Farm Aid Returns to the Heartland With Mellencamp, Young, Wilco

October 5th, 2009 by Dan Michel Leave a reply »

Photo: Natkin/WireImage

Farm Aid 2009 hit St. Louis’ Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre yesterday with Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Willie Nelson leading a pack of performers that also included Wilco, Jason Mraz and late addition Gretchen Wilson. Local farmers and families packed the venue’s lawn eating locally produced meats and produce and donning shirts that read “Stop Factory Farms” and “Farmers Kick Ass.” The show marks the first Farm Aid for Missouri, and the ninth consecutive year Matthews, Mellencamp, Young, and Nelson, all Farm Aid board members, have headlined the annual concert. Since its inception in 1986, Farm Aid has raised more than $35 million to help support America’s family farmers.

Wilco took the stage at dusk and brought the crowd to its feet with a six-song set that included “Impossible Germany” and “Heavy Metal Drummer” — a song about hanging out in St. Louis’ Laclede’s Landing — and “Casino Queen,” an ode to a local riverboat casino.

Farm Aid 2009 in photos: Young, Nelson, Mellencamp, Matthews and more.

Dave Matthews — fresh off his headlining set at Austin City Limits — and Tim Reynolds played an acoustic set with songs from Matthews’ newest album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. The show hit an upswing when Farm Aid President Willie Nelson joined the duo on stage for “Gravedigger.” Nelson’s slow, steady voice was almost overpowered by the crowd’s raucous applause.

“There are few people like [Willie] on Earth,” says Matthews after the song. “The more we get behind things he believes in, the better we’ll be.” Matthews then finished his set strong with a sweet and somber version of “Dancing Nancies.”

John Mellenca...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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