Leslie is a contributing writer and editor to WeeklyDaveSpeak.com.
Kenny Chesney played an awesome acoustic set to a full Farm Aid crowd. Flanked by two other guitarists, Chesney opened with his own tribute to this year’s Farm Aid location, “She’s From Boston.” “Never Wanted Nothing More” showcased some beautiful harmonizing while “Living In Fast Forward” and “When The Sun Goes Down” proved that Chesney is, in his own words, “a little blue grass, a little country and a little southern rock” and can appeal to all the different types of music fans here tonight. His cover of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s classic “Pride and Joy” got the crowd up and dancing, but it was his “beer goggle” song “Table For Two” that has us all laughing.
Dave and Tim played an amazing set that opened with an emotional “Bartender.” The extended outro jams to “So Damn Lucky” and “Crush” showcased how incredibly in sync and powerful Dave and Tim are when they rock out together. “Cornbread” is just as funky acoustic as it is full band, and it’s just as fun watching Dave wiggle around in his chair during the tune as it is watching him dance across the stage. The tender “Stay or Leave” is definitely its finest when played stripped down and acoustic. “Ants Marching,” with Dave and Tim’s dueling guitars garnering huge screams from the crowd, was the perfect high energy closer.
As always, John Mellencamp brought the house down! Opening with the classic “Pink Houses” into “Check It Out”, Mellencamp had the whole room dancing, singing and clapping along. His slower, solo rendition of “Small Town” felt more poignant than usual, while rockin’ versions of “Scarecrow” and “If I Die Sudden” had everyone belting out the lyrics right along with the band. The highlight of his set was definitely “I Fight Authority,” before which he has us all calling friends and family to include them in the live show. Just like for Mellencamp, the rebellious message in the song never seems to get old for anyone and always gets the crowd jumping around with fists pumping in the air.