Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Farm Aid 2001 - A Concert For America|
Actors: Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews, Neil Young, Martina McBride
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Held just 18 days after the September 11th attacks, Farm Aid 2001, A Concert for America, celebrated the solidarity, innovation, and hard work of family farmers in keeping America strong. Farm Aid was founded in 1985 by W... more »
Falls well short of its potential, but still great....
Brian J. Sleeman | Marquette, MI USA | 12/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
1) I Love You (McBride)
2) Broken Wing (McBride)
3) Independence Day (McBride)
4) China Grove (Doobie Brothers)
5) Black Water (Doobie Brothers)
6) Long Train (Doobie Brothers)
7) Everyday (Matthews)
8) All Along the Watchtower (Matthews)
9) R.O.C.K. in the USA (Mellencamp)
10) Pink Houses (Mellencamp)
11) Don't Cry No Tears (Young)
12) When I Hold You In My Arms (Young)
13) Whiskey River (Nelson)
14) Stay All Night (Nelson)
15) Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys (Nelson)
16) Will the Circle Be Unbroken (Everyone)
17) Amazing Grace (Everyone)Special Features:
1) Farm Aid Featurette
2) Farm Aid Background (written information)
3) DVD-ROM Link to Farm Aid WebsiteSound:
Available in Dolby 5.1 Surround and PCM StereoTotal Running Time (including special features):
100 minutesComing only 18 days after the September 11th attacks, the concert took on an extremely powerful spirit and overall tone - there was something about the communion of several thousand people from all walks of life and fans of all different genres getting together with some amazing music for a ten-hour concert celebration. The 2001 Farm Aid concert would be transformed into a celebration in support of more than just the annual Farm Aid cause, but America as a whole. With all the focus in late 2001 on music and its ability to raise funds and symbolize a national spirit, Farm Aid would benefit from even more national attention due to its timing.I'll get to the shortfalls later, but what this DVD effectively does is provide a great highlight reel for an unbelievable show. What's here is fantastic stuff - the picture and sound quality are impeccable, and all the performances included (although I am not a big country fan and will almost always skip McBride's set) are worthwhile. The highlights for me are Dave's incredible "All Along the Watchtower" (the best version of this I've heard from him to date, with great touches by Willie Nelson's harp player Micky Raphael), Mellencamp's "Pink Houses" (which really summed up the spirit of the night), and both of Neil's songs. "When I Hold You In My Arms" is performed beautifully by Crazy Horse, a version I prefer over the one released on "Are You Passionate?"The Doobie Brothers delivered a greatest hits type of set, which was just what people wanted to hear. Willie, as always, was great, and Martina McBride's set included some modern pop/country radio staples that even I recognized.You get to see what I saw sitting in section G, looking back at the thousands on the expansive lawn behind me, lighters raised to show what seemed like a million little lights under the dark Indiana sky. It clearly got to Mellencamp as well, who responded, "Keep it up you guys, that's great."Willie's set is done in his typical hurried style, running through some classic country, blues, gospel, and folk staples in two minute laps. The encore brings nearly everyone (no Dave or John) back out on the stage for "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and "Amazing Grace."The "Special Features" section of the DVD also includes a Farm Aid Featurette: a 7-minute mini-documentary briefly profiling a number of family farmers and allowing them to tell their own stories. The featurette also includes footage from the concert itself, specifically of Neil's typically outspoken rant, but also footage of Dave Matthews' "Everyday" and Mellencamp's "Pink Houses" intermixed with footage of families working on the farm. It does a good job of getting the general message across but spends virtually no time on the specific problems facing family farmers today. While admittedly, most people who watch the DVD will do so solely for the musical performances, with all the potential the DVD technology brings, it would've made much more sense in my opinion to include a longer documentary. It could've included footage of the factory farms causing the problems, the environmentalist perspective, and the lack of attention Washington D.C. pays to true family farmers. Sadly, this disc missed the boat in that department, and this theme of coming up short of potential is mirrored in the musical side as well.As I mentioned, what's here is fantastic, but it falls far short of "what could have been." Dave Matthews hadn't done many solo gigs prior to this (unless you count the very early '90s), and the performance he gave was quite powerful, including a lot of material from the Lillywhite Sessions which would eventually become "Busted Stuff" (such as "Grace is Gone" and "Bartender," also