Photo Credit: Marc Millman
On February 25, Neil Young performed live for the first time in over four years. The celebrated musician and passionate activist appeared at a march and rally in support of the United For Old Growth campaign in Victoria, BC, which aims to stop the Canadian government from destroying old-growth forests. There he performed “Heart of Gold” and “Comes A Time”.
Before delivering two fan favorites, Young spoke candidly about the environment, emphasizing the campaign at hand. “I’m only here because of those trees up there.” He continued: “These old trees are something precious and sacred. 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 I hope our Canadian government and business section will recognize.”
As the musician continued to add context to his appearance, outlining his reason for supporting the cause, he stated simply and eloquently, “These trees have lasted so long they deserve Canada’s respect.” After concluding his speech, Young performed his 1972 No. 1 single, “Heart of Gold.” Next, the artist kept the music flowing with a favorite rendition of “Comes A Time.”
Before this weekend, Young last performed in front of a live audience in 2019 at a benefit concert in Lake Hughes, California, with Norah Jones and father John Misty. However, earlier this month, he was listed as one of the billed artists for an Autism Speaks benefit concert on April 22, along with the event’s host and long-time collaborator Stephen Stills. Read more.
Watch fan-taken videos of Young supporting the United For Old Growth campaign below.
That’s right, Neil Young starred in #United4OldGrowth to deliver a message to the Canadian government and @bcndp🔥And yes we were all in tears as soon as Heart of Gold started playing💛 pic.twitter.com/SaCpAwN9c4
— Standearth (@standearth) February 26, 2023
Sometimes you organize a rally and the rock legend Neil Young comes and sings as a surprise.#UnitedForOldGrowth pic.twitter.com/r3AVncG2Rp
—Torrance Coste (@TorranceCoste) February 25, 2023
i never thought i would see #Neil Young in my life pic.twitter.com/h3AYuxjoX3
—Nell Saba (@nellen55) February 25, 2023
Announcing surprise guest… @Neil Young!! #United4OldGrowth pic.twitter.com/WjWEWuW7uk
—Sierra Club BC (@SierraClubBC) February 25, 2023
This just happened in #UnitedforOldGrowth meeting! @Neil Young he appeared to play his music for the crowd.
What an amazing time to be a part of, thank you Neil for bringing us your gift of music and using it to help save the ancient forests. pic.twitter.com/X2N4D8vkll
— Wildlife Committee (@wildernews) February 25, 2023