Posts Tagged ‘nash’

Crosby Stills and Nash

September 10, 2012

We saw them last night at the San Jose Civic.  They put on a great show.  A long one, too.  It was definitely fun for me since I listened to a lot of their music back in the 1970’s and 80’s, but have never seen them perform live.

These concerts of well-established stars seem to be largely worship-fests rather than genuine musical events, for the most part.  They play all the familiar songs, with few ventures into new material.  Which I guess is what most people want.

One exception was a beautiful song I have never heard before written by David Crosby’s son, called Lay me down.

From a purely musical standpoint, I would have to warn the prospective listener that the vocal intonation was a bit rough at the edges, in enough places to be noticeable.  The trade-off was being able to hear their wonderfully hypnotic improvisational vocal harmonies unfold live.  Helplessly Hoping and Guinevere were memorable examples.

I think there was more pot smoke there than at Ziggy Marley.  At least, from where I was sitting.

I found out that Graham Nash is from Manchester, which explains how he pronounces ‘vase’ in Our House.  Everyone was invited to sing along, and the audience did amazingly well.

One of the first songs they played was Chicago, about the infamous Chicago 7 and the so-called trial which was really more of a circus.  When they got to the line: ‘rules and regulations who needs them?’ my first thought was ‘banks and financial institutions.’  So the lyrics are a bit dated.  (if you’ve never heard of the Chicago 7, skip to Wikipedia, immediately!)

They made up for it with a song about Bradley Manning, and another new song by the guy who helped Martin Luther King write the ‘I have a Dream’ speech.  (If someone can fill this name in for me, I’ll go back and edit).

I was amazed at how long the concert was, and how many of the songs I recognized, especially considering that I didn’t personally collect any of their albums.  Mostly I listened to them on the radio and at my friend Josh’s house.  More than a musical group, for me they were the backdrop for the intense political and interpersonal revolutions that were taking place.