After attending nearly a gazillion concerts in my life, there are only a few shows that I truly look forward to attending nowadays. Crosby Stills and Nash in Shelburne, Vermont is of them. Even though I've seen my fare share of CSN (&Y) concerts I just can't get enough of a good thing. After all, they have been creating their distinctive and magical sounds since Woodstock. Their three part harmonies are still as strong and urgent as ever. In 1997 CSN were inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame for their indelible imprint on the American music scene.
The band began its formation in 1968 when Stephan Stills and David Crosby invited Graham Nash to their Laurel Canyon home (while Nash was on tour with the Holies in LA.). The three soon to be musical collaborators performed two new songs together; "Helplessly Hoping," and "You Don't Have To Cry." Crosby recalls, "When we heard him put on that third harmony, I thought I was gonna die. I thought my heart was gonna jump right through my mouth. It was about the rightest thing I ever heard." Nash agreed, "The minute I heard how our voices sounded together, I was physically and musically linked with David and Stephen from then on. It was a truly magical moment" and that's how it all started over 35 years ago.
Back to the present; I drove to the venue from Montreal. As is usually the case, I was late even though I thought I had ample time to take care of all my pre-show obligations. Never the less, I received my press pass just in time for the opening notes to Carry On (it seems the band usually opens their shows with this up-tempo tune). The show started at 6:45 and ended at 9:30 with a brief intermission.
The simple inclined field at The Shelburne Museum was the ideal backdrop to the beautiful music that filled the air. The sound was flawless throughout the venue and young and old alike seemed to be wearing a smile.
David Crosby alluded to his recent arrest by lightheartedly telling the crowd that "I seem to get myself into trouble with the U.S. Government. " Later in the second set Crosby stated that "every time I perform this song (Guinnevere) "it always sounds different" Nash replied: "you sound like George Bush," in turn Crosby responds: remarks like that can break up a band." Obviously the camaraderie between the members of the band is unquenchable. While strumming the first few chords of Guinnevere Crosby whispers: "this is such a pretty place to play this."
Everything came together on this delightful Wednesday night in Vermont. The harmony between the band and the audience was engaging and the crowd was completely into the music. Thanks David, Stephen and Graham and the kind folks at The Higher Ground for putting together another memorable night.
49 Bye Byes
They Want It All
Jesus Of Rio
Feed The People
Nighttime / Generals
Love The One You're With
Dirty Little Secret
Lay Me Down
Milky Way Tonight
For What It's Worth
Almost Cut My Hair
Teach Your Children