Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young‘s annual benefit concert, Farm Aid, has been going since 1985. This year’s concert happened September 22 at Hartford’s XFinity Theatre with performances by the three founders, as well as Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Kacey Musgraves, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Ian Mellencamp, and more. “It’s been 33 years and things still aren’t perfect,” Nelson said, understating things perhaps, during a press conference right before the show. “So, we’ll do this until they are.” The plight of the farmer was very much on the minds of many of the performers. From The Boot:

“My family fell victim to the farming crisis in the 1980s; this cause is near and dear to my heart,” said Margo Price, beginning her show behind the piano with “All American Made.” Price — who also joined Promise of the Real for their song “Find Yourself” — spent most of her show on acoustic guitar, however, leading her great band through a quick set, including “Tennessee Song” and “Don’t Say It.” Midway through the closer, “Cocaine Cowboys,” she put her guitar down and sat behind a second drum kit for an extended instrumental segment. She wasn’t done with the stage just yet, though: Later on, during Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats’ set, Price and Lukas Nelson reappeared for a medley of that band’s big hit “S.O.B.” and the Band’s classic “The Shape I’m In.”

Neil Young’s set included hits “Powderfinger,” “Heart of Gold” and CSNY’s “Ohio,” and more (and he brought more classics to two Capitol Theatre shows); and Willie’s set included “Always on My Mind,” “On the Road Again,” “Good Hearted Woman,” a few Hank Williams songs, and he brought out Neil, Margo and more for show closers “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away.” Pictures from Farm Aid 33 are in the gallery above, and Neil and Willie’s setlists are below.

SETLIST: Willie Nelson @ Farm Aid 33
Whiskey River
Still Is Still Moving to Me
Good Hearted Woman (Waylon Jennings cover)
Down Yonder
Texas Flood (Larry Davis cover) (Lukas Nelson on lead vocals)
Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys (Ed Bruce cover)
Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground
On the Road Again
Always on My Mind (Brenda Lee cover)
Jambalaya (On the Bayou) (Hank Williams cover)
Hey Good Lookin’ (Hank Williams cover)
Move It On Over (Hank Williams cover)
Will the Circle Be Unbroken? ([traditional] cover) (with Neil Young, Margo Price and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats)
I’ll Fly Away (Albert E. Brumley cover) (with Neil Young, Margo Price and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats)

SETLIST: Neil Young & Promise of the Real @ Farm Aid 33
Tell Me Why
Field of Opportunity
Show Me
Heart of Gold
Children of Destiny
Love and Only Love

photos by Eric Townsend