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Thursday, September 17, 2015

THIS WEEKEND: Farm Aid 2015: Chicago, September 19th, 30th Annual

Neil Young, Co-Founder and Board Member of Farm Aid performs at Farm Aid 30 at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island in downtown Chicago, Illinois.
Photo © Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve, Inc

From Chicago Tribune by Greg Kot:
Neil Young looked even more grim and purposeful than usual when he took the stage Saturday at Northerly Island. Farm Aid was wrapping up its 30th year, but Young wasn’t exactly celebrating.

The executive board member in the black hat came out fuming as he went after the corporate farm system, naming names and waving his guitar as if he were wading into hand-to-hand combat with his band huddled in front of the drum riser. Young sang from the perspective of a Monsanto executive, recast as the bogey man: “You're gonna need big money to stand your ground/Or we're gonna bury you, how does that sound?”

The song, “Workin’ Man” evoked the rumble of Bob Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm,” another song about greed and power. Young’s band included Micah and Lukas Nelson, sons of Farm Aid founder Willie Nelson, who followed Young on stage. The young guys jousted and jostled with Young, who was in finger-pointing mode on a handful of songs from his bluntly accusatory recent album, “The Monsanto Years.”

Lines like “Too big to fail, too rich for jail” get the blood boiling but likely didn’t persuade those already skeptical about music’s ability to change the world – let alone shift the momentum away from the big companies that are relentlessly making family farms obsolete.

But it was Young’s demeanor, the way he threw himself into the music and tore into his guitar solos that spoke loudest.

Neil Young and Promise Of The Real - "Alabama" (1st performance since 1977).

From JamBase:
Neil Young and Promise Of The Real started their set with three songs off their recently released The Monsanto Years LP - "Workin' Man," "A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop" and "Big Box." The biggest surprise of the night came next when Young and his band dug into the Harvest track "Alabama." Young had last performed the controversial song back in 1977, when he dedicated it to Lynyrd Skynyrd as part of a medley with "Sweet Home Alabama" shortly after Ronnie Van Zandt and other members of the Skynyrd died in a plane crash. In Neil's 2012 book Waging Heavy Peace he discussed his thoughts on "Alabama" - "[the song] richly deserved the shot Lynyrd Skynyrd gave me with their great record. I don't like my words when I listen to it today. They are accusatory and condescending, not fully thought out, too easy to misconstrue."

@neilyoung @farmaid @themonsantoyears photo @malibuheaven #loveandonlylove

A photo posted by Micah Nelson (@particlekid) on

Scheduled for Sep 19, 2015

"Farm Aid 30 Live Presented by Amy's" will feature performances from Farm Aid's 30th anniversary concert in downtown Chicago at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island on September 19.

The Webcast Lineup, Central Time:

2:30 – Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
3:00 – Old Crow Medicine Show
3:40 – Jamey Johnson
4:20 – Kacey Musgraves
5:05 – Jack Johnson
5:55 – Mavis Staples
6:45 – Imagine Dragons
7:45 – Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds
8:45 – John Mellencamp
9:45 – Neil Young
10:45 – Willie Nelson

(Schedule subject to change.)

More performances from earlier in the day will appear during set changes.

Donate $60 or more now and get the official Farm Aid 30 logo shirt: at

Find all of our new concert merch at:

Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to keep family farmers on the land and has worked since then to make sure everyone has access to good food from family farmers. Dave Matthews joined Farm Aid's board of directors in 2001.

For more information about Farm Aid, visit:

Farm Aid's performances are donated by the artists in order to raise funds and raise awareness for family farmers. They've raised their voices to help — what can you do?

Press Conference for Farm Aid 2015
Photo by Tony @

Farm Aid 2015 will be held in Chicago this weekend on September 19th.

The 30th anniversary concert will be held at [Giant Corporation] Pavilion at Northerly Island.

Performances will include Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, as well as, Jack Johnson, Imagine Dragons, Kacey Musgraves, Old Crow Medicine Show, Mavis Staples, Holly Williams, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Insects vs. Robots and Blackwood Quartet.

More on last year's Farm Aid 2014: Raleigh, North Carolina.


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At 9/19/2015 04:22:00 PM, Blogger Paul Wallace said...

Chicago sure is busy this weekend. PGA golf, Nascar, Chicago Bears and Cubs with home games and Farm Aid.
Might want to commute out of Chicago for over-night stay...if you don't want to spend a mint on hotel room.


At 9/20/2015 11:31:00 AM, Blogger SONY said...

Love and only Love....will melt your face! Neil Young fulfills The Promise of the Real! WOW, great set of crank from Dr. Grunge and the Neophytes. These guys are rocking it now like no other....

At 9/20/2015 12:46:00 PM, Blogger The Zuma Band said...

I assume it's a new song premiere, "I Won't Quit/Show Me the Love";
the set is streaming on RustRadio.

Sounds like his version of "I Won't Back Down"

At 9/21/2015 12:20:00 AM, Blogger Grey Rider said...

Torrential rains poured down on Chicago the night before Farm Aid. Thankfully, the day itself turned out to be bright, warm and sunny. Unfortunately, as the musicians played and the grounds filled, the wet grass turned to mud. Those of us on the lawn were crowded together, making the best of it, and having a good time despite getting dirty as the night fell.

Mr. Young took command of the Farm Aid stage at 10:00 PM under a thumbnail Moon. He looked like he was relishing the moment and was rolling up his sleeves as the band fired up a Workin' Man. Working hard is what they were doing too, even if they did make a stop for A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop. They also made a power shopping trip to the Big Box followed up by a long overdue trip to Alabama, riding along on a White Falcon. The Western Hero sang us a new song saying I Won’t Quit fighting. The set ended with the most powerful and resounding music heard all day, Love and Only Love. The super amplified chords sailed through us and over us out over the dark waters of the Lake and on towards Michigan, perhaps creating a seiche.

Willie followed up with a calming set as cool damp air descended on the lakefront. We headed to the exits as he finished, slipping and sliding through the muck, a day’s worth of litter and discarded, hopelessly fouled blankets.

The venue itself, probably needed the aid of some farmers to restore it’s grasses and contours after being trampled for a worthy cause, Farm Aid 30.


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