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(more reviews coming)
The show details.
A New York Post pre-show interview.
A New York Post review of the show.
A New Jersey Star Ledger review of the show.
A News Day review of the show.
A ridiculous New York Daily News review of the show.
The long-awaited very-ticket-expensive tour finally made it to NYC and all I have to say is at least we got our money's worth!!! I had finally broken down and bought tickets for this show back in February. $43.50 (sans TM fees) for level 215 directly behind the stage. However with a very open stage and with the video monitors, this was a very nice place to see the show.
And a great show it was. Not only were we treated to a night of great music, but the vibe from the stage was almost like a mini-Woodstock reunion. Forget about trying to recreate the original Woodstock on some airport landing ramp, go see this band and you will get a great feel for the 'spirit' of the time.
The crowd was very respectable, and was BY FAR the OLDEST average age crowd I have ever been to a concert with. Some people were sooooo excited to be there ("geek central"). Others talked over music they didn't know. And others left early -- as early as 10:30 or so (probably trying to catch the last train home). I think some of these people haven't been to a show in 20 years, but they definitely enjoyed themselves!
Prior to the show David Crosby's wife came out with a stalk of burning incense and 'blessed' the entire stage with it. The show began at 8:15pm, the first set lasted an hour, there was a quick 15 min. break, and then they played another 2 hours until 11:30pm.
The band was coming off a two day rest so they let it loose on stage. All four members play electric or acoustic guitars, Nash and Neil also play the piano, and Neil also the pump organ. They are accompanied on stage by a drummer and bassist. It was a good show.
On to the review of the music...
The setlist throughout the tour has been pretty similar to this one. There were minor changes here and there, one of which I was a little disappointed about: the omission of For What It's Worth tonight. But what can you do?
The first set had no changes in the setlist. Carry On opened, and both the sound and CSNY's voices were fine tuning themselves throughout the song. I heard that the harmonizing was rough earlier in the tour, so I was a little worried because Carry On was very rough, but by the end of this song the sound crew adjusted the sound to a pleasant crisp level -- even for us in the rear of the stage. Through this song, CSNY got the frogs out of their throats for the rest of the show.
Southern Man was the first song to feature the guitar rage of Neil Young. Neil was in FULL ELECTRIC FORM!!!!! And I don't think he played that guitar harder even with Pearl Jam.
Neil then tells the crowd in his best NY accent "Fohgeedabout it."
Stand Be Counted is a great new Crosby modern day 'protest' song, that is very good, especially the line about the Chinese boy standing in front of the tank! But since it's a new song the crowd was slow to accept it. Well played, however!
After a nice Pre-Road Downs, the show started to really pick up. From this point on it began to cruise. Heartland was very well sung by Nash, and Neil played a wonderful guitar to accompany him!
49 Bye Byes got the crowd into a more familiar setting and they really showed their appreciation by getting up and dancing for this one! The harmonies were getting better and better!
Neil's version of Slowpoke kept a good, soothing mood flowing, and Marrakesh Express took us on a little trip.
Faith in Me is the first song on the new album and has somewhat of a New Orleans/Spanish music feel to it. Stephen Stills is the roughest of the four, his guitar playing is a little sloppy if he isn't fully concentrating and his voice is the weakest of the four. But even with a slight lyrical goof (you can see him on the video monitors turn to the others and say "I'm lost" in the middle of the song) the tune really got the crowd moving. It was played well.
From Heartland and 49 Bye Byes on, the crowd was really into it. The band was playing in full throttle. And the last two songs of the first set really got most of the crowd standing for the remainder of the set. They were the highlights up to that point in the concert, if not for the whole show...
Almost Cut My Hair! Crosby sang his heart out, you can see he is really happy to be on stage. He has a real stage calmness to him, except for when he gives it all on this song! It was an all out almost blues assault, he really let his freak flag fly. And Neil ragged along with him! Stephen also contributed with very strong play on the V-guitar. At the end of the song, the entire crowd was standing applauding -- and Dave gently kissed the top of his guitar as if saying thank you God for allowing me to do this!
