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Watch Neil Young Play ‘Heart of Gold’ at First Live Performance in Nearly Four Years

He also broke out ‘Comes a Time’ at the United For Old Growth march and rally in Victoria, British Columbia

Neil Young

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Neil Young made an appearance at the United For Old Growth march and rally Saturday in Victoria, British Columbia, where he played “Comes a Time” and “Heart of Gold” for the crowd. It was his first live appearance since Farm Aid in September 2019.

The rally was aimed at protecting old-growth trees and promoting “forest stewardship.” “I’m only here for those trees up there,” Young told the audience. “It’s a precious, sacred thing, these old trees. They show us the power of nature when we are being threatened. They show us the past. They show us our future. That’s something that I hope our Canadian government and business section will recognize. This has to do with Canada. It has to do with the ages, if we’re lucky enough to have ages. These trees have lasted so long. They deserve Canada’s respect.” (Check out another video of the event below. Young’s performance of “Comes a Time” starts at the 3:55 mark.)

Up until this point, Young has been unwilling to play live because of the pandemic. “All you people who can’t go to a concert because you still don’t feel safe, I stand with you,” he said in 2021 when he pulled out of Farm Aid. “My soul tells me it would be wrong to risk having anyone die because they wanted to hear music and be with friends.”

He also missed the 2022 incarnation of Farm Aid and declined all other opportunities to play live over the past four years despite recording three new albums with Crazy Horse. But he’s scheduled to perform alongside Stephen Stills on April 22 at the Light Up The Blues autism benefit at the Greek Theater in Los Angles. A week after that, he’s slated to appear at the Hollywood Bowl in L.A. to celebrate Willie Nelson’s 90th birthday along with Beck, Margo Price, Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow, Snoop Dogg, the Chicks, and many other major acts.

There’s also talk of a summer tour with Crazy Horse, though Nils Lofgren would have to sit it out since he’s busy with the E Street Band. In a recent interview with Austin Lifestyle, guitarist Micah Nelson said he “may tour” with Crazy Horse in the summer, taking the place of Lofgren. His brother Lukas recently told Rolling Stone that Michael has been recently been “working” with the band. But as with everything in the world of Neil Young, nothing is definite until it happens. He has a long history of changing his mind at the last minute.

From Rolling Stone US