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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Berlin, Germany Concert: Neil Young + Promise of the Real - July 21, 2016

Neil Young + Promise of the Real will be performing tonight, July 21 at Waldbuhne 21, Berlin, Germany.

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 7/21/2016 04:50:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

A bit more Monsanto-y:

01. After The Gold Rush
02. Heart Of Gold
03. The Needle And The Damage Done
04. Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)
05. Out On The Weekend
06. Unknown Legend
07. Peace of Mind
08. Human Highway
09. Are You Ready for the Country
10. Someday
11. Winterlong
12. Bad Fog of Loneliness
13. Alabama
14. Words
15. Powderfinger
16. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
17. Down by the River
18. Western Hero
19. People Want to Hear about Love
20. Country Home
21. Seed Justice
22. The Monsanto Years
23. Wolf Moon
24. Love and Only Love
25. Rockin' In The Free World

At 7/22/2016 02:42:00 AM, Blogger AnonymousCommenter said...

First Waldbuhne is fantastic venue and German concert goers are awesome!
Compared to Helsinki show this concert was so much better, because of sound produced by amphitheater.
Words was so beautiful. The setlist was really goood. But we got same long songs as in Helsinki: DBTR, Love and only love.
DBTR the best that I've heard. Whole band was on fire. Other nice ones were Are you ready for country (really groovy) and
People want to hear about love and of course RITFW because crowd was so into it.
Downside was that concert was over already after 2 hours 45 minutes.
This was my best experience. Thank you POTR, Neil and Waldbuhne.

At 7/22/2016 03:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon: Glad you enjoyed it. Don't be disappointed about show length, it's no indication of quality whatsoever. And anyway, 2hr 45 seems long enough to me. And so often Neil's best ahows are actually the shorter ones.

For instance, the extraordinary acoustic shows from December 1989 were no longer than an hour and a half; The electric shows from 1991 were a similar length. The same goes for other clasisc years such as 1976, 1971, 1973, 1992 etc etc etc. Whereas some of the duller CSNY shows have gone on for 36 hours or more (maybe a slight exaggeration).

Why are shorter gigs often better? Because Neil extracts the 'good' stuff, leaving only the 'great'. The setlists feel more tight, with more intent and direction. Neil concentrates his energy better. The overall effect is purer, more intense.

Neil did an excellent interview with Jimmy McDonough where he touched on this subject, way back in 1989.


At 7/22/2016 04:19:00 AM, Blogger AnonymousCommenter said...

Yes, I totally agree that 2h45m is a gift. The performance was very tight last evening.
The 1989 acoustic tour is legendary and length of those shows are just right.

At 7/22/2016 04:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a little surprised Big Box hasn't been on the setlist this year. I enjoyed the version on Earth, and the "get in line!" ending sends all sorts of powerful imagery going through my head. All the 'corporate overdubs' adds an interesting dimension to it, like a battle is going on betwen Neil's guitar and the big businesses.

This song is basically about Monsanto and Tyson Foods, the definitive "evil corporations" who have habitually "paid the fine to break the law" for decades, allowing them to pollute the rivers, keep dodgy accounts etc. Type "Tyson Foods fine" or "Monsanto paid fine" into google and you will get near-endless pages of search results.

And definitely run by people "too rich for jail". In the mid-nineties, Don and John Tyson paid 6 million dollars simply to avoid a trial for illegal gifts/bribery. This is what these guys do. They give powerful people (e.g the agriculture secretary) a gift, under the illusion of friendship, and then start subtly start to influence them.

I know Willie Nelson was somewhat taken in by Don Tyson, long before his shady past was just a click away on google. So I hope the younger generation of Nelson brothers (and Neil) are now aware of these people's history of smooching up to powerful people and celebrities in order to get what they want; to manipulate the system.

Anyway, there's some context for that song. I know a lot of people are struggling with that one, maybe due to the heavy overdubbing. But I think it's a highpoint of the album, artistically. But you have to see it in the right light. Scratch beneath the surface a little.


At 7/22/2016 05:04:00 AM, Blogger Robin said...

From the 7 Times i have Seen him play, this was the best. But, looking at Other nights setlists (Leipzig!), I am not too happy about the trade of all those Monsanto Songs for change your mind, cowgirl or Hurricane. Laol was great and rather short, but it was just played really a lot on the past Tours and I would have been happy about another choice from the long ones.

But: down by the River was simply stunning and the standout Song from the whole evening. Best Version of this Song that I know of and ive heard a few. (That includes Berlin 1987).
Dbtr made the Monsanto section feel worse, it was a real step back tension wise.

So, in the end a really good Performance with a lot of heart and playfulness with a small downside on the setlist

At 7/22/2016 05:55:00 AM, Blogger ANDREW BYROM said...

All good things come to an end and I'll be sad to see this incredible European tour end in Austria on Saturday. Certainly since I started following Neil in the late 80's this has been the best set of shows I have seen (Glasgow / London / Amsterdam). The sheer variety of songs played, I got 36 different songs and the quality and joy of the musicianship puts this up there as the finest Euro tour.

