Very Quick Farm Aid Wrap-Up

Just finished my post-Farm Aid White Castles and thought I’d do a very brief wrap-up of the show.  I may expand on some of this later, but for now, let’s just do rapid-fire bullet-points.

  • I got a little sunburned.
  • There was a complete asshole sitting behind us…he kept yelling random crap in-between sets, and during sets, he kept yelling at people to sit down.  Dave and I got into it with the guy a little bit—Dave more-so than me.  Dave pretty much convinced the guy to leave people alone at least for a while, but he started up again, and I shouted “SHUT THE F**K UP!!!” to him at least twice.  What a dick.
  • We went largely for my Dad’s birthday.  Happy birthday Dad (it’s today, actually).  Hope you had all the fun you were supposed to and maybe some more.
  • My friend (and friend of the blog) Jim tells me that he saw us in the crowd on the local news!  That’s pretty cool!
  • It ended up kind of cold, but not horrible…still, most of the wusses (aka – Dave Matthews fans) headed to the gate after dark, but before the end.  I’ll never understand how some people don’t stick around until the end, especially after you’ve already been there for 9 hours…

 

…okay…now short reviews of the performers, in order…

 

  • The Blackwood Quartet – Missed them.  We got there a little after noon and were in line until just after 1:30 (or something like that…I may be a little off.)  Show started at 1.  Once again, the amphitheatre shows its ineptitude in not getting us in on time…
  • Phosphorescent – See above.  Missed them, too—but that’s probably because we did our merch buying and bathroom going upon arrival.
  • Will Dailey – Pretty good.  Could’ve done with hearing more…walked in part-way through Will’s introduction.  I may check out more later on Rhapsody.
  • Ernie Isley &  the Jam Band – Surprisingly fun and entertaining…and Isley’s pretty funny, too!
  • Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real – Willie Nelson’s kid.  I was eating a pork-chop sandwich (which wasn’t very good—sorry, farmers) at the time, so I mostly just heard it in the concourse…but I will have to say that the kid’s voice is really grating and I’m kind of glad I missed it.  Might’ve given me a headache.
  • Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horse – Really good.  Definitely going to dig a little deeper on this one.
  • Billy Joe Shaver – Apparently missed his flight or something…didn’t get a full set from Shaver, which I was kind of bummed about, but he joined Willie on stage at the end, which was cool.
  • Jamey Johnson – Pretty good, and I WANT to get more into it…but I get the sense that his lyrics are probably a little too pro-pot for my taste.
  • Gretchen Wilson – Meh.  Good entertainer, but not my cup of tea…and also, that WASN’T country, and people should really stop calling it that.
  • Wilco – (This, incidentally, began our problems with the dick behind us.)  GREAT set.  Lots of fun and high energy.  Plus, Tweedy pointed out that he’s basically from here (Belleville, in his case), and contrary to what Gretchen Wilson says (her big “hit” is called “Redneck Woman”), not everyone from here is a redneck.  Thanks, Tweedy!
  • Jason Mraz – I was thinking of posting a list of things I’d rather do than listen to Jason Mraz…but I need to go to bed before sun-up.  Just boring and terrible.
  • Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds – To those like myself who don’t like Dave Matthews, you’re probably thinking, “What could be more dry, lifeless and boring than a Dave Matthews B[l]and set?”  To that, my answer is “Acoustic set.”  DULL.  For some reason everyone in the crowd was on their feet for it, but up and down (mostly down) for the rest of the day.  I’ve never liked the Douche Matthews Bag, and stripping it down to acoustic doesn’t help.  In fact, it somehow makes it even more boring.  Tough to say if Matthews or Mraz was duller…maybe sometime they can meet up and have a dull-off…and even that might end in a tie.
  • John Mellencamp – Turns out I’m kind of a fan…who knew?  I had no idea how many of his songs I like!  Really good, fun set, and I may have to pick up a “best of” soon.
  • Neil Young – I love Neil Young.  I’d never seen Neil Young until tonight.  My expectations were high.  He did a really good set, focusing on a country sound and playing nothing even RESEMBLING a hit.  I liked that a LOT!  I didn’t know a lot of what he did, but it was still really, really cool and I’m glad I saw it.  I’d like to see a full Neil set where maybe he does some more of his rock stuff…but all in all, no disappointment, here.
  • Willie Nelson – What can I say?  It’s Willie.  He ALWAYS knocks it out of the park.  Great set.  Kind of a sleepy start to it, but it built to a definite burn pretty quickly and it was a lot of fun.

 

Like I said, I may say more later…but that was the ultra-short version.  Mostly, it was just cool to go to a BIG (and sold out!) show with my dad and brother again.

 

And again…happy birthday, Dad!