Crosby, Stills & Nash Carry On

June 27th, 2012

Crosby, Stills & Nash – The Wellmont Theatre – June 26, 2012

Maybe it was fate or some strange form of rock and roll divine intervention, but in the late ’60s three well-established musicians from other bands, David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, decided to join forces and form a group of their own. That collaboration, Crosby, Stills & Nash, changed music forever. Fast-forward to more than 40 years later and the folk-rock trio is still going strong. Although they have little left to prove, the group still puts a ton of heart and hard work into their shows, and watching them perform together onstage Tuesday night at a packed Wellmont Theatre made it seem like all they really wanted to do was have fun and share that joy with the audience.

Without an introduction, the band took the stage and kicked things off with “Carry On/Questions,” “Chicago” and “Long Time Gone,” each accompanied by CSN’s signature three-part harmonies. “Long Time Gone,” like many of their songs, ended with Stills’ blazing guitar. After another of Stills’ rambling solos, Crosby said, “There are good nights and there are better nights. This is a really good night.” If there is one thing that has changed with Crosby, Stills & Nash, it’s the world they’re singing about. In the ’60s the group responded to the Kent State shootings with “Ohio,” while today they’re singing about the detainment of Bradley Manning on “Almost Gone.” The band had everyone on their feet for the classic “Love the One You’re With,” before taking an intermission.

Some of the best moments came during the quieter songs when the backing band left the stage and just the three of them performed. CSN’s encore performance of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” started this way, and if you closed your eyes, you could almost transport back to their “scared shitless” performance of the song at Woodstock, only their second time ever playing together live. Open your eyes and you might notice that the band’s a little grayer than back then and this is just one of many shows they’ve played, not their second ever. But you wouldn’t know it watching them perform, sharing huge smiles with one another after every song. Like Crosby said: This was a really good night. —Dan Rickershauser

Photos courtesy of Brian C. Reilly |

(Crosby, Stills & Nash play The Wellmont Theatre tonight.)