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Monday, May 02, 2016

VIDEO: "Revolution Blues" - Neil Young & the Promise of the Real, New Braunfels, TX, April 26, 2016

Here's the most requested video of recent here on TW: "Revolution Blues" by Neil Young & the Promise of the Real in concert for tour opener at New Braunfels, TX, Whitewater Amphitheatre, April 26, 2016.

This is the 1st performance of "Revolution Blues" in almost 30 years. The last performance of "Revolution Blues" was on 1987-08-18, Poplar Creek Music Theater, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, USA ( per Sugar Mountain).

Note lyrics update: now "27 rifles" are needed -- up from original 25. Make of that what you will..

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At 5/02/2016 06:40:00 PM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

CSN didn't want to perform this song because of the Manson links? At 5 minutes more powerful than half an hour of LAOL. 42 years old this song and much like all his 70s music essential.

At 5/02/2016 08:34:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Such a great song and performance. In my opinion, "Revolution Blues" is easily one of the 10 best songs Neil ever wrote. It's one of the few that to me seems like it could have been written by Dylan...

And yes, to me it's more powerful than a 30 minute LAOL, but clearly it's really subjective. I can appreciate the extended jamming on the "guitar songs" but at this stage of my life, I really appreciate Neil's more concise lyrical songs and performances.

"I hope you get the connection
cause I can't take the rejection"

so please,

"Take my advice
don't listen to me"

At 5/03/2016 05:31:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

This is the first time I've made a post here, but I feel that after watching that video, I should.

I just want to say that this is a cool site, and I love the fact that Neil plays THAT kind of version of THAT song, and you are quick to provide a chance for all of us to see and hear it.

A true special moment indeed, great to see Neil keep bringing out these cool chestnuts.

At 5/03/2016 05:41:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

What could be next on the breakout agenda? On The Beach? Motion Pictures? Yonder Stands The Sinner?

At 5/03/2016 06:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't heard a performance from this tour that I don't like so far.

POTR have improved immeasurably since last year. I hope they keep it up for the European tour. And it's all about what they are NOT playing. Lukas, who was interjecting blues-rock guitar riffs into just about everything last year, is now showing some classy restraint. The music as a whole has started to take precedence over his natural desire to prove himself, and to me that is a great development.

When Neil is playing a beautiful guitar solo, Lukas now tends to pulls back, sticks to playing some sparse chords. It sounds so much better, and if you haven't noticed how much better Neil is playing in response, then you simply haven't been paying attention.

Go and listen to Powderfinger from New Orleans on youtube. It sounds fantastic. No over-the-top guitar playing from Lukas, no distracting "guitar hero" posturing. Just a solid, sympathetic backing to Neil, giving him all the limelight. And of course, pushed to the forefront, Neil rises to the occasion. He always does, given the chance.

...THIS is why we go to see Neil Young!

I've been fairly critical of electric POTR over the last few months, but I can't find anything to fault in these recent performances. I must tip my hat to them.

Last July they sounded like a Neil Young cover band (PROMISE OF THE REAL with neil young in small letters). This year it predominantly sounds like Neil Young (NEIL YOUNG!) again, backed by a talented group with the good taste to take a step back into the shadows and let their band leader really shine. He's the man we've paid to see, after all. And it sounds just as great as you would imagine.


At 5/03/2016 06:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Link to the New Orleans Powderfinger video that I talk about above:


At 5/03/2016 11:09:00 AM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Scots, I'm glad you've come around, or as you'd put it, that POTR has :)
I thought the tour last year was great, both for the playing and the varied styles and song selections, and it's continuing to evolve this tour.

The POTR really sparks Neil creatively and I hope they continue to do so. I'm slightly concerned with the most recent abbreviated set-lists and hope they're just festival one-off performances.

Thanks for sharing the link to Powderfinger--I'd never have found it due to the wrong title. Neil and the band were spot on. Eight minutes of lyrical and melodic guitar bliss with Neil in fine voice.

Lookout Mama indeed...

Take my advice
don't listen to me

At 5/03/2016 11:35:00 AM, Blogger TomCrac said...

Boy, That's a lot of words for someone with a mouth full of crow. Glad to hear that the Neil Young cover band has come around to your liking. :)

At 5/03/2016 11:39:00 AM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

And for those who'd like to see a Neil Young and Paul McCartney double bill in October, it looks like it's official.

A one-day GA pass can be had for a mere $199.00!!

Take my advice
don't listen to me

At 5/03/2016 11:48:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

You hit it on the head Scotsman. I wonder if Neil said something or they figured it out on their own? Neil's usually not shy. Wonder what took them so long? Thanks for the link. Wish Neil would put out more live shows on video. Thank God for YouTube though. Have fun this summer Europe!

At 5/03/2016 12:14:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Last years shows were great and the set lists even more so, but listen to what Scotsman is saying. Lucas was stepping all over Neil's solos. It was like one big guitar band. You'll see the difference this summer. Or hell, you can see it right now. Revolution Blues was played to perfection and Neil smoked it!

