Crosby, Stills and Nash. Westpac Centre, November 27.
Reviewed by Matt Davey
1970: I have murky memories of lunar landings, Pele, Spirograph and my older hippie sister wearing purple flares and love beads. I can also recall some of the albums in her record collection, which included Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's Deja Vu.
Fast-forward 37 years and the same protagonists who created songs such as Almost Cut My Hair, Wooden Ships and Woodstock are still beating a similar drum.
Crosby, Stills and Nash wasted no time in lamenting the policies of their American president and complimenting New Zealand on its anti-nuclear stance. This was a band, after all, from a time when music was held to have the power to change the world.
The crowd, in a moderately full Westpac Arena, reflected the baby boomer generation follow ing of the trio. Backed by an expert four-piece group, CSN launched into Carry On, a song with many melodic shifts and changes in tack.
This was followed by a jaunty Graham Nash tune, Marrakesh Express, and by the politically earnest but relevant Military Madness.
By the time of the finale tracks, which included Teach Your Children, Long Time Comin' and Woodstock, the crowd had left their seats and were singing and dancing exuberantly. This was more than just a nostalgia trip, however _ one of the highlights was a new Crosby-Nash song called In Your Name, which sparked gasping and applause after the first verse.
Most crucial of all, as far as a Crosby, Stills and Nash concert goes, was the state of their harmonies, which transform songs such as Deja Vu from the mediocre into the sublime.
†Crosby's and Nash's vocals, in particular, resonated with the warmth and glory of yesteryear, while Stills was particularly impressive on lead guitar.
A few cynics shouted out for sometime member Neil Young, but in the end those golden voices carried the songs away.