earth album preorder ad.jpg  



Neil Young's new album EARTH released on June 17th. The album with The Promise of the Real, is from the 2015 tour. Pre-order here
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link . Thank you!!!)
<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Friday, October 07, 2016

Concert Review of the Moment: Boise, Idaho: Neil Young + Promise Of The Real - October 3, 2016

Neil Young + Promise Of The Real 
Photos by Jason Garringer
(Click photo to enlarge)

The Concert Review of the Moment is of Neil Young + Promise Of The Real in Boise, Idaho on October 3, 2016 by our dear friend Alan in Seattle.

So, my wife got me a ticket to the Neil Young & Promise of the Real show in Boise because she knows how much of a fan of the man I am.

I saw the same band play in Seattle 365 days prior to the Boise show and they played terrifically well. I had to see them again. I drove 1100 miles round trip in my Prius gas sipper with lots of good music. I listened to lots of great music on the way but only 1 Neil Young song: "Are There Any More Real Cowboys" which I had on a Willie compilation I made for the trip.

I mostly avoided listening to Neil Young for over 2 months before the show. I rolled up to the venue parking lot at 3pm and I thought I could hear the band playing "Here We Are in the Years" in the distance. I grabbed my bag and headed for the band. I passed the old penitentiary walls and literally walked right into the venue without showing my ticket. Security was not present as far as I could tell and I saw my path in and made for the stage out in the wide open grass lawn at Outlaw Field. I walked up 100' from the stage, a lone fan and his favorite band, in this charming venue.

I started taking pictures and shooting video. A roadie signaled me to cut it. I turned and walked to a nice vantage point near the VIP area and sat right down on the grass about 150' from the stage. Neil and the band were doing a sound check and then they played a rehearsal. At first, Neil was grumpy. I could hear all the conversation from the microphones. He was pissed about the sound a bit and he made audible sarcastic references to himself "bringing the positive vibe" to the situation as they made efforts to make the sound perfect. Some of the sound tech guys were in school and so was the band, from what I gathered. They were working on the 4 new songs and Neil was a bit of a taskmaster. The new material sounded great to me. So they played as I lolled on the grass in the perfect weather enjoying the set. Between songs I gave the guys a thumbs up. A woman walked up in the VIP area and asked me what my story was. How did I get to be there? I said with a big smile, "Well, you just hafta be a really good friend of the band." Then I asked her to take my picture with the stage in the background. That is the photo I included. (see below)

Cops were walking around as security but everyone assumed I had some right to be there, which of course, I did! Last they played "Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleaze" from Reactor! I shot poor video with my phone in the grass just to catch part of the song. It sounded great and I was so thrilled to see this rare song live, a single solitary Neil Young fan watching his idol toss out an irreverent number! That song would not be played again that day, unlike the 4 new songs. The new material all has a Pro Native, Protect the Water, Stand with Standing Rock kind of feel to it, which I love and believe in. The new material is strong. It sounds better than the Monsanto Years stuff did at first listen. They grew into that material. This sounds more vital. The band version of "Indian Givers" sounds far stronger and better than the video Neil made of the recording.They left the stage and I still had a few hours before the gates would open at 6pm. By then security had figured out how to close a gate. I eventually returned to my car to regroup and get rid of my backpack and bring in only a water bottle and a hat.

The gate was in chaos before the show with the security looking like dopes while the crowd waited past the 6pm "open gate" hour, and on we waited. Eventually we were screaming at the guards, "Let us IN!" Finally, they swung open the gate and didn't ask anyone for their tickets! These guys were amateurs, but, its all good with me after the incredible time I spent watching the band rehearse and play prior to the main event.

I nabbed a spot on the front rail, center.

