Neil Young will make his long-awaited return to the stage on April 22 when he joins former CSN&& bandmate Stephen Stills at this year’s Light Up the Blues charity show benefitting Autism Speaks. The show at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles will find Young sharing the stage with his longtime friend Stephen Stills, as well as Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and Still’s children, Chris and Oliver Stills.
Rolling Stone first reported that the news, with Young telling the magazine in a statement that, “We’ll be there to ‘Light up the Blues’ with Stephen, [his wife] Kristen and the family… doing or first show in four years with old friends for our autistic people around the world.” Stills confirmed the news on Instagram, writing, “Save the date: April 22, 2023. Stills and Young ride again.”
Among the other musicians scheduled to be stage is James Raymond, who will be part of a tribute to his late dad, David Crosby, who died in January at age 81.
“We are so thrilled to be able to come back and support Autism Speaks,” event organizer Kristen Stills told the magazine about the sixth iteration of the show since 2013; in the past the fundraiser has featured sets from Crosby, Stills & Nash, Patti Smith, Brandi Carlile, Beck, Sheryl Crow and others. “The one thing that did not change during the pandemic was the rising rates of autism prevalence in the U.S. They require more funding than ever for the research they do. Stephen and I join them in their mission to create a more inclusive world for people with autism,” added Kristen Stills.
Stephen Stills said the show was originally scheduled for April 2020 — and then called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic — before organizers considered a virtual event in 2021 before that idea was mothballed. “I always hated the idea of a virtual show,” Stephen Stills said. “The only one that pulled it off was the Stephen Colbert band with Jon Batiste. Everyone else tried, but it was a joke.”
More acts will be added in the upcoming weeks, with Kristen Stills promising some “fantastic guests” and “surprise additions,” as well as some big-name hosts. Among the other acts slated to participate are opera singer Amanda Anderson, rapper Soul Shocka and former The Voice contestant Bill Breman, all of who are on the spectrum.
See Stills’ post below.