31 July 2006

CSNY - Freedom of Speech Tour '06 - A review and a rant

Last night, Tod and I went to see Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at the Verizon Amphitheatre in Irvine.
What a great show! Although they started late, they played until 11:30, with a half-hour intermission.
I've never seen them live before, though Tod has, and he agreed that this was one of the best shows he's seen.

The crowd was made up mostly of baby-boomers like us. A few of those baby-boomers brought their kids. Then there were the 17-year-olds dressed up like hippies. And of course, the requisite ex-hippies dressed like 17-year-olds.

The first half consisted mostly of songs from Neil Young's new album Living With War. But there were interspersed some older CSNY material, like Wooden Ships. The second half started acoustically, with songs like Our House, and Guinevere. Just when I thought that they were going to do only acoustic stuff, they did a couple of other ones like Roger and Out. The high point of the second half, though, was Let's Impeach the PresidentI, which they did with the lyrics displayed on the video screens so the audience could sing along.

Oddly enough, when we were leaving the stadium, I overheard a couple of guys behind me discussing the concert. One of them said that he thought it was an okay concert, but he didn't like all the political stuff. That made me laugh. Obviously, the guy a) does not know much about CSNY's history, and b) hasn't read any of the press surrounding this tour and the reasons for it.
Note 8/01/06: Gee, maybe he was the guy who wrote the review in the LA Times!

For some reason, I assumed that people go to concerts to hear the music that is being played. For the first 10 minutes of the show last night, the woman next to me was calling her friends on her cell phone, and bragging in a very loud voice about where she was. And during the second half, there was a group of people behind us who seemed to think that the thing to do during the acoustic songs was to have a loud conversation.

On the whole, though, it was a great experience. These guys put on a great show!

Addendum #2. 8/01/06: Some more accurate reviews : OC Register, L.A. Daily News (this one is from the Hollywood Bowl show on Monday). The best review, I think, is the one from The Hollywood Reporter.


  1. That is fabulous! I am incredibly jealous. I'm in Australia, and it's rare that we get any great acts like CSNY. How amazing! I'm going to go listen to their records and be even more jealous of you...

  2. miss elle,

    I understand how you feel. I grew up in northern Canada, in a city where we seldom got really big acts until recently.


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