18 April 1999
Macky Auditorium, CU Boulder Campus, Boulder, CO
Though I must admit, the main reason I drove all the way to Boulder for this show was for the appearance of two of my heros, David Crosby and Graham Nash, I strongly support the charter of E-Town, which is to build responsible, active communities through music.
The lifetime achievement awards went to an 18-year old named David Levitt, who has spent six years donating unused cafeteria food to the homeless, and Anthropologist Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, whose passion for promoting animal welfare and improving the environment of all living things, has earned her name world-renowned honor.
Now, onto the music.
This was the first time I've seen Randy Newman, in person, in front of a piano. The cynical approach and raspy-like voice of this talented songwriter mesh with impressive, if not humorous synergy. Randy performed his popular songs, "It's Money That Matters", "Short People" and "Drop The Big One" during two short sets geared towards radio production.
Good friends and sometimes members of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-guage bands, David Crosby and Graham Nash completed the evenings festivities. In addition to the expected "Deja Vu", Wooden Ships", "Teach Your Children", "Critical Mass/Wind On The Water", and the like, Nash debuted his melodic and heartfelt gem, "Heartland", from the upcoming CSNY album. Likewise, Crosby debuted a very recently composed, "Dream For Him", for his 4 year old son. If these songs are any indication of the lyrical and musical quality of the upcoming album, in all seriousness, Deja Vu and American Dream may have met their match.
But, it's always nice to see musicians who, despite the obvious chemistry garnished from working together for over 30 years, actually really get along well with each other as friends, as well.
Though the tempo of the evening's stop-and-go, and somewhat cheesy, commercialized production detracts from some of the night's energy, E Town certainly provides a diversified performance, offering fine music, recognition of achievement, and good ideologies, offered with no unwelcome pressure.
[***] - Steven T.
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