I didn’t go to the show @ Farm Aid 2013 in Saratoga Springs last night but I watched it on the live stream in youtube. Yeah, they were live streaming the whole Farm Aid show on the internet like they do every year. The event was first started by Willie Nelson in 1985 to help raise money for families who owns local farms so they won’t lose them over mortgage debt. John Mellencamp and Neil Young teamed up with him. Dave Matthews joined them as board of directors later in the years. This year, Farm Aid was taken place at SPAC in Saratoga Springs which the event happened last night. There was live music all day on the main stage yesterday but the 4 big headlining acts: Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson didn’t start til later at 5 p.m.
Let me review each of their performances briefly, I watched Farm Aid on the Ipad last night:
Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds: They played an acoustic set. Dave played mostly DMB songs, of course. I’m not much of a DMB fan anymore but I actually like him and Tim Reynolds playing together more. I thought their set was pretty amazing last night. I was most impressed with Tim Reynold’s performance, though. He’s quite the guitar player on acoustic! I was watching what Tim was doing close-up on the Ipad and what he was doing on the acoustic amazes me. Tim can play fast lead guitar on acoustic with just using his fingers. He doesn’t even use a guitar pick in a lot of stuff and I’m like woah. It’s very hard to play good lead guitar on acoustic and I would like to play like that myself.
John Mellencamp: To be honest, I wasn’t so crazy about this performance. He played a mix of new songs and classic hits. He was cool enough to take requests from the audience, he definitely like crowd participation for sure but I wasn’t so crazy about his singing. John doesn’t sing good anymore as he used to. He sings like an old man who smokes too much. Something about his singing that didn’t grab me, I don’t know. I’m not much of a Mellencamp fan to begin with, anyways. His music wasn’t really my cup of tea.
Pete Seeger: After Mellencamp got over with, he invited folk music legend Pete Seeger to the stage. Even though Pete Seeger is 94 years old and he admitted that he doesn’t have much of a singing voice anymore, he still KILLED IT. Pete was pretty amazing. Pete did his usual cover of “This Land Is Your Land”. The 4 founders of Farm Aid sung along with him and so did the audience. Pete was awesome!
Neil Young: All week long I’ve been looking forward to Neil’s performance at Farm Aid and to be honest, I’ll have to say I was pretty disappointed with his performance. His performance was acoustic. He didn’t have Crazy Horse with him which is expected (’cause their guitarist Poncho has a broken hand which is why the band had to cancel their tour). Neil’s performance was amazing of course, he did a few covers and a few of his classic tunes; however, he could have played more songs instead of rambling and ranting on and on and on over ridiculous stuff. Yeah, I understand it’s Farm Aid and he had a message to say about food and farms but he didn’t need to go on that lengthy rant in between songs. There was even a point where some guy from the audience called out Neil and yelled, “Come on, Lets go”. Neil immediately responded to that guy from the crowd and said, “Did I hear a come on lets go? I work for me.”. Sure enough, the crowd cheered for him and Neil kept talking until he finally went back to the music. Later on when he went to the organ to perform a song, he messed up a song, stopped playing and rambled on to the crowd some more. I love Neil’s music and all but he is kind of an asshole. He was a dick to the crowd last night. He didn’t care if the fans were waiting for him to play the music, he had a message to say about the food industry in America which was inappropriate really ’cause that wasn’t what Farm Aid was about. Instead Neil ranted about food politics and turned Farm Aid to a negative direction. He obviously has liberal views toward food, climate, global warming, etc. He talked about all that stuff. The music he played was good, I just wish he didn’t go on those long speeches.
I didn’t bother watching Willie Nelson, though. I’m sure he was good but his music is not my cup of tea either.
Even though, I didn’t go to Farm Aid, I’m glad I got to watch it online. I thought the Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds and Pete Seeger were the best performances of the night. Thumbs down to Mellencamp and Neil.