A big thanks also to all the tapers out there, I've managed to get pretty much every show in top quality within 24 hours of the gig ending, what a difference from the days of tape trading when you would wait months to hear a show form the latest tour.

I'm now hoping this will become Neil's equivalent of Dylan's never ending tour and they'll be back next summer.

At 7/22/2016 09:38:00 AM, Blogger Prez said...

I saw 3 shows from this incredible tour. (Lille, Antwerp & Amsterdam).
Last week I did the math... Very happy to say I got 42 (!) different songs! Couldn't be happier :-)

At 7/22/2016 10:23:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I discovered Neil Young in 1970 in Berkeley California where I stayed with a friend who just bought the "After the Gold Rush" album! Still my favorite. And last night at the Walbühne concert he started with the title song right away. 20.000 people at the venue, good sound system, great weather, audience of all ages. I went there with my daughter!
Neil Young is a legend and still got it. And he came with excellent musicians who could be his grand-children. I agree thet the setlist was too heavy on the Monsano songs. "Down by the river" and of course the last piece, the anthem of the free world, were the highlights! I also think that the concert length was allright. Almost 3 hours is more than decent. Maybe he should have addressed the audience a little more, coming back to the Waldbühne after all those years. His guitar play was excellent, he never was hiding behind POTR. Good drummer. Neil's voice has suffered somewhat over the years. But man, how he can work the lead guitar! Great performance, great experience! Long may he run!

At 7/22/2016 04:27:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

@scotsman: As of "Waging Heavy Peace," anyway, Neil still was best buds with John Tyson (who was a major investor in Pono).

At 7/22/2016 07:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Neil is a great musician, not a great judge of character". - David Briggs.

That may be true, but one good thing about the internet age is that it is a lot easier to learn the truth about these corporations than it was 15 years ago. It's no longer possible to brush it all under the carpet. Neil has learnt a lot recently about environmental matters (in his own words, he is "taking it seriously") and I think that clearly shows in his songwriting. Hopefully as part of his research he is starting to realise how the Tysons are in fact not the good-natured philanthropists they may have appeared to be. My guess is he is probably now acutely aware of Tyson's admittance of illegal gifts in the past. As well as a host of other unscrupulous actions that can easily be researched on google. They don't even try to deny their corrupt-ness; they just "pay the fine and break the law", as Neil accurately observes in Big Box.

To put it lightly, these people aren't nice guys. They are manipulative, clever, and ruthless.

Why do you think Tyson bankrolled an anti-factory farm event like the original Farm Aid? On the face of it, it's a very strange thing to do. And I can assure you, it wasn't out of the goodness of their hearts. The answer is both simple and clever: to insulate themselves from attack.

How could Farm Aid possibly criticise Tyson after they had just paid for the whole event? This is a textbook manipulation tactic, straight out of "The Art Of War" (as modernised in cut-throat management books such as "The 48 Laws Of Power"). Simple, but devastatingly effective. And (when faced with a couple of good-hearted but naively innocent musicians like Neil and Willie, who thought Tyson was just a "good buddy" pleasantly doing them a favour) quite, quite ruthless.

I hope the above resonated with some of you. Have a good weekend all.


At 7/22/2016 08:51:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Scots, you're definitely consistent when it comes to Tyson's level of corruption. I don't have strong feelings either way, but applaud you for shedding the light on the topic and how Neil has or hasn't reacted to it.

Sadly, as Neil has revealed several times, he doesn't read too much. What he chooses to know about Tyson's corruption has likely been glossed over for him from within his inner circle, or Tyson himself.

Perhaps Neil is referring to Tyson in several songs without naming names, or maybe Neil defends his friends strongly based on loyalty or some other quid pro quo.

Neil will never be consistent, be it musically, personally or politically--they don't call him Shakey for nothing...

Take my advice
don't listen to me

At 7/23/2016 12:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Neil must surely read a lot more nowadays than he did earlier in his activist "career". His knowledge of GMOs and corporate workings seems to be fairly in-depth, certainly more than you would get from just glossing-over the subject. In other words, he is doing his homework.

Part of the appeal of his recent work is that he has gone well out of his comfort zone, expanding into subjects he once knew very little about. He's adjusting.

The truth is it is very hard to appreciate any of the Monsanto songs without also being curious about the specifics that inspired them. These are songs written specifically for people with activist leanings, people who care about the health of the environment and the planet. Neil is trying to inspire people to take a deeper interest, to become passionate about environmentalism. Having some knowledge of the specifics, then can, only add to the enjoyment of these songs.

In exactly the same way that knowing who Bruce Berry and Danny Whitten are adds to the appreciation of Tonight's The Night.

So my suggestion to people is to do some of your own research into Monsanto, Tyson, Smithfield etc etc. These are some of the most notorious ones; classic examples. I use Tyson as my specific case-study as they are widely considered to be one of the most extreme and caricatured offenders, without carrying the confusing side-issue of "can GMOs potentially be a positive thing or not?". And of course they are linked to Neil in a way that the others are not, which adds another layer of interest.

