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Bob Walk On Pingry's Review
(more reviews coming)
The show details.
Riding in on wings of wheels, the four legendary compadres walked on, plugged in and rocked out with sweet melody and searing electric jam. The crowd was thin when the lights went out, but by mid-first set the arena was almost filled with lovers of the CSNY sound -- and they were unexpectedly blown away by the energy from center stage.
For any doubters out there still considering NOT going to see these guys play: change your mind, buy a ticket, and let your body ripple with goosebumps.
Neil is the verb that makes this concert soar out of nostalgia back into the awesome music these guys create -- no question about it. But it's Crosby, Stills and Nashthat are the nouns that make the story complete, and are why CSNY is America's Beatles. But what sets CSNY apart from the Beatles as the greatest band in rock and roll history, is their original, improvisational, wild west sound. A sound that represents the soul of America.
I kept feeling a theme in the set. Knowing the set list hasn't varied since the start of the tour, I realized why it hasn't changed: It's because the band wants to tell a story to us fans with their songs. The opening song of Carry On and its metaphor of keeping the faith, don't look back, hold the freak flag high. The classics in between: Southern Man, Marrakesh Express, Almost Cut My Hair, Our House, 49 Reasons -- because they are symphonies that transcend time. And the new songs: Slowpoke, Heartland, Looking Forward, Crosby's new ones (Stand And Be Counted, Dream For Him), Stills new ones (Faith In Me, Seen Enough), because they reflect on age and mortality and maturity. And finally the closing Long May You Run, a message to the band and to the fans, that rock and roll can never die, the summer of peace and love has a romantic soul that is rooted in ourselves.
Neil was wired into a manic thunder, whipping the elements into a tornado of sound and electric energy, leading him into such a frenzy he introduced Eight Miles High because of the moment. I may never know, but I like to think the song was not rehearsed, but rather suggested and demanded by Neil because of the moment, the energy of the crowd compelling him to urge his three friends "we've got to do it." The song was right for the moment. Neil spoke into the mic before the song saying, "We are going to play a new song, one we've never played before," to which Crosby responded, "We never have played it, ever." The song soared, despite vocal harmonies that showed a lack of rehearsal. Neil finished with his lurching steps towards Keltner, stroking old black with chords of power, sustain, and a never ending wall of electric sound.
Neil didn't want to stop. Even after the closing Long May You Run, he walked back to strap on the guitar, after the band stood together and bowed and waved, and slapped five to the audience. But the night was over, the rest of the boys waved to him its time to go, and they walked off. The last to leave was Stills and as he was about to exit the stage, he jumped in the air and pumped his fist to the rafters, to no one but himself, waving that freak flag high.
(more reviews coming soon... --RE*AC*TOR)