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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Photo of the Moment: Lukas Nelson & Neil Young + Promise Of The Real @ Farm Aid 2017

"F*!#in' Up"
Lukas Nelson & Neil Young + Promise Of The Real

Farm Aid 2017 Concert: Burgettstown, PA, Saturday Sept 16
Photo by Hounds That Howell
(Click photo to enlarge)

The Photo of the Moment is Lukas Nelson & Neil Young + Promise Of The Real performing "F*!#in' Up" at the Farm Aid 2017 Concert in Burgettstown, PA, on Saturday Sept 16. Photo by Hounds That Howell.

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At 9/23/2017 02:07:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Finally got to watch the performance from Farm Aid 2017. Neil seemed a tad frail, but as usual delivered a passionate in the moment performance that was transcendent. As for Promise of the Real backing Neil that night, I was disappointed with their singing and their playing. At best they were just in the way, and the harmonies were flat, off key and at one point a complete train wreck. I know these kids are talented musicians but this just was not their night. Lukas's lead work was pedestrian, and forgettable, and his brother just seemed lost in the mix. The bass player, drummer and percussionist were the only three people on the stage that seemed connected with Neil.

I know they are a better band than what happened at Farm Aid, and humans are going to have off nights and this happened to one of those nights for Promise of the Real. Neil saved the night for me with a brilliant nuanced performance that has become his MO.

At 9/25/2017 12:15:00 PM, Blogger romat73 said...

I didn't notice too many problems with the band myself. Did anyone else besides Dan? I thought the set was decent. As far as Neil being frail... the one thing I noticed on social media and in the Rolling Stone review of the set, was how blown away most reviewers/commenters were by Neil's performance and how they were surprised that he looked perfectly healthy and energetic (which I was not surprised by). I think people were reading too much into his cancelled shows this year.

At 9/25/2017 03:17:00 PM, Blogger Hounds That Howl said...

Hey All, FWIW... here's my opinion on the Neil vocal quality/appearance discussion as one who spent the day there starting with the Press Conference at 11am.

My take is Neil's breathing rhythm for his singing his vocals were disturbed by his rocking aerobics around the stage during his playing.

He was constantly moving from jamming around the stage with each of the fellas to his mic to pick up his vocal parts. At times he was not close enough to the mic when he needed to be. That, coupled with the breakneck pace of the songs and the set (the Venue has a hard stop time for the show so they need to be mindful of that), I firmly believe created the conditions where their vocal performance may not have sounded as well orchestrated compared to what we experienced over last year of their concert run together. Their heavy performance schedule 2015 and 2016 created a well oiled machine. While on their own concert run they are able to control the pace of their performance and their daily preparation schedule.

During the entire press conference Neil sounded and moved around totally normally. He was intense and focused when talking about the important issues and was quick to smile and laugh when the conversation was lighter. After the conference he lingered on stage socializing, talking and chuckling with conference participants and Farm Aid staff, taking photos and was among the last to exit the stage.

This is Hardly the behavior of someone who was impaired in some capacity, don't you think?

At 9/26/2017 12:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Romat73: Overall I thought the performance was enjoyable, but you'd have to be tone-deaf not to notice the out-of-tune vocals on some of the acoustic songs, as observed by Dan.

And with due respect to Hounds That Howl, the most likely explanation for this was that the monitor mixes were bad on stage; a recurring technical problem that has affected many of the Farm Aid and Bridge School concerts through the years. In order to be able to sing in tune, the musicians have to be able to properly hear themselves and each other.

I thought Neil played pretty well (though the best sounding song, Hurricane, was cut rather short, before it could really take off), under-the-weather or not. The previous Farm Aid with POTR was a turgid mess, everyone bashing away at their instruments with abandon. This time everything had more space to occupy and sounded a lot better because of it.


At 9/26/2017 02:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Correction: I meant to refer in the last paragraph to the 2015 performance, not the predominantly-acoustic set from 2016).


At 9/26/2017 03:28:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

I think the monitors not working properly would certainly effect the harmony’s a great deal. As for Neil’s health, I didn’t think he was sick as just frail which wouldn’t be uncommon for someone his age. He probably put out a lot of energy for Farm Aid long before he ever took the stage. As I mentioned he was completely in the moment and his playing and singing was heartfelt and passionate.

At 9/27/2017 10:46:00 AM, Blogger romat73 said...

I will need to watch/listen to the set one more time, I had it on cable later at night and was mainly waiting for the electric songs. I wasn't blown away or anything myself... but I had noticed the mainstream reviews were pretty glowing.

I downloaded mp3s of it too and was hoping it might sound a bit better cranked up on my headphones.

I was bummed they cut Lukas Nelson's early set for TV down to one song...? Maybe this was because I was watching the later rebroadcast...I'm not sure if the AXS channel broadcast the entire event live during the day?

At 9/27/2017 02:24:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ romat73: The only acts that we heard the entire set was the founders of Farm Aid. Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Mathews w/ Tim Reynolds which by the way was awesome.


At 9/27/2017 02:25:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

That is on AXS television.

At 9/28/2017 12:25:00 PM, Blogger romat73 said...

Ahh I see, well at least the Big 4 got their complete sets aired. That makes sense.

There was an earlier band (can't remember their name) that covered Little Feat's song: Willin'. That was pretty cool too, I guess they've played Farm Aid for years, but I didn't know them really.


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