INDIO, Calif. — The latest on the Desert Trip music festival in Indio, California, which features six legendary acts over three days: the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and the Who. It’s the first time ever they’ve all performed at the same event (all times local):
Neil Young performed for nearly two hours to open the second night of the Desert Trip music festival, matching the energy of band members half his age.
He opened his set alone onstage and steadily ramped up the rock. After performing “After the Gold Rush” at the piano, and “Heart of Gold” and “Comes a Time” on acoustic guitar, he was joined by his band, Promise of the Real.
There were subtle and overt political overtones to the performance. Women dressed as farmers, in plaid shirts and overalls, pretended to throw seeds and tend small plants onstage before Young came out. Later, men in hazmat suits acted as though they were spraying the grounds.
The set included “Harvest Moon,” ”Powderfinger,” and “Welfare Mothers,” which Young joked was “Donald Trump’s new campaign song.”
A highlight was “Down By the River,” which became an extended 10-minute jam, with Young shredding his well-worn guitar.
“Tomorrow night come back,” Young told the crowd. “Roger (Waters) is going to build a wall and we’ll make Mexico great again!”
Neil Young has taken the stage to open the second night of the Desert Trip music festival.
Wearing his trademark black hat, Young started his set alone behind the piano, opening with “After the Gold Rush,” accompanying himself on harmonica.
He then strapped on an acoustic guitar to play “Heart of Gold.”
The stage was accented with tepees. Women dressed as farmers, in plaid shirts and overalls, pretended to throw seeds and tend small plants onstage before Young came out.
He played his first three songs alone onstage.
Paul McCartney is set to play later Saturday.
The festival grounds are open for the second day of the Desert Trip mega-concert, and millennials are among the attendees.
Nineteen-year-old McKenna Haner came with two teenage pals to see Paul McCartney, who is playing later Saturday night. Neil Young is set to open the show just before sunset.
Haner said her dad is a big-time Beatles fan and she was raised on the music.
Still, she and her friends were acutely aware they were among the youngest in the crowd. They didn’t mind, but said the older concertgoers are “very aggressive.”
“They act like, ‘We’re older. We deserve this,'” she said.
Her friend, Seven Pappanastos, 17, said attending the show came with a cost — and not just the $199 single-day ticket price.
“I got invited to three parties this weekend,” he said. “All their parents are out of town here.”