NEIL YOUNG and PROMISE OF THE REAL – ” Farm Aid ” Burgettstown, Pennsylvania 2017

Posted: September 20, 2017 in FESTIVALS, MUSIC
Tags: , ,

Neil Young’s name may have been on this years line up for this year’s Farm Aid, but until he walked onstage at the KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania it was impossible to know for sure if he’d even make it. Neil Young hasn’t missed a single Farm Aid since the original event back in 1985 and he sits on the board, but this is also the same year he cancelled a festival appearance in Australia, Cancelled a tour of South America and Japan. He also put the Bridge School Benefit on hold, he hadn’t stepped foot on a stage the entire year.

But for Farm Aid 2017 he came roaring onto the stage like a feral beast finally let out of his cage and delivered a 45-minute set of unbelievable passion and energy. Backed by Promise of the Real (who he first met at Farm Aid in 2014 and has used as his primary backing band ever since), “Thanks for coming to Farm Aid,” he said in the only moment of the set where he paused long enough to speak.

He opened up with a blistering “Fuckin’ Up” that lead right into a hypnotic “Cortez The Killer” that stretched out to nearly eleven minutes. He didn’t even sing a note of it until four and a half minutes in as he built up a haunting intro on his battered guitar Old Black, grinned from ear to ear and reveled in the effortless interplay he’s developed with guitarists Lukas and Micah Nelson. Near the end, he seemed to remember he had a ticking clock and he quickly wrapped it up and called out for “Cinnamon Girl,” forcing the band to scramble for the right instruments as he pounded out the opening chords.

Young then strapped on a harmonica and acoustic guitar for singalong renditions of “Human Highway,” “Heart of Gold” and “Comes a Time,” before seeming to again call an audible, this time for “Like a Hurricane.”

It didn’t give Micah enough time to get behind the keyboard for the intro, but once the band locked in it almost felt like Crazy Horse was on the stage too. By this point, the crowd was in a state of complete hysteria, which only got crazier when Young mouthed the words “Rockin’ In The Free World” to the band and they kicked into it Ramones-style, not pausing for even a split second after the abbreviated end to “Like a Hurricane.” They had a bit over four minutes on the clock, not giving them enough time to even get to the third verse, but Young milked what time he had for everything it was worth. Somehow or another, he managed to cram a three-hour Neil Young concert into 45 minutes that will surely go down as one of the greatest sets in Farm Aid history.

For more information about Farm Aid, visit: https://farmaid.org 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?

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.

the setlist  Fuckin’ Up , Cortez the Killer,  Cinnamon Girl,  Human Highway, Heart of Gold, Comes a Time , Like a Hurricane, Rockin’ in the Free World.

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