of These Days
Mansion on the Hill

Based on many factors, narrowing it down to 13 is tough, but I'll predict:

Mother Earth
Harvest Moon
Human Highway
Wolf Moon
After the Goldrush
Goin' Back
Here We Are in the Years
Who's Gonna Stand Up?
Comes a Time
Rockin' in the Free World

Based on Neil's description, I'm afraid it sounds like a complete mess, but one never knows!

My next post will include some thoughts about Pono and a few of the upcoming tour dates including the Mega-Concert.

Take my advice
Don't listen to me

At 4/17/2016 01:45:00 PM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

Mega hype mega gig...don't we ever learn these are a nonsense. I saw Dave & Phil Alvin plus the Guilty Men Friday night they blow Neil & POTR away.

Anybody heard Nash's new record for a divorce it's not bad and I never thought I'd say this but it's much better Storytone.

At 4/17/2016 02:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stand with Dan1

I am excited to have the new record

It may be my most favorite or my least, but I am glad to have it

Once again we have the phenom of alleged NY fans who read his mind, judge his motives, and pronounce pompously from on high.

Some folks are determined to be disappointed.

Why not say thank-you Neil and enjoy?

At 4/17/2016 05:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keith Burris: You are yet again trying to misrepresent moderate opinions as extreme ones, creating drama where there is none. Though admittedly "pompous pronouncer" is a step up from "truly perverse".


At 4/17/2016 06:49:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Hey Keith, if you're talking about my comments, I don't think I was being too preachy or negative, but thanks for your thoughts. Your comment was a little unclear, as Dan1 didn't mention anything about the new record, etc..

I was attempting to convey a sense of anticipation for the album by trying to guess the track listing based on Neil's somewhat cryptic comments. I come from the school of thought where analysis and scrutiny are welcomed, and I enjoy a good discussion leading up to a new Neil release.

Of course no one can really predict anything Neil will do as he's always twisting, turning and searching. I remain open to the new "Earth" album and will as always listen with an open mind. As I said, "one never knows" about how the new album will sound.

Do you have any thoughts at all about what songs the new album may contain or what Neil is trying to say about it in his comments, or do you have no interest in anticipatory observations?

Take my Advice
Don't listen to me

At 4/17/2016 10:27:00 PM, Blogger mark said...

>> I saw Dave & Phil Alvin plus the Guilty Men Friday night
... great ..... but were they actually guilty ?
>> ..... interest in anticipatory observations?
..... observations ?
....i'm already observing anticipation building in my head for 3 days of peace & music in the desert.
.... so how far is Joshua Tree from the Empire Polo Grounds ?

........... welcome back, Thrasher

At 4/17/2016 10:37:00 PM, Blogger Dan1 said...

Thanks for your perspective. I just deleted my whole rant on climate change because it won't convince anyone. But suffice it to say I don't believe science has proven climate change (so I'm not inconsistent here) ... and I do think science is limited and often hijacked (results are what the sponsor wanted them to be, look at our tobacco and pharmaceutical studies .. ) ... science will argue against the existence of G-d however people who knew Einstein said in the end he was pretty convinced ... w/ respect to the other comment I'm not sure a guy like Sting or Springstein will be so swayed by Neil, you and Scottsman, maybe, me perhaps, Sting and 20 others of that ilk, not so sure ...

At 4/17/2016 11:01:00 PM, Blogger Dan1 said...

btw - re: climate change, not saying we shouldn't protect the planet, we should but saying climate change is a theory, the religion that its become seeks to insist its a fact and it aint

At 4/18/2016 04:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The odd thing about Pono is that those who are so sure they can hear a big difference seem to be those most reluctant to give a blind test as part of a scientific study a go. You could be a great advertisement for the brand! But alas, despite extensive research, scientists haven't found anybody who can demonstrate they can hear a difference. If the improvement is so pronounced, why is this the case?

Do I think the musicians in the video are deliberately misleading people? No. But they all claim that there is this huge, dramatic improvement. It's clear to most of us now, I think, that this is not the case. Even big proponents of Hi-res audio claim that the improvements are subtle at best. And therefore the over-the-top observations in that promotional video can't be considered remotely credible.

Of course, one notable absence from the video is Bob Dylan, who specifically requested his last album be released in standard 44.1, not 24/192.


At 4/18/2016 05:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Certain musicians who appeared on the Pono promotional video have since begun to have regrets about their over-enthusiastic endorsements.

Also, (perhaps not coincidentally), some of the artist interviews have been subtly removed from the most recent edits of the official Pono video. Among them, Bruce Springsteen and Sting.


