Neil Young’s 2017 Set at Farm Aid Was First in Months

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Neil Young performing at Farm Aid 2017, September 16, 2017 (Screen cap via AXS TV)

It was a stellar lineup that played at Farm Aid 2017, but for one participant, the event was different than it was for the other performers. Neil Young‘s set at last year’s event, held at KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pa., was his first public concert since his Bridge School benefit the previous Oct. 23.

Last year’s concert featured sets by the organization’s board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds, as well as Jack Johnson, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, the Avett Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, Margo Price, Blackberry Smoke, Valerie June, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Insects vs Robots and the Blackwood Quartet.

The concert sold-out almost immediately when tickets went on sale.

Crow’s set featured seven songs, including her classic rock favorites “Everyday is a Winding Road” and “If it Makes You Happy,” as well as her finale, a cover of the Allman Brothers Band’s “Midnight Rider,” for which she was joined by both Willie and Lukas Nelson.

Around 10 minutes after his scheduled 9:25 p.m. start time, the crowd cheered as Young, sporting a hat and clad in a “It’s all Going to Pot” t-shirt underneath a flannel shirt, came onstage with Promise of the Real, his backup band of the past few years. They kicked things off with a blistering “F*!#in’ Up” from his 1990 Ragged Glory album. Three songs in came a 1969 favorite with Crazy Horse, “Cinnamon Girl.”

Related: Many of Young’s 1970s recordings have been reissued

“Hey, thanks for coming to Farm Aid,” shouted Young, “Farmers are the American heroes today. They’re living a real life. We appreciate it.” He strapped on a harmonica as he launched into “Human Highway,” followed by “Heart of Gold.”

His eight-song set closed out with “Like a Hurricane” and “Rockin’ in the Free World.”


Neil Young’s Farm Aid 2017 Setlist

F@!#in’ Up
Cortez the Killer
Cinnamon Girl
Human Highway
Heart of Gold
Comes a Time
Like a Hurricane
Rockin’ in the Free World

Watch Crow “and friends” celebrate Gregg Allman

Watch Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats perform their big hit, “S.O.B.”

Best Classic Bands Staff