The show began again with Neil solo on the pump organ for AtGR. He did a heartfelt set of his acoustic guitar numbers, 1 from each major album up to Harvest Moon, which saw more play later. The band was great when they joined him and he played the White Falcon for the opening electric numbers. "Words" was fantastic. All of the songs were tremendous. The band played on, building in passion and power. Neil Young stood for some new tracks playing harmonica into a distorted amp and absolutely played the most searing harp the world has ever witnessed. The best harmonica players would've tipped their hats to Neil that night. Between his effects, technique, and dramatic stance, he became the coolest Blues Grunge harmonica player at once in a category previously unheard of. Neil defies labels and pushes the boundaries of what Rock and Roll can do. He looked like Zeus in a mob hat with his leather fringes. At various times during the show, the Godfather of Grunge played Old Black, his eyes pierced ferociously below the rim of his cool hat, at the doubter or some corporate behemoth? His raging power wielded thunderbolts. The heavens literally ripped open in a reign of ragged glory. Powderfiinger was so powerful I had tears streaming down my cheeks, to feel the pain and lost love, and lost life in that song, and here I was, in such good fortune, with a great wife and kids and career I am so fortunate to be a part of. I have always had a special appreciation for Powderfinger and this time the waterworks came on. Was it all the driving? Or was it that my hero came to play in Boise and somehow I got to go there for the show?

Seed justice was excellent. Cowgirl in the Sand was phenomenal and the fiery interplay between Neil and Lukas was molten hot, speaking in the realm of the guitar strings. Vampire Blues was a rare treat. Hey Hey, My My was on the edge of reason in its crunchy powerful delivery. I was blown away. It reminds me of the Ragged Glory tour but was… even more powerful?! One of the few times I have listened to Neil Young music in the last few months was when I checked out the great video for the new version of RitFW with the false endings and the reprised passages, in time. How do you make that song better than it was before? Somehow Neil has found a way!

Mansion on the Hill was smoking hot. Winterlong was very nice and pretty. Indian Givers was a strong encore. Love and Only Love was infused with psychedelic grunginess very well and was the final encore of the night.

Neil lets Lukas Nelson play extra lead parts over the "top of the riff" and Neil encourages him and smiles. Micah resembles a mad scientist off to the right as he adds depth and beauty to the songs. His playing reminds me of Ben Keith in the part that he plays. The bass player is phenomenal, bouncing around, catching air. He loves his job and we love him in it. The drummer is on the beat, having fun, with the luckiest bongo player in the world doing what he does best. They have grown as a band and they have a certain powerful, gorgeous sound. It punches, it crunches. They are making great music. I'd say they are well ready for "Desert Trip" -the most expensive music festival ever featuring the fewest / biggest bands / artists ever down in the California Desert. I happily attended this smaller event and was over the moon with the results! I have seen maybe 250 or 300 shows and Neil Young consistently delivers the best of them all.

My 17th time seeing Neil Young, or is it 18 now? This is not the first time I have gotten lucky at a Neil Young show. The first time I saw Neil Young and Crazy Horse play at the legendary Old Princeton Landing, I snuck in with a buddy after we made bad counterfeit wristbands! I saw 6 of those shows by the time they were done. Lots of material from Zuma and American Stars and Bars. The stage was 6 inches high. I stood 4-5' from Neil during 2 of those shows. The Boise show 20 years later was comparable. Long live Neil young and Promise of the Real. I had a feeling they would be recording together again and would continue playing together.

Alan in Seattle

ps - Thrasher, I wrote it up review once on my phone and then lost the whole thing before posting. It would've been too long to post on the comments page anyway, I later learned. It was an epic road trip. I was a bit wiped out after returning. Doing that kind of road trip at age 47 is a little different than it was at 20, but my immaturity carries me through. The show was absolute bliss. His power at this age is unbelievable. I really think Neil has found his "2nd wind" with this band after so many of his buddies have died. This is the encore after Ben Keith, or so I imagine. I am hungry for more. His prolific work and inspiring product continue to amaze me.

