Review of Neil Young and Promise of the Real
When I was in my twenties, I was the cowgirl in the sand, dancing under the Harvest moon, colliding with the very air I breathed. Neil freed me.
I fell in love with him all over again Saturday night: his passion, his heartache, his wisdom spilling out of him into our souls. It was an extra bonus to get to
see him play with Promise of the Real.
After his last show this felt like an apology, a manifesto, an unleashing of a F***ing rock and roll shaman, but with the tenderness and beauty that no one with a soul could resist.
He really took us on a journey…there were times when I just had to touch the Earth (which of course started a debate with my sister when I told her it wasn’t real grass..which became a funny metaphor as I was definitely talking about the grass underfoot and she just kept saying, it IS real grass!) and times where i hopped up and followed the white haired older lady next to me to the “dancing section” of the crowd. When the Monsanto songs came on I found myself jamming to the music and then as I listened, I couldn’t really dance any more. It felt like the whole gift of the show was so that we could all listen, and consider the bigger message…which to me was Love. Love the Earth so much that you become a warrior for her. We can hate the actions of Monsanto, the greed and blindness of the policy makers who have been swayed by them, but we can also still stay compassionate and active. When I drink my morning water there are times when I ask that it reach the hearts of these men and women and wakes them the hell up! Of course after listening in a quiet stillness, we rocked out again.
Neil had always had a seat at my table of 12 but I had never heard of Promise of the Real. Now as a woman, (happily married, mother of two) let me just say thank you to them too. They nailed it.
I was imagining myself in Africa and not being able to take my eyes off the man in plaid, he was like an exotic animal…I never realized it but when you are wearing plaid and everyone else has on black, your eye, or at least my eye wouldn’t budge from Lukas Nelson. While I almost hate to admit that my base nature is that shallow, it is true.
My ears were Neil’s. I met and spoke to Neil’s god daughter Amber on Friday night before the show. Of course my sister and gal pal and i were saying what a cool relation that would be, but I remember thinking if I got to pick my godfather I would pick Willie Nelson. So how incredible to then come home to google stock Promise of the Real and find a couple of Willie’s boys in the band!!!
I have replaced Jack White in my rock in roll fantasy with Lukas Nelson. There is too much hippie in me to have made it work with Jack anyway. So Lukas, if you want to write me any love songs, in the fantasy I am basically growing the family meds on the farm in Hawaii and barefoot and pregnant with your babies.
In reality, since that ain’t never gonna happen, I will say this. Thank you. Thank you to all your band mates, thank you to Neil. May all that is wild and good and innocent bless each and everyone one of your hearts. Long may you play on.