Blinken Performs In Kyiv Bar: Know More Here

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The message from Antony Blinken’s Tuesday night musical debut in Kyiv was undeniable.

In an unexpected performance of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” the US secretary of state joined Ukrainian band 19.99 on stage in a pub in Kyiv.

Blinken, who performed vocals and played the guitar for the punk/jazz group, surprised everyone by travelling to the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday. There, he met with President Volodymyr Zelensky and talked about the significance of recently delivered US supplies as well as reports from the battlefield. Since the US Congress’s protracted approval of additional cash for the war-torn nation, this is the first visit by an official from the Biden administration.

But maybe even more unexpected was his Tuesday night appearance at Barman Dictat, a well-liked dive bar and music venue located right off Khreshchatyk, the major thoroughfare in Kyiv.

The pub is well-liked by soldiers on leave and veterans of war, with its strong metal doors and wall reinforcements.

In a personal address from the stage, Blinken said: “The United States is with you, so much of the world is with you. And they’re fighting, not just for Ukraine but for the free world – and the free world is with you too.”

The location shared a picture of the out-of-the-ordinary performance on its Instagram page, writing, “Keep on rocking on a free world! Regards, @secblinken.

Neil Young recorded the song on his “Freedom” album in 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell.

Despite not posting the video or mentioning the incident on social media, Blinken’s profile refers to him as a “(very) amateur guitarist.”

It is not unique for a US politician to perform in a European music venue like Blinken does. After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1994, former President Bill Clinton performed on the saxophone at the Reduta Jazz Club in Prague. He later performed there again earlier this year.

The music selection was decided by Blinken, according to guitarist Arsen Gorbach, in an interview with BBC Radio’s “Today” show on Wednesday morning.

“I believe it’s a unique melody for him,” Gorbach remarked, mentioning that he had previously viewed internet footage of the secretary of state performing the rock anthem.

He said to the BBC that the band had received a communication earlier indicating that Neil Young would be performing with them. Gorbach acknowledged that Blinken was “very good” and that it seemed like they had been performing as a band for “many years,” but he also added that the band had been “disappointed” that the rock star had not shown up.

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