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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Farm Aid 2008 Concert

UPDATE 10/3/09: Farm Aid 2009 Concert Reviews



Steve Earle

Grace Potter

Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Neil Young

Neil Young at Press Conference
Photos by Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve Inc. 2008

Farm Aid Press Conference

Rust Radio is playing Neil's set in rotation. Thanks Roel!


Just as rock & roll is loud and proud, so is Farm Aid. Farm Aid's greatest accomplishment, I believe, is in the spirit. It's the fact that we represent the spirit of the good fight, to keep something good happening. It just keeps getting stronger and stronger....

– Neil Young

Farm Aid will be held today at Great Woods Giant Corporation Center, Mansfield, Massachusetts.

Performers include:

* Willie Nelson
* John Mellencamp
* Neil Young
* Dave Matthews
* The Pretenders
* moe.
* Arlo Guthrie
* Jerry Lee Lewis
* Steve Earle
* Nation Beat
* Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
* Jakob Dylan and The Gold Mountain Rebels
* Danielle Evin
* Jamey Johnson
* Jesse Lenat
* Will Dailey
* One Flew South
* The Elms
* Kenny Chesney

Farm Aid will be broadcast live on DIRECTV's The 101 Network in HD. Also, concert will be webcast on

Got a report? Drop a comment below. No registration required.


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At 9/20/2008 06:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a webcast available at . Neil's on at 9:00 (eastern)

At 9/20/2008 11:08:00 PM, Anonymous Farm Boy said...

Neil's set:
1. Love And Only Love
3. Powderfinger
4. Mother Earth
5. Unknown Legend
6. Old Man
7. Get Back To The Country
8. A Day In The Life

At 9/21/2008 03:10:00 AM, Anonymous Coby said...

I don't know guys, this Farm Aid really reached me. I haven't been this affected since Neil opened with "Walking to New Orleans" and played awesome versions of "Southern Man" and "One of these Days" with horns.
I wasn't at the concert, but it was the first Neil concert that gave me chills via webcast. Honestly, it started only OK. First, there was a truncated "Love and Only Love" which was great, but wisely trimmed down to allow other classics for the broad audience.
Neil really hit his peak when he started "Powderfinger" which is so timeless that nobody can begin to hate on the greatest hits set. The song was followed by "Mother Earth" which I've never been a huge fan of, but this version really struck me, as the time and audience seemed perfect for a mellow, honest, poigant rendition of feeling of the that's hitting America's promised land in the area of farming. I was touched, and I could tell by the applause, the audience was as well.
After a perfunctory "Unknown Legend", "Old Man" was dynamite in a box. From the opening chords the crowd was in a trance, almost in a prehistoric drool/foam when Larry Cragg struck the banjo for the chrous. It was beautiful.
Finally, Neil plugged it back in for a great rendition of "Get Back to the Country" which has been one of the greatest, most rollicking renditions to the past tour. One can't help but to smile.
The last song, which I expected to be "Rockin' in the Free World" was instead the past encore, "A Day in the Life", of course the Beatles cover. To say this song blew the smoke off the roof is an understatement. The ripped strings, the audience sing-a-long, the power of emotion, it ripped the heart strings of Massachusetts and sent Neil home beloved and revered. I was amazed and blown away. This is what the show is all about, you bring it, and the emotion compells you. Compliments and applause. Touch that inner nerve and twist.

At 9/21/2008 09:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry all you country bumpkins...but Jerry Lee Lewis stole the show... he's the only performer of the night that had the entire crowd up and rockin'

At 9/21/2008 03:51:00 PM, Anonymous Nan said...

LOL... Jerry Lee was very good, but were you THERE when Neil played A Day in the Life?? The place was going NUTS!!!
And that building tension of noise... talk about chaos theory.
Unbeleiveable. I can't wait for the tour. Philly & Worcester here I come...

At 9/21/2008 05:37:00 PM, Blogger ShittyHorse said...

Wow...just got home from last night. Neil was fucking awesome!!! There were lots of GREAT performers at Farm Aid 2008 but I must say...Neil stole the show. I was hoping for an electric set last night and he delivered... Love and only love was fantastic into a great Everybody knows but the highlights were, Old Man (w/ Larry!) Get back to the country and a day in the life... Oh my god...that tune just made you dizzy (also all the potent grass I was smoking)...with the swirling, swooshing, beautifully ragged sounds from the stage...just unbelievable. For those of you how haven’t heard Neil fiery rendition yet.... YOU MUST catch it on this tour...Old black is such a ferocious guitar!
Before the show I was lucky to meet Willie, John M, and Elliot Roberts but sadly no Neil =( Had a fantastic time can not wait for 12/15
Guys…judging from last night…the money spent for this tour will be totally worth it!!

At 9/21/2008 09:13:00 PM, Anonymous Overalls said...

Shazam! What a great show! What a great crowd! Even the staff were very welcoming and relaxed which is too often not the case at these corporate venues.

It was truly an honor to see so many great musicians making time for a great cause! There simply wasn't anything to complain about and all the musicians ave it their all, even though some didn't get a whole lot of stage time. My hat is off to Peak's Organic Beer from Maine ... tasty and fresh ... added to our enjoyment of the day and night in a big way! We met a bunch of cool and friendly people, danced the day and night away with lots of random people and left happy and fulfilled!

Neil's set was just awesome and the house was rockin'! I don't know how he narrows down his catalog for a short set like this, but is sat well with me and gave a taste of every bit of Neil's styles. Old Black took a loving beating too and is no doubt getting some pampering from Neil's guitar tech! Can't wait for the trip to Montreal in December!

