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The Eddy whistle blowin' through my brain Ecco Review
(more reviews coming)
The show details.
An Arizona Republic Review.
I've kept up with all the reviews of past shows and I can tell you now that this is one event that should not be missed. If you are any kind of fan of CSNY, get off the fence and get your tickets to the show nearest you before its too late!
I've been a fan since the 70's. Saw 'em At Texas Stadium in '74. Caught Neil whenever he came through Arizona. This time, my 17 year old daughter and I sat 4 rows up on Neil's side of the stage. Before and during the show we watched Larry work on all of Neil's guitars. My daughter said a lot of her buds from high school were coming out, and indeed the crowd was varied -- old and young. By the way, I saw Nils Lofgren (he lives here) come out from the backstage area right before they started the show.
The stage was very open, very "living room". Nice simple lighting, but lots of cool effects during the show. The video work throughout the evening was very tight on the instruments and faces -- just what I wanted to see.
The boys came out around 8:10 and kicked right into Carry on. It was a little muddy in the mix but the "...love is coming..." chorus was really strong. The crowd went nuts. (There was no "Questions" on the end of it...)
Neil was playing Old Black, and sang Southern Man next. From there on they followed the same sets as the other shows. They changed guitars a lot. And Stills was on fire -- kicking his legs out and getting the crowd up whenever he could. The new songs sounded really good. Faith In Me was really strong. Crosby's voice was totally righteous. My daughter liked Stand And Be Counted. Slowpoke was gorgeous. The band's banter as similar to the other shows.
Neil reminded me of Bob Weir on some of the CSN songs... Just one of the guys jumping in on choruses and filling on the old orange Gretsch. They were really playing as a band with each songwriter taking control of his own song... Lots of smiles... Some great guitar duels between N and S. Crosby's Almost Cut My Hair built to a screaming frenzy! From reading the previous reviews I can see what they were talking about on 49 bye-byes. It's a new arrangement with the intro being 1/2 time, and then into a stop which makes it sound like they make a mistake... I always thought it would be a great live song. And they finished it off well. Eventually Neil ground Cinnamon Girl into the crowd hard... Everyone was up screaming on the "your baby loves to dance...yeah..." Up and diggin' it.
After a 20 minute break, the acoustic set started with Helplessly Hoping, Our House, Old Man and Dream For Him. All four singing or playing something during each song. No real "solo" times, which was really cool. Again the "band" vibe was real. Good jazzy Neil guitar on Dream.
This part of the show was a real treat... You could hear a pin drop in the arena during an exceptional Guinnevere. Stills played some sweet acoustic guitar on Someday, always getting the group "upbeat" during his songs. Neil did his Transylvania pump organ treatment of After The Goldrush with C and N providing harmonies at the very back of the stage. Standing ovation of course. (Actually they all received one at some point in the night.) N and S strapped on their Gretsch White Falcons for Teach Your Children. Needless to say, in this set everyone sang along, and the near sell-out America West Arena became a big living room.
The 7th Inning Stretch was fun, as Phoenix appreciates baseball 'cause of the Diamondbacks. The guys just hung around on stage. Then Neil started Woodstock and the crowd was up on their feet -- it's a great rockin' version. Crosby's voice was again strong and bluesy on Long Time Gone. Smokin' solos and lots of aggressive interplay between Neil and Stephen during this set. And Nash did a great job of filling in on organ and keeping the crowd involved.
Old Black got worked into a fenzy on a monumental version of Down By The River. Very cool harmony solos and beautiful vocals on the "She could drag me over the rainbow" part. Neil had the wrong guitar at the start of For What It's Worth -- Stills had started and was keeping the crowd going, while Neil was laughing and trying to get Larry to bring the right guitar out. It looked like they were having so much fun... Love The One You're With was very calypso, very fun. Neil thanked the audience and they closed out the set with "Rockin' In The Free World. It looked like CSN had really worked that one out since the early shows, and the crowd was having a blast.
A heartfelt Long May You Run seemed to really connect us all as we stood and sang along. It was eleven thirty, and I had just seen one of the best shows of my life.
As we were driving home, my daughter commented on how great the show was. And how "musical" it had all been. And about "Uncle Neil" (as she calls him) had really impressed her. Afterward, I got calls from people I know who went to the show (or had heard about it from someone) talking how great it was.
There were a few times things didn't click, but that's the beauty of live music. We were lucky to have CSNY have a month of shows under their belt before they playing here...
Please take my advice...
Take someone you love and don't miss this opportunity.
(whistle blowin' through my brain)
(more reviews coming soon... --RE*AC*TOR)