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FARM AID 2012


Yesterday I drove to Pennsylvania. The plan was to meet Dave in Plymouth Meeting where I’d leave my car and he will drive us to Hershey Park. We were pulling out of the parking lot. His car was making a strange sound from the front, as if something was loose on the left wheel. I imagined the tire flying off as we headed west on 76. We turned around and I drove. Not something I wanted to do, but weighing the options, dying or seeing the concert – it was my car and living. The drive was not bad. I expected once we pulled into Hershey, traffic would come to a crawl. Only when we approached the parking fields, it was then we could see the crowds. There was the beer drinkers tossing footballs and playing the ring toss games. The air was warm. The sky held the menacing threat - grey clouds - a storm. We found our seats, 9 and 10 aisle C section 30. I assumed it was not a sellout. It was a sellout. Our seats were far back from the stage, the performers were small and faint from the distance. Thankful we had the huge screens. I could not believe the immense crowd. Most of the young adults were rural type. One kid had a mound of tobacco wedged behind his protruding bottom lip. His teeth were stained yellow and he murmured his words to his girlfriend. They wore cowboy boots, but there was one blonde beauty who looked like a drunken country Paris Hilton. She’d hang on her friends. I curiously looked over my shoulder and saw her sprawled out on the bench – her dilated eyes were open and a spreading puddle of vomit was on the floor. Some tried to clean it up, by putting thin napkins over it. That didn’t stop one guy from glancing at the vomit, after they hauled Paris off, and continued to chew into his dinner. He didn’t care. The drinking and smoking escalated and yet we all got along, though the girls behind us stood and danced on the bench next to me, holding up themselves by putting their hands on my back. I’m sorry she’d day. No worries. She’d say, I have to tell Kim – FUCKIN - Jack Johnson is next. I love him. Jack hit the stage and his sedated demeanor was a bore. He referred to his wife twice as if he was trying to make up for being a banal performer. Kenny Chesney was next and Paris was assisted back to her seat cause she wanted to see him through her blood shot eyes. There an opportunity to get a beer fairly quickly. I went down and got two and came back to my seat. Kenny was a better performer than Jack, but his songs were superficial…beer, football and Mexico. Get off the stage. Paris was hauled off as if she was crippled and we were all told all they wanted to see was FUCKIN Kenny. The heavy John Cougar paraded slowly on the stage, but he kicked some ass. I have to give him credit, he told a funny story about his grandmother who had him praying about going to heaven. Hold on a sec granny, I got to rock. When the walls…Come tumbling down. Dave Matthews who went on before John was tremendous. The man knows how to share drinking, and a slurred banter - reviving the crowd with an acoustic set that was mesmerizing. Neil Young and Crazy Horse was worth the stench from the drunken Paris Hilton. I moved down and got as close as possible to see Neil, but was still far away, fifty yards and straining to see. Last was Willie Nelson who played his worn out acoustic with perfection…Whiskey River, Crazy, Mama Don’t Let your Baby’s grow up to be cowboys. The key was when he played a song with his son, which Dave told me is a Pearl Jam song. Farm Aid created an important event that reminded all of us, to eat locally. Support the local farmer instead of the corporations who are polluting the earth with GMO and pesticides. Eat organic. I need to add before closing this out. This facility (Hershey stadium) was too small for this event. To get anything to eat or drink the wait could take forty minutes. More frustrating was the beer lines - which were different from the food lines. Are you serious? Was it worth the trip? Yes. I have not been to a large concert venue like that in a long time. Being outside watching the sun set, smoke drifting over the BBQ pit, cigarettes and pot, as the sky grew dark the lights from the stage blazed vibrant colors. It was different from the small venues. All of the performers were there on their own dime. I respect that. And when Willy closed the show, the winds ripped up the empty beer cups down the empty aisles…time to call it a night.

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