Are you headed to any more shows during this warmup tour? Farm Aid would be so cool. I missed Neil a few times when he was at my doorstep, like the LWW tour. Ugh. I'm kind of funny about CSNY… in that I think the best thing they every did was get Neil to play with them. To me, he has more talent in his little pinky than the entire rest of the band. But, I haven't ever really succeeded in fully appreciating their work. Not enough meat on the bones. But, as a dear departed friend used to say, there's no accounting for taste!

Alan - Very awesome Concert Review of the Moment! Thanks so much for sending along and cool that you got a super Neil + REAL concert.

You're right on about Neil finding his "2nd wind" with POTR. I think it has also to do with all of those Willie "genes" up onstage with him.

As for more shows for us? We wish we could. We really want to be at Bridge again this year. Not sure after doing the Telluride concerts. But never say never.

See you down that twisted road...

Labels: , ,

Links to this post:

Create a Link


At 10/08/2016 02:58:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Thanks so much Thrasher. Sorry for the typos in my story. And my dad was a English professor. Yikes. Its the Road Eyes, y'see? Yes, Bridge is great too. I was there in 96. I wouldn't rob a bank to see them but its a close call.

At 10/09/2016 06:20:00 AM, Blogger sergio falcone said...


At 10/12/2016 10:38:00 AM, Blogger Milly T said...

Wow! Thanks for the review. I'm an Idaho native (currently in Indiana) & would have loved to have been there. Neil is a legend. When Harvest Moon came out I played that CD EVERY MORNING for at least 2 years - as soon as I got up. ;-) Also, very cool that you saw the rehearsal. Keep on rockin' in the free world!


Post a Comment

<< Home

<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Don't Be Evil !

The Lesser of 2 Evils Is Still Evil

Willie for a Nobel!

Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
for Farm Aid and his work on
alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.

Demand justice for Aaron:
Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution

Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Please Help Support Independent Media &
Non-Corporate Advertising

This Blog's For You!

The Hypocrisy of the Mainstream Media

It's Been Called The
"Missing Link" in the Ditch Trilogy


Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
Join The 10,000+ Who Have Already Signed


Neil Young Appreciation Society

Sugar Mountain

Neil Young Setlists
Rust Radio


Bands Covering Neil Young songs


This Blog's For You!

Official Neil Young News Site

The Bridge School

The Bridge School Concerts
25th Anniversary Edition

**100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

Farm Aid

Stop factory farms
Go family farms!

The Essential Neil Young

Fans Favorite Neil Albums

Top 50 MP3
Neil Young Song Downloads

Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today
Support Thrasher's Wheat
via Purchases from:
United States - us.gif
Canada - canada.gif
United Kingdom - gb.gif
Germany - de.gif

Neil Young Songbook Project

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Europe 2016 Tour Dates

2015 Rebel Content Tour

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
Summer 2013 Europe Tour

Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

Neil Young Films

2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

Features Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and others.
Proceeds from sales go to MusiCares,
which helps musicians in need of
financial and medical assistance.



Neil Young FAQ:
Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
"an indispensable reference"

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

John Lennon and Neil Young

"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
The Supergroup of the 20th Century

Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

Revisiting The Significance of
The Buffalo Springfield

"The revolution will not be televised"
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
The Embarrassment of Mainstream Media

Turn Off Your TV

2014 Neil Young Year in Review:
Yes, Only Love Can Break (& Fix) Your Heart

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

neil & joni
Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

europe 1987.jpg

Bob and Neil

So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?

Four Dead in Ohio
kent state
So What Really Happened at Kent State?


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power

Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

Wilco and Neil Young


Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young


Elton John and Neil Young

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young

Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment
I'm Proud to Be A Union Man


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up

Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"

"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize

John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel


Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie"

We're All On
A Journey Through the Past

Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists

war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Occupy the Music

Hey Big Brother!
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

Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?




(Between the lines of age)

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

~~ John & Paul