Crosby, Stills & Nash
12 July 1994
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO
Seems like I never get tired of this band. CSN is celebrating their 25th anniversary with a Summer tour, an upcoming return to Woodstock, and a new album, due in stores next month.
Some uncertainty prefaced the concert, as CSN had to make an extremely rare cancellation of a show in Utah, reportedly because David Crosby wasn't feeling well. Regardless, tonight's show was a GO.
The three principals casually walked onto the stage, with Stills wearing a printed flower shirt, and the pony tail he's been sporting for over three years. Crosby wore a dark sport jacket, and Nash, as he often does, decided against wearing shoes.
CSN didn't mess with their formula for their opener, "Love The One You're With", though Stills did add about 12 instrumental bars to its intro, almost irreverantly, and the band added another chorus to the end of the song, to total six (6) choruses by my count. Overkill?
Next, an electric version of "Marakesh Express", with the bridge chord changes back to the way they were on the studio version. By "Helplessly Hoping", I was starting to recognize that the soundboard didn't appear to have a good mix. Crosby's vocals seemed forced, and the vocals overall seemed clipped. With "Deja Vu", it had seemed that the problems appeared corrected.
Then, some nice new material. CSN performed an electric version of Stills' "It Won't Go Away", and Crosby's "Til It Shines On You", which, during its intro, sounded almost exactly like "Long Time Gone". Next came Nash's beautiful "Unequal Love".
CSN performed only one (1) acoustic number the whole evening, Lennon & McCartney's "In My Life".
After [the original] "Long Time Gone" and a loud, raspy "Carry On" came three more great new songs, Crosby's "Street To Lean On", a song they performed on the Tonight Show, Nash's "Find A Dream", and a Crosby/Stills collaboration, "Camera", on which Stills' influence is apparent by its latino underpinnings.
At one point during the show, Stills bitched to the light operators, claiming that they were too hot. He pointed to his bald spot and said, "I don't have any protection here." Later, he asked the audience if someone could throw down one of the $6 glow-in-the-dark sticks so that he could give it to his six year old daughter Elanore. I would've thought he could've afforded to buy one himself.....
Then, "Wooden Ships", "Southern Cross", and an encore of "Woodstock", featuring Stills on a new, extremely loud guitar. Mike Finnegan handled the ivories and backing vocals as he always does. On drums was Jody Cortez, who had toured with Crosby the previous year. Good drummer, but he didn't sound like Joe Vitale. On bass was someone I'd never heard of, Alexis Sklarevski, and on percussion and extra guitar was the talented Ethan Johns. Not exactly a CSN backing band I'd seen before.
Die hard CSN fans such as I loved this show, if for no other reason, because of the new content. Six new songs likely to appear on their upcoming album, that don't sound distorted by overproduction or absentee songwriters. After 25 years, these guys have still got it, and are still hipp.
[****] - Steven T.
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