At 4/18/2016 06:32:00 AM, Blogger Bazzzzzzza said...

When Neil 1st came into my musical life it was with Freedom and i sure as hell didn't listen to Freedom on PONO in 1990... it was on a Philips gheto blaster tape deck. That wee system sure done the job of translating the sounds , words , feelings that i needed to hear and fall in love with. The time the place my age it all worked.

The tool to play music is just that, a tool. It does not improve the quality of the music nor your core appreciation or feeling of enjoyment from listening to the music.

if the music is pure tosh then it matters not a jot what you are using to listen to it.

I am with Scotsman on this one, the whole PONO stuff has left me feeling cold. My opinion, not right nor wrong but my view.

If EARTH is any good... (and i suspect we are going to be split on this one) ... i would hope that it sounds good and captures the core of a Neil record regardless of the tool i need to use to listen...

lets be clear ... i am not going to be sitting in a vacuum sealed chamber with Pono plugged up and big bucks headphones on to listen to a centipede crawl over big blacks strings and hear Neil deliver schoolboy cliched lines about the EARTH over the top... i can listen to that tosh just fine using an iPhone, bluetooth and Sonos.

you can gold plate a turd folks, but poke your finger through the shiny bit and it its still brown and sticky underneath.

Hopefully its solid gold.... always hope that it is. In that case it will still shine through on Sonos. I think that's the just how 99.99% of us roll.

No-one under 30 gives a rats ass about Pono or cables or separates systems etc etc.... the world has gone mobile, has gone wireless, has gone to ease of use... has gone to making things simpler, not more complicated and that is the world everyone under 30 lives in.

move with the times or you get left behind... :-)

At 4/18/2016 09:37:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

Scottsman, if its science and all the musicians vs. Neil then indeed I side with them … Neil is a dreamer and we've all gone into the ditch a time or two following Neil on certain technologies (BlueRay?) …. I for one have no problem with that, anyone following Neil on this stuff should do their homework and realize he's often pushing on the bleeding edge … Last i checked I saw that whole list of musicians siding with Neil but if they're now all recanting you'd have a point, and if so kudos for your conviction.

At 4/18/2016 12:54:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

I've never posted about Pono as it was fairly obvious from the beginning that Neil's concept/explanations were always changing. I think initially he made it appear as if it was a completely new technology, and then he shifted the focus to saying it's all about getting the analogue masters and record company involvement, then it was about Pono certification, etc..etc...etc...

That being said, I believe Neil meant well and does believe in the product. I've heard from several people who rave about Pono and I'm glad they enjoy it. Some of those people hate "Time Fades Away" so it's all a matter of taste regardless.

Science doesn't belong in music. Music isn't about bits & bytes, it's about feeling. If you feel it, you feel it; if you hear it, you hear it. Try to scientifically explain why you like a song or the way it sounds. You will either fail or will start losing the joy you initially had in hearing it.

As Barry alluded to, sound doesn't matter, music matters. It's a disposable, instant, mobile, streaming society. If the music's good, it will sound good and bring us joy, regardless of the format.

In its current incarnation, Pono has extremely limited appeal and will likely soon fade away. It will however be remembered and ultimately collected as one of Neil's quirky somewhat noble projects.

Take my advice
Don't listen to me

At 4/18/2016 01:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Topanga: I do agree with you in part. On one hand, appreciation of music and science don't go together. On the other, without science, you wouldn't even have a pair of speakers to listen to your music on. When we talk about 24bit/192khz, we are clearly talking about a very scientific/mathematical concept, not a creative one. In the same way that "music" and "business" aren't the most comfortable of bedfellows, but both are essential to the success of the other.

I do feel that those of us who are good at music are probably less able at music tech, which is part of the problem. What is an endearing quality in Neil when it comes to creativity is less of an advantage in music tech and business. As Bob Lefsetz says, it's very hard to be world class at even one thing.

Regardless, my point about Pono remains unchallenged. People hear what they hear, but there is no evidence that hi-resolution audio is reponsible for any perceived benefit in the experience. The project is redeemed by Neil's sincerity, but my sympathy will begin to fade if he continues to bury his head in the sand.

I do feel people are gradually coming around to this, however. Certainly there's been a shift recently from "how dare you be so critical" to "hmm, well...".


At 4/18/2016 03:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, just because I think hi-res audio/Pono is about as useful as a chocolate teapot, doesn't mean I think Neil has gone completely round the bend. He's got a very real point when he says there are problems with music nowadays. It's become cheap and disposable, a side-show. As Bob Dylan succinctly said, "it has no stature to it".

