Neil Young has played first ever show in Vermont in support of the State’s groundbreaking GMO labelling law.
In April last year, the US State of Vermont was the first State in the USA to vote in a law that will require companies to disclose on packaging whether their products contained genetically modified ingredients, when sold within the State. The law goes into effect in July 2016.
On Neil Young’s brand new record The Monsanto Years (his 36th studio LP) – recorded with Promise of the Real, a band featuring Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah – Young takes a musical stand against multinational corporation Monsanto, a leading producer of Genetically Modified seeds. Monsanto – among others – were quick to sue the state of Vermont in response to the pending law, claiming it violated their right to free speech.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin said of the lawsuit, “We knew Monsanto and the food manufacturers would sue us, they have, we are now raising money through the Vermont food fight fund to fight back against Monsanto”.
Today, Young was in Vermont to play his first ever concert there – a show that was set up outside his usual touring circuit to show his support for their battle and to thank the progressive state for voting in the law. At a press conference with Shumlin earlier in the day, Young expressed his feelings rather simply: “I’m just a rock and roller who believes people should know what they’re eating,”
Later in the evening at the concert, however, with a fist in the air and a voice proclaiming “Strong Vermont! Standing up where the other states are laying down!”, Young made this passion clear. Following a five track solo set, Young was joined by the Promised of the Real for a two hour set that mixed his greatest hits with anti-Monsonto tracks from his latest record, alongside plenty of his signature jams – made extra special with the inclusion of the guitar work from his new support band.
Keeping true to his word to support the cause, Neil Young donated $100,000 from the ticket sales of the concert to help in the State’s legal battle, while Lukas Nelson performed a special version of “Moonlight in Vermont” (their unofficial State anthem) to help make it an extra special show for the locals.
No encore was played as Young and the band pushed past curfew and promised to “make every minute count” on this Sunday night, but a huge standing ovation proved that Young did not disappoint the Vermont crowd.
The concert was part of his Rebel Content tour and saw Puss N Boots (featuring Norah Jones and Catherine Popper) open the night.
Neil Young’s new record The Monsanto Years – which was recorded with Promise of the Real – came out last month and is available now through Warner Music Australia. Promise of the Real will be performing at Bluesfest in Australia next Easter, with rumours suggesting Neil will join them as a festival headliner.
Stay tuned for Noise11 for all Bluesfest news!
Champlain Valley Exposition, Essex Junction, Vermont
19th July 2015
Neil Young (Solo)
After The Goldrush (from After The Goldrush, 1972)
Heart of Gold (from Harvest, 1972)
Long May You Run (from Long May You Run, 1976)
Old Man (from Harvest, 1972)
Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)
Neil Young with Promise of the Real
Out On The Weekend (from Harvest, 1972)
Unknown Legend (from Harvest Moon, 1992)
Only Love Can Break Your Heart (from After The Goldrush, 1972)
From Hank To Hendrix (from Harvest Moon, 1992)
Harvest Moon (from Harvest Moon, 1992)
Wolf Moon (from The Monsanto Years, 2015)
Words (Between the Lines of Age)
Lookin’ For A Love From Zuma, 1975)
Moonlight in Vermont (Cover – Lukas Nelson on Lead Vocals and Piano)
A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop (from The Monsanto Years, 2015)
People Want To Hear About Love (from The Monsanto Years, 2015)
A New Day For Love (from The Monsanto Years, 2015)
Country Home (from Ragged Glory, 1990)
Down By The River (from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, 1969)
Workin’ Man (from The Monsanto Years, 2015)
Monsanto Years (from The Monsanto Years, 2015)
Love And Only Love (from Ragged Glory, 1990)
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