Monday, August 01, 2005

Crosby Stills & Nash Review for What It's Worth

We went to see Crosby Stills & Nash at the Fleet Pavilion Saturday night (it’s actually called the Bank of America Pavilion now but that name is so dreadful I can’t bear to call it that). Three or four songs in, during ‘Long Time Coming,’ my head literally exploded. Their voices were straight from their heyday, especially that of the Lazarus-like Crosby; their harmonies were straight from the angels; and the guitar of Stephen Stills was a revelation—he was channeling the gods! Thank God for Graham Nash. I’m admittedly not his biggest fan (although he sang a majestic Cathedral shortly after), so when he stepped in after the fourth song, I was able to retrieve the pieces of my head from the floor and gather myself back into some kind of composure. Of course I lost it again later on during Wooden Ships or Déjà Vu or Almost Cut My Hair (I was letting my ten weeks since my last haircut freak flag fly!). The crowd lost theirs during Southern Cross and literally stomped on the pieces during Love the One You’re With. Luckily Crosby transported us to someplace where heads are superfluous during his soulful renditions of Guinevere and Delta.

There are few moments in concerts when history or the gods or time or something supernatural and mysterious becomes embodied in the guise of the performers on stage. The best and last time I witnessed this was during a Van Morrison and Bob Dylan concert when Mr. Zimmerman joined The Man for a duet of Knocking on Heavens Door. If there’s anything in popular culture close to the Second Coming that was it for me. But this concert had one of those moments, although lesser of course, when Crosby, pointing to Stephen Stills at the beginning of the band’s encore, said these magical abracadabra words, Buffalo Springfield!, as the band began a soaring version of For What It’s Worth. Un-effing-believable! And for what it’s worth, I thought these old guys were pretty damned good and eternal that night.


Anonymous said...

I have front row seats to see them tonight and am high on your vibes already, man. Now, if they do "Cost of Freedom", I'll cry.

slicedoc said...

I saw them in Hilton Head Island on August 18 -- amazing. One observation from that concert -- while Crosby Stills and Nash were all terrific, their band mates are equally fantastic. Jeff Pevar has to be one of the best kept secrets in the world. His guitar work is really remarkable. Michael Finnegan is great on the organ. And, James Raymond is extraordinary on keyboards. I just wanted to express my appreciation for the musical talents that back up the Big Boys.