No stopping here, though. Neil and the boyz continued in that spirit and kept the crowd standing and dancing with a driving Cinnamon Girl, to end the set.
SET 2, up to the so called "7th Inning Stretch" was for the most part acoustic. Neil and Stephen would sometimes accompany with some soft electric guitar rhythm.
Helplessly Hoping was really nice -- the vocals were tops! Especially in the little nuance of this song when they add the little extra "high" note. Stephen had a nice little solo on guitar.
Our House was the sing-along of the night, with people in the front row joining together and swaying (see what I mean about "geeks"?)
At this point there was a switch in the setlist: for the 14th song you can get either Helpless or Old Man. We got Old Man. I would've preferred Helpless with the harmonizing, because I'd rather hear Neil sing Old Man alone. But it was very well done by the four, and continued the sing-along! Neil was on electric.
The next three songs were from the new album, and David sounded almost as if he was apologizing when he said, "We like the old songs, but the new songs keep us alive and young and we enjoy playing them. Thank You for listening to them!" All three were done well, with a nice spanish acoustic guitar solo from Stephen in Someday Soon (he concentrated on the solo).
The crowd of course exploded for After the Goldrush when Neil went back with Crosby and Nash to the organ, but I have seen better versions of this one. The organ wasn't as strong or pronounced as on the solo tour last year, for one. Graham's fist in the air during the "getting high" lyric.
WOW! The whole place was quiet for an AMAZING Guinnevere, with Nash and Crosby alone on stage and hugging afterwards!
No stopping now! Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, with a LONG ragging acoustic solo by Stephen kept the mood high! Excellent vocals on this slightly reworked version. Many of Stephen's songs were/are slightly reworked from the original. After the song Dave says "we aren't done yet".
Neil on piano for Out Of Control -- nice! And then Stephen with the very Bob Dylan-esque Seen Enough pointing out to us the atrocities of TODAY's time!
Teach Your Children continued the "better yourself" spirit with a nice version with Neil on wah wah guitar.
The 7th Inning Stretch is a quick 2-3 minute break to bring the stage back into an electric setting. It features Harry Carey on the video monitors singing Take Me Out To The Ball Game.
Woodstock and Long Time Gone got the electric set raging from the start -- and we didn't stop from this point. Neil was a monster on the guitar for the rest of the show. He was hunched over, bobbing up and down, shredding, giving it his electric ALL!!!! "By the time we got to Yasgur's farm we were half a million strong!!!"
Ohio kept the protest spirit going with a long drum march to begin.
Love the One You're With was a very hard driving version and Stephen was really losing his voice by this point...
Here I must say For get about it!!!! Down By the River was the longest and most improvised song of the night! Neil and Stpehen were bonkers. In the middle of the song it quieted down a little as Neil sang "Be on my side..." and the crowd responded "I'll be on your side..." Several times. Nice!!! Finally it ended all out hard rock improv, with the Arc ending.
At this point we are supposed to get For What It's Worth, according to the other show setlists. But after the monster that was Down By the River, I said to Melissa, "I can't see them playing For What It's Worth now." And just as I say this, Crosby steps over to the mic and says "Just as you think you know what's going to come next..." and they go into Eight Miles High! Neil got to rage some more while Stephen got to spare his voice. Nice, but for me at my first time seeing Neil and Stephen on stage together, I wanted to hear the two guitars on the Buffalo Springfield song. Oh, well!
Rockin' In The Free World moved the protest from the 70's to the 80's! "We got a 1000 points of light, for the homeless man. We got a kindler, gentler machine gun hand!" I don't know how Neil didn't break a string in this one!!!!!!!
Long May You Run was dedicated by Crosby to "those of you who saw us at the Fillmore East!"
Overall, a real fun show. CSNY were very happy to be on stage! They all clapped for one another's performances throughout the whole evening. They slapped each other on the back all night. Just a good feeling and mood, even if some of the songs weren't at a 100% -- but most were!
(more reviews coming soon... --RE*AC*TOR)