The annual Farm Aid took place yesterday at KeyBank Pavilion just outside of Pittsburgh as the organization’s board members—Dave Matthews, Neil Young, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp—all performed and welcomed a lineup that also included Sheryl Crow, Jack Johnson, The Avett Brothers and more. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette detailed a number of the highlights on the night.
Johnson embodied the collaborative spirit of the event with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” with Sheryl Crow, Nathaniel Rateliff and Jamey Johnson sitting in. Lukas Nelson later emerged for “Breakdown” and The Avett Brothers helped Johnson close his set with “Mudfootball” and “Better Together.”
Elsewhere on the day, Nelson welcomed Margo Price with his band Promise of the Real for “Find Yourself.” Price later duetted with Sheryl Crow on “Strong Enough,” who also paid tribute to Gregg Allman with a cover of “Midnight Rider” featuring Lukas and Willie Nelson as well as Jack Johnson.
Jamey Johnson made waves with the country artist delivering covers of “Up on Cripple Creek” as well as Little Feat’s “Willin’” and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” before The Avett Brothers came out for their classic brand of folk rock after a few collaborations earlier in the day.
Matthews, along with acoustic partner Tim Reynolds, was the first of the four board members to play, rolling through a brief set highlighted by a new song “The Odds are Against Us.” Mellencamp then rolled through his hits before Young roared with Promise of the Real, playing hits like “Fuckin’ Up,” “Cortez the Killer,” “Cinnamon Girl” and “Heart of Gold,” among others.
As he always does, Willie Nelson closed down the evening, welcoming Jamey Johnson for the Merle Haggard collaboration “It’s All Going to Pot” before Sheryl Crow, Valerie June, Seth and Scott Avett emerged for “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away.” Nelson then brought out son Lukas for one of the last songs of the night, an appropriate tribute to Texas with “Texas Flood.” The singalong “I Saw the Light” brought the evening to a close.