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Saturday, June 11, 2016

London, UK Concert: Neil Young + Promise of the Real - June 11, 2016

From blog Every Record Tells A Story:
There are two kinds of live artists: those who play the hits, and those who don’t.

One of my favourite Neil Young stories is about the time Young played a set of completely new, unheard songs to an audience, then told them “here’s one you’ve heard before” only to then dash their hopes of hearing something familiar by repeating one of the new songs he’d just played.

Pure trolling, early seventies-style.
Last night, and indeed throughout this tour with his new band The Promise of the Real, Neil Young has become an artist who plays his back catalogue. The O2 Arena was treated to a beautifully paced set of classic songs, into which were sprinkled a couple of newer songs.

When Neil Young – always one to follow his own path – has a tour where he does play the hits, you have to ask yourself, “why?”

Young has never been afraid of making hard decisions. From quitting Buffalo Springfield to go solo, to ditching Crazy Horse to join Crosby Stills and Nash, to ditching Crosby Stills and Nash to team up with Crazy Horse again, Young has always followed his instincts. So why now?

The answer may lie in the band that is backing him. The Promise of the Real include two of Willie Nelson’s sons, Micah and Lukas plus a formidable rhythm section, all of whom are young enough to have grown up listening to Young’s music. Already a unit, POTR jammed with Young at 2014’s Farm Aid and Young subsequently asked them to back him. They have the energy and enthusiasm of youth and it is suiting the seventy year old Young well.

"Mother Earth"

From Neil Young, 02 Arena, London — ‘Mighty, often mesmerising’ - An epic gig brought together agitprop stage business, heart-sore balladry and sprawling jams | Financial Times by Richard Clayton:
“You start down in the Shire, and by the end, you’re in the crater of Mount Doom.”

So said Micah Nelson last year of Neil Young’s latest, epic touring show. (Together with his brother Lukas, this son of Willie fronts the great man’s backing group, Promise of the Real.) Even if the 70-year-old Canadian is nobody’s idea of a retiring hobbit, the Tolkien analogy isn’t a bad one for a mighty, often mesmerising yarn of a gig that sweeps from heart-sore balladry to whammy-hammering electric guitar jams — with a touch of Manichean panto thrown in.
The riffing becomes truly immersive once Young switches to “Old Black”, his 1953 Les Paul. “Love to Burn” manages to be thunderous and meditative; “Mansion on the Hill” giddily consoling; the rarely heard “Revolution Blues” still menacing and magnificently bitter.

As with the best journeys, it’s not the arriving that counts but the getting there.

"Western Hero"


Neil Young + Promise of the Real will be performing tonight, June 11 in UK, London at The O2 Arena.

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 6/11/2016 04:38:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

Sounds like "If I Could Have Her Tonight" was a little smoother this time.

At 6/11/2016 05:11:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

I thought it sounded pretty smooth last night, but maybe I didn't pay close enough attention..

Take my advice
don't listen to me

At 6/11/2016 05:18:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

Revolution Blues!

At 6/11/2016 05:26:00 PM, Blogger Marshall said...

Can anyone let me know if he's doing posters for the Euro tour or each individual show? Flying out for a couple shows and wondering if poster tube needs to take up precious luggage space.

At 6/11/2016 06:16:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

They mixed it up a bit again:

After the Gold Rush
Heart Of Gold
From Hank to Hendrix
The Needle and the Damage Done
Mother Earth
Out On the Weekend
Hold Back the Tears
Western Hero
If I Could Have Her Tonight
Walk On
Love to Burn
Mansion On the Hill
Seed Justice (I Won’t Quit)
Revolution Blues
Monsanto Years
After the Garden
Love and Only Love
F*!#' Up

At 6/11/2016 08:05:00 PM, Blogger adrianfish said...

Very nice show. Highlights being the band-lite set with Western Hero Hold back the tears and Someday being excellent after a loose opening solo section. Good to see DBTR dropped and it mixed round. A fab full on Rev Blues was a privilege And a far far better If I Could have her
SpOILing times

As an aside and link back to my dreamy Berlin LAOL follow the words below related to the 2 songs

Tomorrow is a long long time /
Where they lock you out and lock you in

Morphs in beautifully
Its all one song as its said

At 6/12/2016 12:42:00 AM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Neil just posted this sad news on Facebook:

Neil Young
5 mins ·

Last night, in Leeds
we learned that Bob Sterne,
our beloved sound guru for the ages,
soundscape architect of Rust and Ragged Glory,
had passed away.
Mark Humphreys, our monitor mixer,
cranked the volume on my guitar and gave me the big sound.
I felt like I died and went to heaven.
He did it just like he was told to do by "SterneBob"

Mark Humphreys, Mr. Mulligan, Mr. Briggs,
and all of us have lost a beacon of light.

Rest in Peace Bob Sterne.

At 6/12/2016 03:59:00 AM, Blogger ANDREW BYROM said...

Wonderful gig. I am claiming Revolution Blues, I was two rows from from and yelled for it, Neil looked over, laughed and started the riff. I could not believe it. Epic gig, thought Love To Burn was epic.

