April 13, 2011
Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
Grand Prairie, TX USA
Review by Jeff Jones
Photos by Jeff Jones
Crosby & Nash
True friendship is perhaps the only relation that survives the trials and tribulations of time and remains unconditional. Just ask David Crosby. His four decade plus relationship with Graham Nash is a unique blend of affection, loyalty, love, respect, trust as well as loads of fun that truly describes the treasured relationship these two individuals share. That bond was on full display April 13 when these two musical icons stepped out on the Verizon Theatre stage to thunderous applause. For two hours, the free-spirited 69-year olds jabbed and poked at the world around them, gave the audience introspective looks at their lives in and out of music, and of course performed a treasure trove of hits spanning their respective careers.
The nostalgic trip down memory lane started off with "8 Miles High," a nod to Crosby's beginnings with The Byrds. It then proceeded into the CSN&Y era with "Almost Cut My Hair," before segueing into the Graham Nash hit "Wasted on the Way." The song was a notable masterpiece by the singer because it was inspired by his close friend's troubling state of mind and addictions in the early ‘80s.
To say these two have opinions on today's political climate would be an understatement. Crosby stated in an interview one time he's an avowed Constitutionalist, which would make him a conservative Republican in today's world. Though the banter was left-leaning in many ways, it didn't stop the two from voicing their concerns about today's political state of confusion, or corporate greed, with Nash inspired tunes, "They Want it All" and "Military Madness."
Observing these two old friends perform music is like watching a single soul dwell in two bodies. The audience not only felt the ambiance between these musical titans, they shared in the experience as well. Music's inherent beauty is its ability to take the listener back in time. That's exactly what Crosby and Nash did. Their graceful harmonies blended beautifully together as they performed new songs and old. They also made sure to include some of rock's most enduring classics in their set including "Deja Vu," "Our House," "Marrakesh," "Guinevere" and "Teach Your Children" among others.
The dynamic duo were backed by a stellar set of musicians including James Raymond, keyboards; Dean Parks, guitar; Kevin McCormick, bass; and Steve DiStanislao on drums. They did an amazing job of making the past seem fresh and relevant today. Two of the more interesting songs on the set list included "Lay Me Down" and "Don't Dig Here." The music was written, and co-written, by Crosby's biological son Raymond, who had been given up for adoption unbeknownst to the musician in 1962. The keyboardist stumbled upon his real father while researching his adoption records. It also coincided around the time Crosby was losing his battle to liver disease. An 11th hour transplant saved the musician's life, and connecting with a child he didn't know he had, was icing on the cake. Fortunately for both parties, music brought them together, and for the past 16 years, kept them that way.
Throughout the evening, Crosby and Nash kept the crowd engaged by deftly mixing their hits from yesterday with newer compositions today. "Just a Song Before I Go" and "Wooden Ships" were deftly interwoven with fresh songs like "Slice of Time" and "Camera." Before launching into the last tune, David Cosby dedicated it to his late father, and sidekick Nash, whom he affectionately called his partner and best friend. The singer's dad was an Oscar winning cinematographer for the Gary Cooper classic, High Noon, and many others. Crosby also noted that Nash, an avid shutterbug and photo collector, was a pioneering force behind ink jet photo printing technology. One of his devices now resides in the Smithsonian Institute.
Friendship is often described as people sharing similar interests, having mutual respect and exhibiting strong attachment towards one another. That definition ideally summed up the mood this evening between artists and audience to perfection.