Friday Fun: CSN in Chicago

It’s been quite a week here for me.  It’s warm here in Chicago, for a change.  We’re in the middle of exams here at the College of Law.  The professional librarians takes turns as proctors with my turn yesterday.  The Blackhawks are working their way through the Stanley Cup playoffs (go Hawks!).  And I was off Wednesday as I spent part of the day with a friend, culminating in seeing Crosby Stills Nash at the Chicago Theatre.  It was a great venue to see them.  The seating was comfortable and the acoustics were superb.  I’d seen other shows there, most notable Van Morrison several years ago.  The  first set started with a breezy version of Carry On.  I’ll say up front that for a band (the principles, at least) having been together for 45 years that they still have it vocally and as guitarists.

Stills’ voice was a bit rough at the beginning.  He explained later in the show that he made a mistake with the room thermostat and the resulting cold affected his voice.  No matter.  The harmonies were terrific with his voice getting stronger as the show progressed.  The song selection was a combination of older “hits” and a few new songs yet to be released as recordings.  Graham Nash said it best, that they play old songs but it’s the new songs that keep them from being the Eagles.  They did perform the song Chicago as the second number.  The crowd really got into it, singing along at various times. Some of the highlight songs included Almost Cut My Hair, Wooden Ships, Déjà vu, Our House, and rousing versions of For What It’s Worth and Love The One You’re With.

The band, which Stills called the best band they had ever worked with, was great.  It featured Shane Fontayne (guitar), Steve DiStanislao (drums), Kevin McCormick (bass), James Raymond (keyboards), and Todd Caldwell (organ).  The arrangements were all much updated from what appeared on the recordings and at the same time very familiar.  Stills in particular played blistering lead guitar on most all the songs.  I don’t know how many dates are left on the U.S. tour.  I think they are headed east at this point and ultimately for shows in Europe.  If anyone is a fan and has a chance to see them on the rest of the tour, do it.  You won’t be disappointed.

I hope to be back with more regular content on Monday.

Mark

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