Unfortunately, Neil equates this decline in overall experience with a decline in audio resolution, and that's where he goes completely wrong, misses the point entirely. A fixation on sound quality perfection doesn't benefit anybody. Especially when hi-res audio doesn't actually improve the very thing it's designed to: sound quality!

So Neil has intelligently picked up on the problem but fatally misinterpreted it, comparable to a surgeon cutting out the wrong organ.

A more "righteous" way to surpass these problems is to actually get down to business and write some good songs, songs that are vital and timeless and can't be ignored; create a quality work and it will transcend the format with ease. The alternative is to continue blaming it all on this imaginary decline in sound quality, whilst releasing a succession of lazily produced, half-baked albums. Your choice, artists.


At 4/18/2016 08:54:00 PM, Blogger Dan1 said...


Given that you've managed to diagnose the problem so clearly, while Neil has gone so "completely wrong", please grace us further with your impressive talents and write these so called "good songs, songs that are vital and timeless and can't be ignored ..." that you advocate as the solution to this problem ... clearly Neil doesn't get it but you do ... uh, last I checked Neil's been writing timeless songs for almost 50 years and continues to do so ... but hey, since he's so off track in Scotsman's world why not extend your talents here and help us out and show us some of these good songs. Given your that your insight into music and sound quality surpasses that of all the musical greats of our time and you're insistent that our hero deliver songs that you deem as "vital and timeless" why not go the next step and do it for him :)

Peace and Love,

At 4/18/2016 10:32:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Scotsman, I appreciate your critical analysis and largely agree with you. We could all debate endlessly about music vs. sound vs. science and we'd all be right and wrong. I think Heisenberg's uncertainty principle comes into play to some extent. I feel the blind tests aren't 100% valid, but at the same time agree that if there was an extreme difference in sound quality, more people would instantly recognize it. For example, there's a striking difference when comparing standard tv to high def tv. Audio experiments are a little trickier to me as we generally start "listening" differently with our minds and ears, and ignore our other senses, especially our hearts. I am a scientific believer, but...

Dan1: I think Scotsman would be the first to admit that Neil is most likely a better writer and player than he is :)
Scots is just voicing a mild frustration with Neil's "recent" approach to writing and recording, and I tend to agree with him. I understand we're not really in a position to teach or preach to Neil about anything musically. We're just fans who have certain expectations (realistic or not), and it disappoints us when we feel Neil is at once trying too hard and not trying hard enough (if that makes sense).

Anyway, we're all fans to varying degrees and I hope we can continue listening to new music from Neil for a long time while remaining open to dissenting views and voices.

Take my advice
Don't listen to me

At 4/19/2016 03:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dan,

I actually said that specifically he'd gone "completely wrong" in deciding that the problem with the musical experience today was one of audio resolution. I made this very, very clear. So clear, in fact, that a child could understand it.

Of course, this makes no commentary on his writing ability, and I assumed you would have the intelligence to work that out. Of course, I'm not suddenly claiming that Le Noise or Fork In The Road are up there with Sleeps With Angels or Greendale. What else is new?

Also as usual is the relentess focus on the critical side of my post at the expense of the overall perspective. I think the thrust of my post, that Neil makes more of a difference by writing great music than obsessing over audio quality, is an undeniably strong one, and most would agree with me.

So please actually think before writing in future, there is only so much more nonsense I can tolerate. We Scots are notoriously bad tempered.


At 4/19/2016 12:48:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

@Barry Cameron - that was one of the funniest things I've read in a long long time.....thank you!!! You even get a pass for calling 'Old Black' 'Big Black'....

At 7/07/2016 10:45:00 AM, Blogger ORL-Fixation said...

Hey fellow Wheaties!

For those following Neil & co. on this tour, how early before do you recommend to be there so I can secure a front-row spot?

See you in Amsterdam!

At 8/27/2016 02:26:00 AM, Blogger the rider said...

Let's see, I can think of quite a few great Neil Young songs from the last five year period of Neil's recording career. For some reason, Goin' Back sounds amazing on the Blu Ray version of Human Highway. I never heard it sound that good before.

So here's my list.

Walk With Me
You Never Call
Peaceful Valley Boulevard
Angry World
Driftin' Back
Psychedelic Pill
Walk Like A Giant
Plastic Flowers
Wolf Moon
Rules Of Change
The Monsanto Years


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Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


Show Me A Sign

"Who is John Galt?"
To ask the question is to know the answer

"Whosoever shall give up his liberty for a temporary security
deserves neither liberty nor safety."

~~ Benjamin Franklin


(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul

the zen of neil
the power of rust
the karma of the wheat