Crosby, Stills & Nash: The Acoustic Concert Review
David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, with Neil Young joining in intermittently, are the main members of Crosby Stills and Nash or CSN as some would have it. All Crosby, Stills and Nash were from separate musical groups who seemingly collided with each other whilst playing the US circuit in the 60's. CSN's first album, released in '69, was met with open arms in the US and allowed their first tour to include such venues as Woodstock. CSN were very big news back then, blending signature harmonies with lyrics often reflecting contemporary issues of that time. After a short period the group split up, sporadically reforming during the following years, more often than not with good success. This disc, called The Acoustic Concert, is a live performance of one such reunion and is a totally unsupported acoustic presentation, set in San-Francisco's Warfield Theatre.
There is no getting away from it: whether or not you like this kind of country come soft-rock music, these guys can certainly sing. Sometimes a singer can sound okay by themselves, but when performing alongside someone else, they can sound discordant. CSN have had some considerable time, this concert having taken place in 1991, to get this onstage synergy right and it certainly shows. Some parts of the concert are devoted to each member of CSN playing and singing solo, but it is as a group where CSN excel. Singing together, CSN seems to be much more than the sum of their parts, especially during more famous tracks such as “My House”.
That is except one unexpected moment. At about 67 mins into the disc, Track 15, there is an outstanding display by Stills. He takes solo position with a nylon stringed guitar, spotlight and all, and plays a three minute piece showing complete mastery of the guitar, notes coming in faster than you'd thought possible. Exceptional. In fact, if there were more instances like this, then the disc would get a higher score. As it stands, that one moment brings into focus a samey feel to the rest of the, albeit very well done, disc.