Patti Smith Is The Punk Hero Earth Needs Right Now

67-year-old “godmother of punk” Patti Smith has not lost her edge, demonstrating during a recent live performance the kind of fire power and guttural passion against ruling powers that earned her the title in the first place.

During an emotional set at Riot Fest in Chicago, the legendary musician, poet, artist and activist closed out her set with an epic rendition of her song People Have The Power, leading into a rebel-rousing rant against corporations, the government and a call for peace.

“We do have the power! Our governments, our corporations would like us to feel defeated, but we have it with our numbers if we use it. Don’t forget it!,” Smith exclaimed. “I haven’t fucked much with the past, but I’ve fucked plenty with the future.”

“People, the future is now! You are the future! You will decide what happens to our world, our environment, our children, the fish in the sea, the birds in our air,” continued the high priestess of punk. “People, you can change the fucking world. Take heart, don’t give up! Globally unite for peace. It’s not fucking corny. It’s what we fucking need!”

Reports Huffington Post, Smith’s set was a deeply personal one as it took place both in her Chicago birthplace and on the birthday of her late husband, MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith. She dedicated both Because the Night and a cover of John Lennon‘s Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) to Fred Smith.

Watch fan-footage of the performance and her inspiring speech below.

Watch: Patti Smith At Riot Fest – People Have The Power

Watch: Patti Smith At Riot Fest – Because the Night

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