Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Well.. Crosby and Nash anyway...

So I wanted it to be great. I had high hopes, and moderate expectations...

It was good, but it wasn't great. Three reasons why:

1. Wall to wall politics. Lots of political jokes (including a rather offensive one about McCains time as a POW), and rather than play what people wanted to hear, they set their playlist up as an anti-republican anti-christian screed.

Yes, you go to CSN and you expect to get politics, but not to that extent. I'm here for your music, not your politics guys.

2. Not enough favorites, too much politics and side project stuff. They played about 50% of the older stuff, and 50% stuff from new albums from Crosby and Nash, Stills, and crosbys son. They also went and brought out the political songs.

3. Too much guitar, too much orchestration, not enough harmony. They had a full band backing them with another guitarist, a keyboard player (Crosbys son James, who is an excellent musician in his own right. I saw him play with his dad and David Coverdale, and it was great), an organist, a MASSIVE double drum kit, and a bassist. Add in the guitar or piano played by each band member in almsot every song, and you might have had up to 4 guitars playing at one.

They did it that way for a reason, they can't make the harmonies as well as they used to, or hold the notes for as long as they used to. So instead of depending on the strength of their voices in instrumentally simple songs, they added WALLS of instrumentation.

Honestly, they just can't do a lot of their songs anymore. They didnt even try Judy Blue Eyes (which has long basically unaccompanied stretches), and wooden ships, southern cross, woodstock, Almost cut my hair, Wasted on the way... basically all of the songs they did with Stills, were just loaded with guitar, keyboards, and organ.

Again, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I wanted to hear from CSN.

Actually, if it's jsut Crosby and Nash, they still have a lot of their hearmony. They did a pretty good guenivere... which brings me to number four...

4. Steven Stills might as well not have been there. Steven is unfortunately clearly ill. He has gained a massive amount of weight in the past few years (he's bigger than Crosby), and he's almsot completely lost his voice. He still ahs the grunt and growl for the low end, but he's lsot the mellowness and the sweetness; plus he can't hold a not for more than a second or two. It was very clear that Crosby and Nash were used to this, and they were backing him up and propping him up as much as possible, as was the backup band (who were quite excellent BTW) Stevens guitar playing on the other hand was top notch. For a closer they did wooden ships with a MASSIVE 10 minute instrumental bridge, and the guitar work was great. For the encore they brought Nils Lofgren (who was watching in the audience) up on stage, and did the Buffalo Springfield (Stills band with Neil Yound prior to CSN) "For What it's Worth", which is one of my favorite songs, and again the singing was ... jsut not there ... but the guitar work was great.

I think Steven may be in seriously ill health, and I wish him well. Crosby still has got the pipes, but it's clear he's not long for this world either. Nash is healthy, and still skinny as a rail at 63 years old, plus he's still there 100% vocally.

Oh and Nash was always the leader of the group, with direction from the others, because Crosby was such a fuckup, Stills was so independent and really a loner, and Neil Young was.. Neil Young. Nash was the relatively quiet one who got things done and kept everyone else together. You dont see it or hear it on their albums, but it was always apparent in live performances, and it still is today.