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Neil Young Returns to the Stage for First Performance Since 2019

Young had taken a break from performing the past four years due to concerns over public gatherings during the pandemic
Neil Young
(Credit: Gus Stewart / Contributor)

Neil Young made a surprise appearance yesterday (Feb. 25) in British Columbia, taking the stage during a rally for the United For Old Growth forest protection movement.

Young performed “Heart of Gold” and “Comes A Time,” marking his first live appearance since 2019, well before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The legendary musician had taken a pause the past almost four years, including from several of his own Farm Aid events, due to concerns about public gatherings.

As seen in the fan-filmed video below, Young was joined by wife Daryl Hannah and shared with the audience, “I’m only here for those trees up there.” He added, “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. .. These trees have lasted so long. They deserve Canada’s respect.”

The United for Old Growth performance comes ahead of Young’s other planned appearances this year including the Light Up the Blues benefit (hosted by longtime bandmate Stephen Stills) on April 22 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. A week later, Young will return to L.A. to take part in Willie Nelson‘s 90th birthday celebration (alongside a lineup also including Snoop Dogg and Tom Jones), held at the Hollywood Bowl over the weekend of April 29-30.

Also coming soon, Young and Crazy Horse are set to release All Roads Lead Home (under the new moniker Molina, Talbot, Lofgren & Young) on March 31 through NYA Records/Reprise. The record offers Young’s live solo take on “Song of the Seasons” from Crazy Horse’s 2021 album Barn while the other three members contributed three songs each.