1. "Heart of Gold"
2. "Comes a Time"
4. "Standing in the Light of Love"
5. "Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)" (with Mickey Raphael)
6. "Who's Gonna Stand Up and Save the Earth"
7. "Rockin' in the Free World" (with Lukas Nelson & Micah Nelson)
When it comes to political and social activism, I can't think of a musician that's been as powerful as Neil Young. In 1985, Young founded Farm Aid along with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp, and they've been doing it every year since. Along the way, they've raised $45 million for family farmers and awareness about agricultural and environmental issues. For more information, go to farmaid.org.
Kicking off with "Heart of Gold," Neil played a spirited Farm Aid 2014 set with flawless precision. The 68-year-old looked spry, holding a smaller guitar than the big dreadnoughts that he's been playing for most of his career. "Comes A Time" follows suit, with the beautiful refrain "Oh, this old world keeps spinnin' round / it's a wonder tall trees 'aint layin' down / there comes a time."
Neil slows things down before "Pocahontas," giving a thank you speech about the history and importance of Farm Aid. He called out Senator Richard Burr of Farm Aid 2014's host state, North Carolina, as one of the people in Washington D.C. who are responsible for blocking the environmental changes that can make the world a better place. When the crowd boos the senator, Young reminds them to make their voices heard in the elections.
Neil Young's song catalog is so deep that maybe one day James Cameron will make a movie about going to the bottom of it. During this Farm Aid set, he played two songs that have never been released on record: "Standing in the Light of Love" (which was originally performed on tour with Crazy Horse in 2001) and "Who's Gonna Stand Up and Save the Earth" (originally performed with Crazy Horse in 2014). Both songs sounded great on this evening, driving home the very essence of why Farm Aid exists. There is a real battle happening every day, and the future of humankind and planet Earth are at stake. Things like fracking and oil pipelines are serious issues, and we need advocates like Neil Young who fight for environmental protection.
After a speech about family farming (which has been curiously removed from YouTube), Neil sits at the organ to perform "Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)" with Mickey Raphael joining him on harmonica. This was followed by a very powerful moment. As Neil Young sings, "Who's Gonna Stand Up and Save the Earth," everyone in the audience stood up and sang along with him.
To close the set out, Neil brings up "the Nelson boys" (referring to two of Willie Nelson's children, Lukas and Micah) and the trio perform "Rockin' in the Free World" from Young's 1989 album, Freedom, on acoustic guitars. It was another concert for the ages from the great Neil Young in his mission to bring peace and enlightenment to those who seek it.
For Neil Young's latest music, news, and tour dates, check out his Zumic artist page.
Source: Farm Aid YouTube