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Show Reviews
Farm Aid 2002 Updated: . Bookmark:

Post Gazette Pavilion (aka Star Lake)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 21, 2002

Jump down to...
--> Charlie Macon's early reaction
--> Joe Crane's review
--> Lynn Carrington's short take
(more reviews coming)
Also See:
--> The show details.
--> An AP News Flash.
--> A Post-Gazette Review.
--> Artist's points of view.
--> A UPI report.
--> Videos & pics on the Music Benefits site.
--> A Rolling Stone review.
--> A Launch review.
--> A clip from Neil's Sugar Mountain performance. (~1 megabyte)
--> Neil's "Blood Brother" ceremony on Willie's site.

The Confirmed Set List
  1. Old Man
  2. Heart Of Gold
  3. Harvest Moon
    [Mickey Raphael joins on harp for rest of set]
  4. Mother Earth   (on pump organ)
  5. After The Gold Rush   (on piano)
  6. Comes A Time   (with Willie)
  7. Sugar Mountain   (with Willie)

Farm Aid 2002 -- Post Gazette Pavilion (aka Star Lake)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 21, 2002

early reaction by Charlie Macon

Hoooooodoggies that was cool! Neil is one passionate son-of-a-gun I tell ya.

I about freaked when he started with the glorious Old Man. I've gotta learn more about that song Mother Earth, it really shined tonight. His performance of After the Goldrush was the best I've ever seen or heard -- I think his piano was enchanted or something.

Neil is a definitely a bright spot on the earth. As I have said before, he really brings out the music lover in me!

Y'all have a great evening. Willie Nelson's playin' now.... YEEEEHAAAA!

Take care, Charlie
"when the music calls"

Farm Aid 2002 -- Post Gazette Pavilion (aka Star Lake)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 21, 2002

review by Joe Crane

Neil did a seven song, 42 minute set, which i would describe as a greatest hits solo set. The perfomances were outstanding, especially the finale, one of the best versions of Sugar Mountain I've heard. He was very much into talking about the farmers' plight, and the need to buy organic foods. A couple of times during the set he yelled "Attention shoppers! Buy organic food."

Willie's set included five songs, all pretty standard except for the fifth which I think was titled My American Dream. Then everyone, including Neil (who was carrying a huge eagle feather) came out for the final 3 songs: America The Beautiful, a very spirited (and as far as Farm Aid finales go, very original) Move It On Over, and a medley of On the Road Again > I Saw The Light. Neil was stage right, next to the stage host, actor Matthew McConaughey who was dancing up a storm with one of the Indians. So Neil quietly moved to a row back and hung out with Gillian Welch for the rest of the show.

As far as this Farm Aid goes, I have to give credit to CMT. They actually showed complete sets without cutting away. Probably the best televised Farm Aid for the last 5 or 6 years. Job well done.

There were some sound problems, especially with the groups, like Mellencamp's group, and Willie's group, and some of the earlier artists. Matthew McConaughey was okay at first, but a little of him goes a long way.

As far as the acts themselves, I thought they were all entertaining, even Keith Urban who started things off. In years past there were acts I couldn't take at all -- but this year I thought everyone was pretty entertaining.

Of course still a far cry from Farm Aid 1. It had over 40 performers, including Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Beach Boys, Don Henley, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Van Halen, Randy Newman, Billy Joel, BB King, on and on and on. I don't think we'll ever see another FA quite like that.


Farm Aid 2002 -- Post Gazette Pavilion (aka Star Lake)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 21, 2002

short take by Lynn Carrington

Old Man was right on the mark! Comes a Time was a total unexpected pleasure. Neil was sounding clear and strong. And if I wasn't already tingling enough, Neil closes out his set with Sugar Mountain, a tune that always makes me feel weak in the knees -- probably cuz all my energy rises from there and goes soaring up through my body into my heart and beyond. Well, something like that, it's hard to put into words....