FARM AID 18 JOURNAL by Vikki Turnbow: 09-18-2004 White River
Yes we made it to Farm Aid 18! It was a big fast long blast! I went with My nephew Jesse, and My Step Mom Vikki. In fact, being the Journalist type she is, Vikki made a “Rock and Roll Journal” to document the days activities. We have reprinted it here for all to re-live and enjoy! So lets get going! (Eric said this)…..
(Here a photo taken that very day of the stage set up By Vikki Turnbow)
FARM AID 18 JOURNAL by Vikki Turnbow: 09-18-2004 White River
I’m so lucky. Eric not only enjoys going to concerts at least as much as I do, but he also doesn’t mind driving! FAD stands for Farm Aid Diary and I’m writing to share it with you and to remember it by later Farm Aid 2004 was held Saturday, Sept. 18 at White River Amphitheatre.
(This is the crowd lining up to get into the show. Photo By Eric Turnbow)
Eric picked me up around noon and we tore up the free-way at the new breakneck average speed of 35 MPH for most of the drive up I-5 and a good portion of 512, arriving around 1:40. I jammed all my unauthorized outside food into every pocket, Eric noted he should have brought a hat and worn double jeans (as I had as we stood in the longest line I’ve ever seen there in the drizzle, herded by horse crowd control people with southern drawls for 45 minutes until we reached the door just in time to hear the last song by the cows-with-guns guy. (cowswithguns.com)….
We got Eric his gyro and our coffees and found our seats as Native American dancers and blessing ceremonies were beginning at 3. Steve, anther concert guy who works at the counter line at the post office and is a friend, had 2nd row seats. I could see him and his son in place already when Willie Nelson came out and welcomed everyone. More dancing, including the hoop dance I recognized from somewhere…
Our seat neighbours to our left arrived. They’d also seen Neil Young and Lucinda Williams last time around and he told me Dave Matthews’ wife is a nursing student in Seattle and that’s why he’s living in the area. We’d already heard he had suggested doing Farm Aid out here this year. The first act was Kate Voegele, an acoustic duo and excellent–as was every act, so I won’t repeat that each time.
Grandson Jess arrived at 3:25 and joined us up in row 17 of section 210 (the best seats available one hour into PRE-sale ticket availability that I had access to a day before general sales began(!) No wonder so many people had to sit in the rain on the grass! At least our seats were under cover and the sound was perfect! We got a chance to visit with Jess and catch up on his new Seattle life, in between acts.
Kitty Jerry from Memphis who called her music country soul, as she’s black and very country had a full band and Eric said the guest harmonica guy was Mickey Rafael. We were to see him sit in with many of the acts–class act. Blue Merl, with a stand up bass, violin and mandolin were up next, then Tegan and Sara, two waif like dark-haired pixie girls with voices to match, then Trick Pony was joined by Willie for “Whiskey River”. They were southern rock & did about 4 more tunes. I liked them quite a bit. The set changes went very fast; each band was set up on a rolling platform, so each performed for about 20-25 minutes, then the set change took 5-10, so things moved along at a steady clip, not dragging, but giving a little chance to chat in between–
Tony Goeman, a black singing drummer is a man after my own heart. He did the blues and had a Hammond B3 with a Leslie speaker in his band. (Eric recognized his sax player as one from the original Blues Brothers.) He had Willie come out and play some blues on his incredibly beat up looking but great sounding guitar.
Lucinda Williams came on at 5:40 and Steve Earl joined her for “Concrete and Barb’d Wire”, I’d never heard him before, but liked what I heard. He writes controversial songs and did Copperhead Road, Devil’s Right Hand (gun control) and a song about the poor sons fight the wars.. not a lot of talk on topics up to this point from the early acts.
(Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle put up the jams at Farm Aid 18)!
Jerry Lee Lewis was helped on stage and then put out the most energy so far in the show when he did “Roll Over Beethoven” and Hank Williams song, “Whole Lotta’ Shakin’ Going On, and closed with “Great Balls of Fire”. He looked older than dirt but had great energy and brought the intensity level up a couple of notches.
(Jerry Lee Lewis tore it up at Farm Aid 18)!