RIP Bob Sterne

At 6/12/2016 06:05:00 AM, OpenID flyingscotzman said...

Re: Neil's comment about "cranking his guitar": does that ring any bells with what I've been banging on about for the last two months? See the guitar solo from When You Dance at Leeds for yet more evidence.

Keep that guitar cranked, Neil.

I'll probably post some more observations about last night's London gig when I've recovered, or at least at some point, but suffice to say I really enjoyed it.

Well done Neil. Well done Lukas Nelson. Well done Promise Of The Real.


At 6/12/2016 06:34:00 AM, OpenID flyingscotzman said...

I seem to remember Bob Sterne popping up more than a few times in Jimmy McDonough's Shakey. Like Briggs, he was one of those guys who for many years slipped under the radar; we don't hear about them until they are gone. Then we realise what an important role they had. Because we notice how different it is without them.

The more of these old guys who pass away, the more of the magic passes away with them. They are an essential part of this music, their blood is in the music, as well as vice versa. It's truly amazing there is as much left of the music as there is, that so much of its power has been kept intact. Neil Young is great, but the soul of his music relies on a lot of other great people, too. People with decades of experience that there simply isn't time to adequately replace when they are gone. So they leave a gaping wound in the side of the sound and the soul.

Shakey is worth a read and multiple re-reads. Finally you get to "meet" all these characters around Young, the important people who make things happen. The people who put Neil into that spotlight and set the stage for magic to occur. It's a delight to experience.

And for the most part, McDonough's observations are razor-sharp. Yes, he tells a story, he introduces his own opinions. But he tells it well. And that is what matters.


At 6/12/2016 08:22:00 AM, Blogger Bobfan2010 said...

First Neil gig but I was really impressed. Nice setlist. I got to hear all the tunes I was hoping for; 'Out on the Weekend', 'Someday', 'I Won't Quit' and 'Revolution Blues'. Sound and vision was really good in the arena. Only negative was having to leave my spot close to the stage when my stomach started it's own revolution and being pushed in the back by some kind folks as I made my way out. Neil was great though.

At 6/12/2016 10:53:00 AM, Blogger growl said...

So, that's us Brits done and dusted. Cursing myself for doing only 2 gigs. Then again, Lille is closer to home than Leeds...

At 6/12/2016 10:55:00 AM, Blogger ANDREW BYROM said...

Going to have to go to another show, Amsterdam looking like the one.

At 6/12/2016 11:18:00 AM, Blogger growl said...

My personal highlights: Revolution Blues, Rockin in the Free World, Walk On, Western Hero, Alabama, After the Garden, Cowgirl, Hold Back the Tears, Winterlong, Words. I could go on. What a great tour. A true privilige to witness the finest exponent of rock music.

At 6/12/2016 01:45:00 PM, Blogger Fr Jr. said...

An extraordinary time-machine of a show: such variety, something for everyone I reckon, from lovers of "the old hits" to those of us who like our Neil Music stretched out and loose. Revolution Blues so electrifying my glasses fell off! And the quiet, controlled-power endings of Love And Only Love was simply jaw-dropping: the other side of the coin flipped by the Earth-stomping Walk Like A Giant on his last visit. Huge respect to the youthful energy of POTR. A great night all round, thanks to Neil, the band and an excellent audience.

At 6/12/2016 02:10:00 PM, OpenID flyingscotzman said...

There was an "interesting" old long-haired hippie doing idiosyncratic dances in front of me and the two gentlemen beside me. He seemed pleasant enough and was clearly enjoying himself. But backing himself into us every few seconds was becoming somewhat tedious. I felt like some unwilling sex symbol to the OAP gay community.

Fortunately he died of old age before the end of the acoustic set (or perhaps he just moved back a few rows) and so all was well.


At 6/12/2016 04:04:00 PM, Blogger Roberto Winkler said...

Ho Scotsman

I am bit dead... I'll never die 😉

I'm simply and naturally headed to another Mr Young show. And it takes time for me to get there.
See you on the road

At 6/12/2016 04:05:00 PM, Blogger Roberto Winkler said...

Ho Scotsman

I am bit dead... I'll never die 😉

I'm simply and naturally headed to another Mr Young show. And it takes time for me to get there.
See you on the road

At 6/12/2016 04:29:00 PM, OpenID flyingscotzman said...

All the best Roberto, see you next time.


At 6/12/2016 10:29:00 PM, Blogger Marcos Souza said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6/12/2016 10:45:00 PM, Blogger Marcos Souza said...

Anyone who's been to any UK/Eire gig could say at what time the concert started and ended? I might go to Belgium but time is an issue to me.
Btw, anyone from Netherlands going to the Belgian gig?

At 6/13/2016 03:11:00 AM, Blogger Al said...

The shows I was at started around 8.35pm and finished between 11.10 and 11.35pm.

If you're interested the support act, the terrific Laura Marling, was on sharp at 7.30pm each night and played until approx. 8.10pm.


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