The 32nd year of Farm Aid Going Strong

KeyBank Pavilion, Burgettstown, Pennsylvania USA, September 16 2017

By Ken Kulpa / Dan Locke (Photo)

Farm Aid 2017 (credit: Dan Locke)

The 32nd annual Farm Aid concert was held yesterday at the KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. Farm Aid helps raise awareness for the plight of the family farmer. The funds raised  help their National Grant Program which helps the family farmer in many ways. From the Famers’ Legal Action Group which supplies legal research, advice and referrals to family farmers. Too, Soul Fire Farm Institute which trains Black, Latinos and Indigenous farmers which helps increase farm ownership by these populations.

The Farm Aid 2017 concert started off with Willie Nelson singing the Lord’s Prayer.

It shifted into high gear when Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats walked out onto the stage. They got the crowd fired up with “Look It Here” and ended their set with the raucous almost spiritual feeling song “S.O.B.”

The Avett Brothers and Jack Johnson

The high energy Avett Brothers kept the crowd wanting more, and they got it when Jack Johnson reached the stage. His dulcet sound was pumped up a couple notches. Far none his first song from his set had to have been my favorite. A song he wrote backstage when he played Farm Aid 2015 entitled, “Willie Got Me Stoned” which was a huge with the audience.

There were many great moments from Jack Johnson’s set. One of those highlights was when Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats joined him on “I Shall Be Released” a Bob Dylan song.

Sheryl Crow and Jack Johnson (credit: Dan Locke)

The Avett Brothers and their band helped Jack Johnson out on his big hit “Better Together” which the crowd absolutely loved.

Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds

Dave Matthews with his longtime friend and collaborator Tim Reynolds performed a seven song set. Started off with “Satellite” and ended with “Crush.” The multitude of die-hard Dave Matthew fans couldn’t get enough of Dave & Tim.

John Mellencamp

Next up, John Mellencamp strutted onto the stage dressed in his black custom tailored suit with black vest and white t-shirt, looked sharp as he always does and sounded amazing and his hair was flawless.

He started off his set with “Lawless Times” which seemed apropos for what’s happening in the world today. He and his band played some of his big hits, Small Town, Check It Out, Rain On Me Scarecrow, Crumblin’ Down. He also did an incredible acoustic version of “Jack and Diane”, which he had everyone singing along with him.

Neil Young (Credit: Dan Locke)

Neil Young and Willie Nelson Perf0rmance

The most anticipated performance of the night came from Neil Young. He was backed by Promise Of The Real, they started off with, “F*#KIN’ Up.”

Neil jammed on “Old Black,” his 1953 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top which he had painted black; he played it like a man possessed. Watching him perform was incredible, he moved on stage like he was in his thirties. The crowd was re-energized with his performance. He set the bar high for Willie Nelson, and Willie didn’t disappoint.

I left when Willie Nelson got on stage so I couldn’t review his set but I’ll be back next year, I can’t wait to see what Willie, Neil, John and Dave have in store for Farm Aid 2018, and you know it will be remarkable

KeyBank Pavilion

665 Pennsylvania 18
Burgettstown, PA, 15021
724-947-7400

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