By now it was dark and I’d just about finished all my goodies. Eric had popped for a pizza and I think Jess had purchased something. I felt smug because I only bought 2 cups of coffee as I’d brought my own water too, and I’d see folks coming back to their seats with food several times, and I hadn’t needed to stand in the very long lines (20 minutes for an espresso– I don’t think so! Neither did Eric, so we didn’t have any. At 7:30 Dave Matthews was introduced by John Mellencamp. Dave talked sort of loopy between songs but had us mesmerized by his performance. I’d been wishing he’d have his whole band, but he was riveting solo and the sound was so clear– very intense.He talked about a movie he’s in & wrote a song for that I now want to see.
John Mellencamp and small band came on at 8:24 and their set included Paper and Fire -one of my favorites. I especially enjoyed his hot fiddler lady and the little accordion on that song. Most everyone stood up for his closing “Little Pink Houses”
(John Mellencamp tore it up at Farm Aid 18)
Neil Young took the stage at 9:10 with a Willie Nelson introduction– he did the most talking about biodiesel and buying organic in between a great group of songs: Harvest Moon, Pocahantas, one about winter rain in Canada, Cowgirl in the Sand, Old Man by the side of the Road (at this point, the big screen focussed in on Steve as he sat mesmerized and that image was broadcast not only all through the arena, but over the internet, so I now call him Famous Farm Aid Face guy). When Neil began Pocahantas, Eric dialed Avaton for me and I held it up so Avaton could hear it. I told him I figured we’d be leaving around 10:30. I guessed wrong– way wrong!
After It’s Over, Neil had his wife come out to sing harmonies for Human Highway and King (his dog song) and 4 Strong Winds. He finished just after 10 and Willie Nelson’s video lead in clip came on at 10:20. Then Dave Matthews and Neil Young came on stage, both carrying a beer bottle, and Dave gave a rambling intro so long that I began to wonder if it would ever end (sort of like this report), then Willie and the biggest band of the night did Promised Land, Whiskey River, Still Still Moving to Me, whiskey for my men and beer for the horses, Poncho’s Legend, Time Slips Away (with Carla–cute young blond), Night Life. Then his sister played Down Yonder on the piano, and a song about his drummer Paul and his adventures on the road. . His son Paul had been on stage with him, but Willie now introduced him and he did an excellent version of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Texas Flood”, then Willie was back up front for “Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” and one about an angel flying too close to the ground. So when he did “On the Road Again”, I figured it was the perfect end to a perfect day.
I thought wrong– there was more! He did “You Were Always on my Mind”, then at 11:15 brought out Jack and Jerry Calhoun. I suspect if you knew country western music in the 1950′s that would be big news. They did a couple including “I’m Glad I’m an Okie from Muskogee” I believe it was about here that Jess bowed out, getting a head start on the notorious post-concert traffic jams. Eric and I hung in there for the last new face on stage, Danny Goodfeller, who was supposed to be a fiddler, but had this stick with pots and pans nailed on it that he jammed onto the stage and bounced and gyrated to “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” as the other performers filtered on stage. We were leaving the grounds as the group all sang Amazing Grace, then headed for “the” tree in the parking lot, arriving there to find there were two trees and we’d spotted the wrong one. We scampered across to “our” tree and I was able to call Avaton at the beginning of the actual driveway out that we were headed home at 11:44. Eric got me home at 1– and we were both pretty shot all day Sunday. That was a close to a rock festival as I’ve been in decades. Bye!
September 18, 2004 Seattle, Washington (Statistics)…..
The White River Amphitheatre on the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation south of Seattle hosted Farm Aid 2004 Presented by Silk Soymilk. Even though the concert was held in one of the farthest corners of the United States, people pilgrimaged to the show from at least 33 states and Canada. Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews invited Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Jerry Lee Lewis, Trick Pony, bluesman Tony Coleman, Blue Merle, Canadian twins Tegan and Sara, Kate Voegle and Kitty Jerry to play on the Farm Aid stage. Farm Aid hosted activities in Seattle’s Pike Place Market for 10 days leading up to the concert to celebrate family farm produced food. The main focus was on Farm Aid’s Ten Ways Campaign, a public information effort aimed at helping people understand the important link between family farmers and fresh, high quality food.