classics "Satellite," "The Song that Jane Likes," "One Sweet World," and others). Mellencamp played a supercharged set including his classics "Jack and Diane," "Small Town," and "The Authority Song." Neil's set also included feedback-laden takes on "Love and Only Love" and "Rockin' in the Free World," in addition to the farm anthem he plays *every* year: "Mother Earth."But all of those songs are missing. Granted, including the entire broadcasted portion of the show would have required two discs worth of space, but there is certainly a lot more room on this disc that went unused. Martina McBride gets three songs, as do the Doobie Brothers and Willie, but John, Neil, and Dave (three of the biggest draws Farm Aid has, and who with Willie form the Board of Directors) only get two each, which is a crying shame.This disc was originally offered by Farm Aid itself as a donation incentive during the 2002 campaign, so in reality it was completed this past summer. Hopefully Farm Aid will get in the habit of releasing these more often, and use them as a tool to both spread word for the Farm Aid cause as well as act as a fund-raiser. How nice would it be for both Farm Aid viewers and attendees to be able to purchase each year's performance on DVD in conjunction with watching or attending the next year's?CMT butchered its coverage of the 2001 concert, breaking in the middle of many songs to cut to commercials by the likes of Burger King (seriously). Thankfully, they righted the ship a little in 2002 and broadcast the full sets, which were limited to something like 40 minutes each. News about the 2001 DVD didn't break until the fundraising campaign really kicked into high gear in mid 2002, so who knows - maybe a DVD from 2002's performance is waiting a few months down the road?Other suggestions for improvement in case anyone from Farm Aid or Pioneer Entertainment is watching:1) This show had firefighters and other volunteers collecting 9/11 donations in firefighter boots out in the gigantic grass parking lot - it would have been nice had a film crew gone through that process to provide more of the perspective of the attendee. It certainly was an unforgettable experience for me, and I think DVD viewers would have appreciated it. Nothing overly long (like this review); if you've seen the opening to Neil's Red Rocks DVD, I'm thinking of something like that.2) The DVD-Rom feature is limited simply to a link to the Farm Aid website; this could've been expanded to include other groups who participate in and support the Farm Aid cause, such as the Missouri-based organization which produces the red "Stop Factory Farms" shirts, credible sites with more information on corporate farming and the hazards it brings, statistics on environmental and health damage, etc. Many people wouldn't bother with them, but for the little time it'd take to include them, those who would use them would appreciate it.Getting back to this disc, if you like any of these artists or just great quality music combined with a worthwhile cause, I have to recommend this disc despite its shortcomings. It does a good job of capturing the overall vibe of the evening and includes some incredible performances. You don't have to forget about what you're missing to really enjoy what's here; I still love it and will watch it often."
Farm Aid at its best
Kedric | Ossian, IN USA | 11/14/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You gotta see it to believe it. Call your friends, grab some brew and dance the night away!Song List:
1) I Love You (M. McBride)
2) Broken Wing ""
3) Independence Day ""
4) China Grove (Doobie Brothers)
5) Black Water ""
6) Long Train ""
7) Everyday (D. Matthews)
8) All Along the Watchtower ""
9) R.O.C.K. in the USA (J. Mellencamp)
10) Pink Houses ""
11) Don't Cry No Tears (N. Young)
12) When I hold You In Your Arms ""
13) Whiskey River (W. Nelson)14) Stay All Night ""
15) Mamma Don't Let Your Babies Grow To Be Cowboys ""
Encores performed by everyone include
16) Will The Circle Be Unbroken
17) Amazing Grace"
Great DVD...if you're not looking for Dave Matthews
Michael G. Mcclain | Johnson City, TN United States | 11/21/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I just received the DVD in the mail and was a bit disappointed. I read a customers review who was at the concert and he stated that the Dave Matthews Acoustic performance was worth the money alone. I ordered the video largely to see Dave perform his hour plus acoustic performance. Needless to say, it was only two songs by the time it reached the DVD. If you like the other artists, it's a good DVD. If you're looking for Dave Matthews, don't bother."
Where is the rest of the show??
donnamw77 | Indianapolis, IN USA | 09/27/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I just received this disc, and was incredibly disappointed to see that it is NOT the entire show. In fact, it's not even close! I was at the concert, and was really looking forward to seeing it again. I think that the way this is being sold is somewhat misleading. There was more broadcast on CMT than there is on this disc! It's almost not worth the money...."