At 5/03/2016 12:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Topanga: I do think it's a clear case of POTR adapting, rather than me. Go back and watch that version of Down By The River from last year you played me a little while ago. Almost all the instrumentals are led by Lukas, and even when Neil is playing lead, Lukas is still noodling around in the background, muddying the sound and preventing the guitar playing from ever really taking off. The sound on the video from last year's Farm Aid is even more bloated and unremarkable.

Compare that to the most recent Down By The River. Lukas still sounds good and finds a way to make his lead guitar skills known from time to time, but for much of the time, Neil's guitar is clearly dominant and uninterrupted. In fact, for the first 5 minutes of DBTR, Lukas barely plays a note.

Not an easy thing to do in front of a large audience: the tendancy is often to noodle around, fill up space, feel like you are doing something. In 2006, Bob Dylan actually ejected one of his backing musicians from the stage for this kind of over-playing. He just bluntly instructed the poor guy (a hugely talented guitarist) to "stop playing", mid-song. It sounds harsh, but being able to stand in front of a large audience and be completely comfortable not playing a single note is a true sign of musical maturity.

On these recent versions of Revolution Blues and Powderfinger, Neil is particularly dominant: he takes ALL the solos. This is the ideal scenario for most of us. As Neil accredits Briggs with saying (in Waging Heavy Peace): "put as much of yourself in the song as possible, as nobody gives a shit about anything else". Crazy Horse remain Neil's most popular backing band for this very reason: they give him all the raw materials to allow his guitar playing to truly soar. So far in 2016 (and, to a lesser extent, the last few shows of 2015), POTR have started working to the same blueprint, and the results have been quite impressive.

Old Neg: Glad you enjoyed the video. Thanks to cameraman and uploader, if you are reading....


At 5/03/2016 01:43:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Scotsman: You make a lot of excellent points. Perhaps Lukas's over playing can be attributed to youthful enthusiasm, and now that he's had time to adjust,, he's able to play with a more delicate touch. This performance of Revolution Blues is a remarkable example of a band honoring the song and respecting the space between the notes.

At 5/03/2016 02:10:00 PM, Blogger Pabst said...

FWIW-- There were a lot of times in NOLA where Lukas stood there, literally with his arms crossed, not playing and watching Neil solo. Same in New Braunfels, but to a slightly lesser degree only because it's easy to stand there when there's another 23 minutes of song still to go. :)

Also, I'd prefer for 10 minute songs instead of 30 minute songs, but since a 20 or 30 minute song isn't really the norm... when it happened in NOLA, it was awesome. If every show was that and every show was the same, I'd be half as enthusiastic. Probably still would have loved it though. I won't lie!

At 5/03/2016 06:11:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

I think most of us agree that when Neil extends songs over 20 minutes the results may vary, teetering between the infamous and brilliant.

The recent versions of "Revolution Blues" and "Powderfinger" shine for many reasons, but I think it's because they're not "jam" songs. They're great songs primarily because they have amazing lyrics with guitar parts played melodically and concisely while roaming around the edges. Incredible stuff!

Thankfully Neil isn't standing still, and I think it's safe to say that we're all looking forward to the next gig, album and inevitable tectonic shift that will come sooner or later...

Take my advice
don't listen to me

At 5/03/2016 06:55:00 PM, Blogger mrtew said...

Very cool! I love how he wrote a song about the factory where they build your computer, (love) long before they had personal computers, let alone people that loved them.

At 5/03/2016 09:47:00 PM, Blogger Alfonz said...

Ha, I am 99% certain that is my big-haired melon bobbing around in the bottom right. Glad to be in this capture! Song was unreal, couldn't believe it when he started playing.

As for the debate on how much the Nelsons (mainly Lukas) play ... I can't comment on earlier shows, I only have the Berkely and New Braunfels shows to go on ... and the whole band is superb to my ears. A perfect mix which is creating stellar performances.

Micah is very restrained and mostly adds stuff in the background which seems in good taste and doesn't detract from the song. People should check out his band Insects v Robots ... they are insanely good.

Lukas is a better guitarist (technically) than Neil. Don't get me wrong, Neil is my favourite guitarist due to feeling/passion, which I rate much higher than being able to play a scale at a million miles an hour. But Lukas can play anything, and I don't mind him showing what he can do. He's probably learning a lot on this tour, despite how good he is. Maybe he has backed it off a bit, I don't know, but it sounds fine at the moment.

Anyway, even if you are against Lukas shredding, it is clear that it is invigorating for Neil to play with someone who he can trade licks with. It would also be nice for the old worn out wrist to have some respite from handing lead/solo duties over during certain songs (which does happen). Neil raved about the first tour, and has got these POTR guys to go around multiple times, which says a lot. Even if the earlier shows sounded too busy for your liking, should be grateful for Lukas and his band for making the old guy play shows like he is young.

At 5/04/2016 08:41:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

Beautifully said!! Couldn't agree more and thanks for the insights on Luke/Micah!


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