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Story and photos by Andy ArgyrakisOne could easily forgive Crosby, Stills & Nash for phoning in a short set stacked with simply the hits, since after all, the trio now ranges from 70 to 73-years-old with their last original recording together dating back more than a decade ago. But then again, this is David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash we're talking about, who besides being Rock & Roll Hall of Famers together, also boast respective lineage in additional inductees The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and The Hollies.
Although the bulk of the group's second sold out show at the breathtaking Chicago Theatre focused mostly on the 1960s through '80s, there was no going through the motions throughout a double act night that crossed the 20 tune threshold as it neared 130 minutes. Sonically speaking, the guys sounded as seasoned as ever backed by a cast of veteran sidemen, while vocally, Crosby and Nash were just as dependable, even if Stills struggled considerably on gentler selections (though thankfully he faired a bit better on the rugged rockers and remains a guitar god).
Nonetheless, the group had no problem barreling through "Carry On/Questions" and the geographically fitting "Chicago" (from their on again/off again days with Neil Young) before visiting more from the trio incarnation, alongside a few solo sections and covers. "Southern Cross" explored the harmony heavy side of these timeless troubadours, the warmly nostalgic "Our House" was tipped in tribute to an ailing Joni Mitchell, while Buffalo Springfield's protest anthem "For What It's Worth" brought round one to an electrifying conclusion.
Come part two, everyone scored some further time in the solo spotlight as Stills demonstrated his affinity for Bob Dylan during "Girl From The North Country," Nash nailed the brand new "Myself At Last" and Crosby softly crooned through fellow fresh cut "What Makes It So." Yet the collaborative classics "Almost Cut My Hair," "Wooden Ships" and an encore of "Teach Your Children" truly tore the house down, suggesting that more than 40 years after playing at Woodstock, CSN is still nothing short of an American folk rock institution.
Upcoming concert highlights at the Chicago Theatre include Jeff Beck on May 21, Ben Folds & Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras on June 6, My Morning Jacket from June 9-11, Ingrid Michaelson on June 24 and "Weird Al" Yankovic on June 27. For additional details, visit www.thechicagotheatre.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
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