At 9/21/2008 11:37:00 PM, Anonymous M. Ellen said...

Best show ever. The mood was great the performances transcendent. I read someone else's comment about the moment when he played Mother Earth and I agree. There was a couple cowboys in front of us that were kinda punks. The only time they actually shut their mouths was when Neil sang that song. It was very unifying.

It was too short his set I was just getting started but it was fabulous. John Cougar too was a little anti-establishment.

To be honest. After such a bad week in the U.S. it was so good to be around happy people, believing in a cause for the good of everyone that no one can argue with.

When Dave Mathews was on everyone in the whole place seemed to be singing it was very powerful.

At 9/22/2008 04:34:00 AM, Anonymous Liza said...

I just found this clip, enjoy:

At 9/22/2008 05:33:00 AM, Anonymous Bob said...

This was my 3rd Farm Aid and by far, the best of the bunch. Great weather, great crowd & great music. Neil's set was simply amazing and my wife was almost moved to tears during Old Man. By the time A Day In The Life crashed to a close, jaws were dropping all around me, with even the most jaded & the decidedly indifferent standing in silent awe. like witnesses to an early atomic blast. As I snuck outside the perimeter for a quick smoke before Willie's set, "Wow"'s could be heard all around me. Neil looked & sounded great, as did Pegi. My only plea: Bring Back The Horse!

At 9/22/2008 10:19:00 AM, Blogger said...

I think Dave Matthews' set was so strong it pulled everyone up and got them to take it to the next level. John was so good even on Pink Houses, which come on you've seen a million times. Punching the air, and that cell phone thing, getting on the phone with someone's friend and chatting! Crazy. Then Neil, well it was a great set, but playing feedback on pieces of splintered strings rubbed over the pickups while Old Black leaned against an amp saying no, no more, not another one please Neil! That crowd would have followed Neil down I-95 if he told them to after that! Thanks everyone!

At 9/22/2008 11:57:00 AM, Blogger dubriddim said...

Sat in the photo pit for this one, less than ten feet away center. EPIC short set! Neil in a very merry mood. Crushing riffs abound. A Day in a Life had peoples eyes open for sure. Larry had a big ole' smile going up there too!
I hope there is one more Crazy Horse tour left in "Old Bernard" Reminded me of Neil circa 97 H.O.R.D.E. Festival show at the same venue. Farm Aid is a strait up, real deal outfit- and they put on heck of a show. Eat Your Zip Code, Buy Locally Grown Food.

At 9/23/2008 12:30:00 AM, Blogger ShittyHorse said...

After watching that clip i have to comment again... 'a day in the life' was just too fantastic for words...Im proud to have been in that audience for that tune's US premiere (correct?) and at the very end when Neil was standing off to the side and he raises his arms...everybody... and even these young kids (who only moments before Neil's set were saying 'oh now we have to sit through Neil Young's boring set") stood in awe and for the second time erupted in thunderous applause. that FEEDBACK from Old black is just wonderful It was a great, great day indeed.
yes Neil must get in at least one more great crazy horse tour and album
Also I see he added another MSG date...impressive!

At 9/23/2008 08:05:00 AM, Anonymous Keith Burris said...

It was a great day and a good crowd. And there were many fine performances -- Mellencamp was great; Willie is always great; The Pretenders, Moe, Jerry Lee, the Dylan kid -- all great.

Neil was on another level. The entire set was varied and remarkable. 25,000 people singing almost every word of Old Man was pretty cool. But Day in the Life just left you dumb struck -- speechless. This man has such heart and soul. He's always surprising us. He always gives his all. He was inside that music. Long, long many he run.

At 9/23/2008 10:41:00 AM, Anonymous taint said...

well, it was a great set! this band is where it's at. for all those calling for the horse...i'm afraid those guys can't rock anymore, and that's why shakey is not working with them. look at how terrible ralph was on last year's tour...neil wants to have a GOOD band behind him, one that won't fuck up the easiest changes and make him look bad. i love the horse as much as anyone, and it hurts me to type these words, but it's true...those guys are washed up.

except pancho...i bet he still rocks. more than ben keith (although ben's fills on "powderfinger" were really good).

At 9/24/2008 09:23:00 PM, Blogger ShittyHorse said...

Is that true? I did see neil last year with Ralph..didnt notice anything bad about his drumming (anymore then normal..this IS the horse we're talking about)but I did notice at farm aid he's no longer there. Has anything been said about the Horse or Neil's relationship with them? I must say the VERY best neil show I ever saw (im only 28) was with Crazy Horse in Hartford at the lawn, the wall closed 11/8/96...just the greatest feedback drenched show ever...the sound in there was GREAT-in fact the live version of 'when you dance' on Year of the Horse is from that show...just the 2nd Neil show so I have a HUGE soft spot (as Im sure we all do)for the horse. The only show that comes close (for me) was Neil's solo show in 99' at the oakdale Wallingford CT. Plus I thought the huge Greendale tour w/ the horse was really great too...I saw that 4 times. Sorry for rambling but ..yeah the horse is great. Im sure they will be back around.

At 9/25/2008 11:22:00 AM, Anonymous taint said...

hey shittyhorse...i was there at the meadows too. great great show. hurricane was awesome, pure white noise. and scattered on yoth was also taken from that show.

yeah, i hope the horse comes back, but like i said i think they are slipping. i think there is a reason that ralph is not in neil's current band...chad is just so much better.

At 9/25/2008 11:30:00 AM, Anonymous Liza said...

You can watch Neils Concert at now, 48 Minutes....


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