Despite the pandemic, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and the other members of the Farm Aid team still gathered for a virtual event this past Saturday with the Farm Aid 2020 On The Road Livestream. The nearly three-and-a-half-hour livestream featured a marathon of performances from Jack Johnson, Nathaniel Rateliff, Chris Stapleton, The Record Company, Black Pumas, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Brandi Carlile, Bonnie Raitt & Boz Scaggs, The War And Treaty, Margo Price, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Jon Batiste, and more.
Following quick-hit performances from many up-and-coming and well-established artists, Matthews was the first member of the Farm Aid board to perform. Opening a four-song medley with “Don’t Drink The Water” from the Dave Matthews Band catalog, his solo acoustic performance also featured a cover of Tex Ritter‘s classic “Rye Whiskey”. Between his first and second song, however, Matthews made sure to mention that he is making new music with DMB drummer Carter Beauford. After one more DMB selection in “Grey Street”, Matthews closed out his set with “Shadows on the Wall”.
After some more performances from the likes of Valerie June, Farm Aid co-founder Mellencamp, and Carlile, it was time for fellow board member and co-founder Neil Young. For his performance, the Canadian singer-songwriter reprised the feel of his Fireside Sessions series, as he prowled around his Telluride, CO home, surrounded by chickens and other animals. Opening with “Field Of Opportunity” from 1978’s Comes a Time, Young mainly stuck to vintage tunes for his set, following that up with the title track from his recently-released “lost” 1975 album Homegrown.
The hits kept on coming as Young delivered a pair of his most celebrated songs, “Harvest” followed by “Old Man”. Finally, the session came to a close with a dip into the Crazy Horse catalog with “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”.
Following another hour of music and a brief set from Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Willie Nelson teamed up with his two sons for the penultimate set of the evening. The 87-year-old country music stalwart wasted no time in digging into his vast catalog of hits, starting with “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die”. Beside his sons Lukas and Micah, the Nelson family next took on “Thought About You, Lord” from 1996’s Spirit. With Micah taking lead vocals, and the other two Nelsons backing him up, the song became a real family affair.
Next came a cover of Bill Callery‘s “Hands on the Wheel”, where Lukas was given centerstage on vocal duties. Finally, the Farm Aid co-founder’s set came to a close with the classic “On The Road Again”. Following the final set fromBatiste, the Farm Aid 2020 On The Road Livestream came to a close with archival footage of the standard “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” finale from years past.
Watch the full Farm Aid On The Road livestream as seen on Saturday below, and scroll down to see a full list of performers and when they played.
Farm Aid On The Road Livestream
[Video: Farm Aid]
Farm Aid 2020 On The Road Livestream Set Times
0:02:38 Jack Johnson
0:16:03 Nathaniel Rateliff
0:23:53 Chris Stapleton
0:31:56 Norah Jones
0:41:56 The Record Company
0:47:40 Kelsey Waldon
0:51:57 Black Pumas (w/ Jack Johnson)
1:03:01 Dave Matthews
1:25:24 Valerie June
1:30:22 John Mellencamp
1:46:30 Brandi Carlile
1:55:58 Neil Young
2:15:37 Bonnie Raitt & Boz Scaggs
2:18:33 Jamey Johnson
2:25:25 Edie Brickell w/ Charlie Sexton
2:33:13 The War And Treaty
2:37:47 Margo Price
2:47:38 Particle Kid
2:53:17 Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real
3:02:17 Willie Nelson & The Boys
3:15:31 Jon Batiste