The Boston Freedom Rally is the second biggest Hempfest in the country, and the largest on the East Coast. This year, the protest-ival expands for the first time to two days on two stages, Sept. 14 and 15 on Boston Common. And on Saturday, TREE will reunite once more.
TREE is the band that, back in the mid ’90s, welcomed me into my very first Boston Freedom Rally. It was hardcore love at first sight.
As one of Rally’s the most requested music acts, TREE has the distinction of performing at the festival the most times in the fest’s 24 year history.
Chatting last week with Dave Tree, he reports that TREE is busy rehearsing for their big reunion on Boston Common and it sort of feels like déjà vu. Probably because it is.
“We did play a couple years back [as] part of a 10-year TREE reunion thing where we played the Boston Freedom Rally, then played downstairs at the Middle East.”
The appetite for TREE hasn’t died down.
Their 2011 Middle East Downstairs show sold out in less than a week of being announced,
and their Rally show, as well as another show in Maine, was thunderously received.
So, what to expect from TREE at the Rally?
“We will play some TREE songs—because they are pretty easy to play—and a Woody Guthrie song, ‘This Land Was Made for You and Me,’ which is just one riff and it’s got a great message.”
Guthrie’s song is fitting for a band that has always represented the people and love for their community.
TREE’s lyrics include, “From California to the Boston Common,This Land was made for you and me.” Hearing that was the highlight for me back more than a decade ago and this year a new generation will get to experience it.
But it’s not just feel good songs that TREE is most remembered for. You can expect their moshpit anthems, too.
One of TREE’s most popular live songs, “Question Abuse,” is always a natural Rally favorite, with its gang chorus in opposition to unwarranted police state aggression.
You can also expect to hear “God Grows Grass” with its booming lyrics, “Sow the seed of liberty and watch our freedom grow.” TREE’s been growing that freedom for decades.
When asked what he thought of the marijuana reform movement today compared to when he started in the 1990s, Tree responded:
“I have a ton of great memories playing the BFR, all the great bands and speakers over the years have kicked ass. It’s great to see the progress the movement is making and it has be incredible experience to be a part of, and getting to drive my van on the Boston Common is always a blast.”
Saturday and Sunday Sept. 14 & 15, High Noon, Boston Common, Free to the public. TREE closes the Carty Main Stage at 5pm with Never Got Caught (featuring Ooze and Billy of TREE) performing right before them.