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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Highlights of Farm Aid 2013

Without a doubt, a simply electrifying setlist by Neil Young last night at Farm Aid 2013 in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Although Neil Young performed solo acoustic, the man had fire in his belly and cut loose even shouting down an audience heckler mid-rant. (Check video below @ ~2:00)

"Thanks for coming to Farm Aid.

We are at a moment at time...America is the garden of the world.

God bless the farmers who are on the front line of change and power them to resist the evils of Monsanto.

Support local family farms!
~~Neil Young
First live performance of covers by folk heroes Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Tim Hardin and Ivory Joe Hunter. Along with Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" all star ensemble of Pete Seeger, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews and Neil Young, it was a sight to see and bear witness. Musically? Not so much.

From Sugar Mountain - Neil Young Set Lists:
Neil Young
Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, New York, USA
Farm Aid 2013

01. This Land Is Your Land (guests with Pete Seeger; backing vocals)
02. Blowin' In The Wind (Bob Dylan song; acoustic guitar)
03. Early Morning Rain (Gordon Lightfoot song; acoustic guitar)
04. Old Man (acoustic guitar)
05. Heart Of Gold (acoustic guitar)
06. Since I Met You Baby (Ivory Joe Hunter song; piano)
07. Reason to Believe (Tim Hardin song; pump organ)
08. Changes (Phil Ochs song; acoustic guitar)
09. Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die (guests with Willie Nelson)
10. I Saw The Light (guests with Willie Nelson; harmonica)

Neil's set on YouTube:
(Thanks Felix!)

A comment by Ralf Böllhoff on Rusties | Facebook:
The 3 albums with cover songs played by Neil yesterday...

All 3 albums were released in 1966 and recorded 1964 to 1965 - while Neil had his folky period in Yorkville/Toronto. He heard the songs then. In Winter 1965, he played a solo folk program in coffeehouses performing own songs and songs by Dylan, Ochs and Lighfoot. Tim Hardin also was playing in Yorkville those days. Maybe Neil is planning an album or a tour referring to his folky days of 1965?

"Americana" also started this way in 2011 when Neil dug out "Oh Susannah" from his electric "Squires" period.
"This Land Is Your Land"
John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger, Dave Matthews, Neil Young

Photo © Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve, Inc. via
(Click photo to enlarge)

Before playing cover of "Changes" by Phil Ochs, Neil commented that just earlier Pete Seeger talked of regret about Phil Ochs suicide and not doing more to help. Neil then remembers reaching out to Kurt Cobain (unmentioned) but being unable to make contact. Neil has only made mention of this tragedy once before on the record.

"Did I hear someone say 'come on, let's go?'"
I work for me."

Also, Neil performed with Pegi Young and the Survivors for their entire set.

Pegi Young & The Survivors w/ Neil Young

Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson
"The farmers are on the front lines of climate change, and climate change is THE issue of the 21st century.

It's a bigger way of looking at what we're all doing here. It's about getting the carbon out of the sky and back into the earth."


“The farmer wakes up in the morning and figures out ‘what the hell can I do with this mess now? This fuel is going to be shipped to China and Asia, don’t think this fuel is for America, it’s not.”

“The reason I am talking about that ugly situation is because the farmers again are the solution to the problem.”
~Neil Young
"Keep Calm & Ban Fracking"
Willie & Neil


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At 9/22/2013 01:40:00 PM, Anonymous herbsworld said...

RE: @ -2:00


In this age of instant information/feedback my suspicions were that Neil grew wary of the horse shows b/c of all the negative comments. "he didn't play this, he didn't play that". "Enough with the feedback, goes on too long, if he didn't stretch out feedback coulda played more hits". "more acoustic,too loud". and on, and on.

I imagine a conversation between Neil & Poncho the night before Neil pulls the plug, after the last show. and it goes something like this:
Neil: hard to please, these horse "fans" of ours. So tired. Poncho, as the "new guy" you'll take the hit this time 'round.
Poncho: Yeah, I'm just a fuck up.
Neil: right. and I work for me!

