Crosby, Stills & Nash: Crosby Stills & Nash 2012

Videos by American Songwriter

Crosby, Stills & Nash, 2012
(CSN Records)
Rating: 3 ½ Stars

Released to coincide with the veteran trio’s current tour, this double CD/DVD or Blu-ray package serves as a reasonable career summary as well as a warts-and-all document as the band enters their waning years. The 2½ hour 25-song love fest (recorded at a single gig) is a little heavy on the three members fawning over each other in the between song patter, but give ‘em props for not overdubbing or adding post-concert sweetening to vocals and harmonies that show the threesome’s age (two are 70, one closing in) as they try to recreate songs that in many cases originated 40 years ago.

What comes through is a genuine camaraderie, mutual respect and a joy of performing, with Stills in especially fiery form as lead guitarist on an opening eight minute “Carry On” and Buffalo Springfield gems “Bluebird” and “For What It’s Worth.” Most of the hits are here, two new songs are pretty good, and some Stills rarities show the depth of their solo and group catalogs.

The stripped-down stage setup (no distracting background videos or extraneous lights or smoke) keeps the focus where it belongs, on the three singers, a very tight backing four piece and some classic songs (hey, where’s “Woodstock”?) performed by three politically charged veterans who seem to be more inspired in their final years than they have been in a very long time.

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