I know some of you are not overly impressed by the Monsanto songs on Earth; you absolutely need to get into the subject matter a bit more, dig a bit deeper, research how these corporations work. This is exactly what Neil is trying to inspire you to do. And then come back and tell the rest of us about it. It's a fascinating and chilling story of crime commited on a industrial scale. And trust me, the songs will start to come to life. In fact, the Monsanto songs on Earth are quickly becoming my favourite ones.


At 7/23/2016 10:22:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@Scotsman - as always, we salute your passion on all things. Here's something widely circulating which you may have seen already -- commentary on the Dark Act by Jon Rappoport:

Monsanto’s Dark Act ready for Obama’s signature ~ President Barack Obama: Monsanto’s man in Washington ~

“Let folks know when their food is genetically modified, because Americans have a right to know what they’re buying.” (Barack Obama, 2007)

Really? In the last eight years, the global outcry against Monsanto and the other biotech giants has accelerated—but not a significant peep has emerged from the Obama White House. And now, the bill dubbed The Dark Act is ready for Obama’s signature. It will make GMO labels on food an exclusively federal matter—and those labels will be confusing, weak, and therefore meaningless for the majority of Americans. The Dark Act is basically a free pass for Monsanto and the other biotech giants.

After his victory in the 2008 election, Obama filled key posts with Monsanto people, in federal agencies that wield tremendous force in GMO food issues—the USDA and the FDA:
At the USDA, as the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center. As deputy commissioner of the FDA, the new food-safety-issues czar, the infamous Michael Taylor, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto. Taylor had been instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone. As commissioner of the USDA, Iowa governor, Tom Vilsack. Vilsack had set up a national group, the Governors’ Biotechnology Partnership, and had been given a Governor of the Year Award by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, whose members include Monsanto. As the Agriculture Trade Representative, who would push GMOs for export, Islam Siddiqui, a former Monsanto lobbyist. As the counsel for the USDA, Ramona Romero, who had been corporate counsel for another biotech giant, DuPont. As the head of the USAID, Rajiv Shah, who had previously worked in key positions for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a major funder of GMO agriculture research. We should also remember that Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, once worked for the Rose law firm. That firm was counsel to Monsanto. Obama nominated Elena Kagan to the US Supreme Court. Kagan, as federal solicitor general, had previously argued for Monsanto in the Monsanto v. Geertson seed case before the Supreme Court.
The deck was stacked. Obama hadn’t simply made honest mistakes. Obama hadn’t just failed to exercise proper oversight in selecting appointees. He was staking out territory on behalf of Monsanto and other GMO corporate giants. And now let us look at what key Obama appointees have wrought for their true bosses. Let’s see what GMO crops have walked through the open door of the Obama presidency.

Monsanto GMO alfalfa. Monsanto GMO canola. Monsanto GMO sugar beets. Monsanto GMO Bt soybean. Syngenta GMO corn for ethanol. Syngenta GMO stacked corn. Pioneer GMO soybean. Syngenta GMO Bt cotton. Bayer GMO cotton. ATryn, an anti-clotting agent from the milk of transgenic goats. A GMO papaya strain. Genetically engineered salmon. (… + dozens of others in the works …)
This is an extraordinary parade. Obama was, all along, a stealth operative on behalf of Monsanto, biotech, GMOs, and corporate control of the future of agriculture. He didn’t make that many key political appointments and allow that many new GMO crops to enter the food chain through a lack of oversight. Nor is it coincidental that two of the Obama’s biggest supporters, Bill Gates and George Soros, purchased 900,000 and 500,000 shares of Monsanto, respectively, in 2010. Obama has been a covert agent since the beginning. Imposter. Charlatan. These words fit Obama. He doesn’t care that GMO food is taking over the country and the world. He obviously wants it to happen.

Obama is on board. He is the GMO president.

At 7/23/2016 11:09:00 AM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Interesting points Scots, and good thought process linking awareness levels to appreciation of Neil's more challenging works, namely Tonight's the Night.

Both albums do indeed challenge listeners in different ways, and our appreciation of them is largely tied to our "investment" in them and the background events that shaped and motivated them.

Personally, corporate environmental topics don't peek my interest or anger in significant ways. They're easy targets and quite often the issues are multi-layered and complex, and direct simple song sloganeering leaves me a little flat.

That being said, the more I listen to Earth, I'm finding the Monsanto songs to be musically and melodically uplifting, and I find myself smiling and shaking my head at the same time.

Regarding Neil's level of awareness of the topic(s), he may be reading a little more than he used to, but I think most of his information is being delivered to him from his girlfriend, not that there's anything wrong with that...

Take my advice
don't listen to me

At 7/24/2016 08:30:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Getting very political

At 7/24/2016 11:06:00 AM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Well, Thrash is entitled to share his opinions, just like Neil and we are. In small doses I feel the overtly political posts can be beneficial on many fronts, but it is indeed a slippery slope.

As for my political landscape, Monsanto & GMOs are the least of my concerns...

Take my advice
don't listen to me


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