At 9/22/2013 05:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's comment such as these that make we wonder on a site that exsists for the "the love of neil"as this is why do people get so negative ?.What do you imagine if neil actually read this ridiculous rendition of neil and poncho. Did you not see any of the shows neil and crazy horse played??.I was fortunate to and in boston saw one of the best shows iv'e ever seen they had so much fun playing as one joking with audience And living in the moment as any band you'll see today and i loved every drawn out gut whrenching moment of it!!! as did my 25 year old daughter who is from the american idol generation!1
All i can figure is we've gotten spoiled by his highs and think we can call him on his lows when in reality its all the same song those ups and downs is the journey ,the muse if you want you dont get one without the other .Last nite as we stood in the rain at saratoga i saw a man pour his heart out for people he cares for the family farmer,honor his peers by playing 5 out of 7 cover songs of his song writing heroes, and getting serious about the issues at hand "there not fun to hear about" to which a man obviously not there to listen to the issues yelled "get on with it" and neil nailed him lol "i'm getting to it" i'll take my time "i don't work for nobody" then bared a sensitive issue of rock in roll suicide with a story of talking to pete seger (suprise guest of the nite} backstage about it and how pete wished he'd of done more to prevent phil ochs from doing so and neil relating to it with his kurt cobain situation then plays a stiring rendition of ochs"changes" i'm sorry but how good do we have it ?. it's a moment i'll never forget of many given by this man over the years and i for one look very foward to what he'll produce in the future as any time in his career. What more could you ask for than that ??.I just wish the people on here who "love him"would act more accordingly no person in this world was more disdraught over what happened to poncho than neil they were playing in all thier"raging glory" and were at the peak of what they do," get real" accidents happen plain and simple. keep on rockin neil!!! and to the rest of you doubters PEACE!!

At 9/23/2013 07:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Since I Met You Baby' was played on piano & not acoustic guitar...just sayin'...

At 9/23/2013 12:19:00 PM, Anonymous Salva said...

J'ai adoré Farm Aid. De ma France natale, j'y ai découvert de nouveaux artistes (enfin inconnus pour moi). Soutenez Farm Aid. Merci.

At 9/23/2013 12:21:00 PM, Blogger Matthew L. said...

I very much enjoyed Neil's takedown of the heckler. Notice the cheers from the crowd when he said, "I work for me!"? This tells me that more people are supportive of Neil's (imo awesome) attitude than are not.

At 9/23/2013 06:37:00 PM, Anonymous herbsworld said...

@ anon
9/22/2013 05:32:00 PM,
I love that Neil called out the heckler, just like I enjoyed watching him mock smart phone dummies.I also love that you got me and my comments so wrong. but that's okay. no negativity here, intended or otherwise. guess you have first hand "get it" (prob. not) info. & anything else is not at all possible. who's the doubter now?

At 9/23/2013 11:36:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

All in all, that was the most unexpected performance I could even ever think of, and couldn't, much less to have had witness to from Neil. From the selection of songs, to the impassioned improvisations of soliloquy between numbers. Pure heart in the moment from song to song to spoken thoughts, to emotion and reaction and response. It certainly is something to take in. Powerful in it's thunderous stance and at the same time aligned to it's frailty. He is the perfect stranger and Uncle Neil all rolled into one. Be moved. It's not often it comes around like that.

I am entranced by the delivery of Changes, Early Morning Rain, and Since I Met You Baby. What a treat, never heard any of those before. THAT is the immediacy and the electricity of following Neil Young. Nothing extra, no big hypes, just the raw entwining of musician to the muse. Such interesting choices. Seemed to tell the underlying tale of his take on the event, the issues, the people and the time at hand. I guess anything less would be uncharacteristic. Much of the day and those performances will stay with me for a long long time. I guess that's the point!

At 9/24/2013 11:28:00 AM, Anonymous DRW said...

"Keep Calm & Ban Fracking".

And "fracking" meaning: ...???

At 9/27/2013 12:55:00 AM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

According to my old friend Ron Burgundy, "Fracking" can have two meanings:

1) An old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era.

2) A term from the show Battlestar Gallactica which can be used in many creative ways and various situations, mostly during times of intense discussion. It originates and was cloned from the Cylons; first evidence of usage occurs during their war with the Twelve Colonies of Humanity. In English, it translates roughly as "Come On, Let's Go!!!"

And just to put all those persistent rumors to rest: I am not Michael J. Fox, but am very happy and most pleased to share my name with him. Enjoying your new show very much, and welcome back!

Mr Henry

At 12/05/2013 03:50:00 PM, Anonymous JR Heatwarp said...

I can't help but wonder if Neil was inspired by Dylan's recent Bootleg Series release with this set. Both men seem to draw from the a similar vein of inspiration, and Dylan's set may have renewed Neil's interest in the songs of his forbearers.

@DRW: Fracking is the environmentally questionable practice of hydraulic fracturing as a method of extracting natural gas. Google it.


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