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Tom Slowpoke Cox's Review
(more reviews coming)
The show details.
A cool set of pix from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
CSNY came to Philips Arena tonight and turned the usual Deep South "too laid back to bother much" Atlanta crowd into a real rock and roll animal.
The guys are really on now. The harmonies are solid, the band is playing great. (Yes, it finally does seem to be exactly that: A band.) Stephen's wrenching blistering leads... David playing and singing better than ever and looking so proud to have all his friends together again... Nash singing the high harmony like nobody else can... And Neil... Well tonight's Down By The River was white hot, a whole other level, simply stunning.
The setlist was the same as usual, but these guys sounded so much better than the earlier shows I've heard (Portland and SLC) The best surprise was Stills' voice, which was much stronger and assured tonight. It held up through the entire show.
Another surprise was the crowd itself, mosty quiet during the right times, but on its feet, often singing along, and absolutely rocking the rest of the time.
The guys came out at 8:20, Stills in a blue&white Hawaiian shirt, Nash in a black shirt and jeans, Croz in the black vest white shirt grey pants. And lo and behold: Neil had on the same thing he had on the last time I saw him in Nashville on the '99 solo tour -- jeans and the "Dr. Nic Final Prescription" t-shirt. Neil changed t-shirts for the acoustic set, but I couldn't tell exactly what was on this one. American flag background. (Now I personally don't really care how they look but I know some of our Rusted ladies take an interest in such things.)
I was attired in a '97 run white MORE BARN! t-shirt and jeans. I didn't see another in the crowd, nor did anyone recognize or ask about mine. Bummer.
The other odd thing tonight was Nash. Though he played well and sang great, he didn't seem -- well -- happy. He carried a serious looking face most of the evening. Croz on the other hand was beaming all night.
No surprises in the setlist. I was holding out hope this would be the night they'd try a Byrds or Hollies tune as was discussed early on in the tour -- or perhaps a brand new one. But with the versions of the songs we got tonight, I didn't really mind.
The one-two punch of Almost Cut My Hair & Cinnamon Girl, and Southern Man, and Seen Enough -- they just torched these. The loving care given Someday Soon, After The Goldrush, and the other quieter songs in the acoustic set are memories I'll never forget.
49 Reasons was introduced as being written 49 years ago with 49 different chords.
Guinnevere (which was dedicated to Peter Fonda, somewhere in the crowd) went over extremely well. Graham and David just soared on this, coming back down to whisper in harmony the "lady like yours" bit in the second verse. You could hear the crowd audibly catching their breath at the beauty of this. The applause at the end was thunderous, everyone on their feet, and it just wasn't going to end. Croz seemed genuinely moved by the audience's expression of love and approval. Neil finally just had to start Out Of Control to bring the applause to an end.
The final third of the show was so strong, the crowd stood up for Teach Your Children and never sat back down. At one point (I believe after Woodstock) someone threw beads up on the stage. Crosby told the crowd if the women were going to throw things, it should be panties. Sure enough a pair were tossed onstage moments later. Neil and Stephen retrieved them and tried to get then on David's head, all the while still playing.
Down By The River was the version I've been waiting to hear since I first saw Neil in '73. It looked like Ol' Black was taking Neil on an out of body experience.
Again I can't express how surprised I was at the Atlanta crowd. They sang along (especially on Old Man and After The Goldrush) and many were openly weeping with joy all through the night.
The last time I went to Atlanta to see Neil and Stephen play together was in 1976. I was left in line holding a ticket for a show that wasn't going to happen. They finally made it back tonight. Thanks guys, all is forgiven.
I saw CSNY in Memphis in 1974. Twenty six years later and they're still impossible to describe live. I'm glad I'm still around to see them again, and they're still around giving their all to us!
For me just seeing these four men walk out on the stage together was worth any effort I made in getting there. And then watching Neil and Stephen leave the stage arm in arm. I waited a long time to see that. Life is indeed good tonight. Thanks CSNY for an incredible evening!
I can't close before echoing what others have said - if you are hesitating for whatever reason about going to one of these shows, stop it!!! Do whatever it takes to see this band. Even if it's a nosebleed seat, get it.
Sorry this post was such a jumble, I'm really tired. But happy. Really, really happy.
(more reviews coming soon... --RE*AC*TOR)