Friday, July 07, 2006

CSNY Open Freedom of Speech Tour

After the hoops yesterday at Fairleigh Dickinson, I cruised down to Camden to see the opening night of Crosby, Still, Nash & Young’s “Freedom of Speech” Tour. Thirty-seven summers after they first appeared together at Woodstock, the boys are on tour speaking out against the war in Iraq and promoting free speech. The Star-Ledger had a review and setlist. Playing to a capacity crowd, CSNY sounded great, if a little rough, on the first night. Backed by a giant peace sign and with the words to the Constitution written on the stage, they played a first set mostly made up of songs from Neil’s new album, “Living With War.” After a 20-minute break, the boys came back out and stepped away from the political arena for a bit, playing “Helplessly Hoping,” “Our House,” and a beautiful version of “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” with Neil on piano and Graham and David on backing vocals. Considering he suffered a brain aneurysm little more than a year ago, Neil looks great, and even cracked a few jokes ("Welcome to CSNY Soapbox ’06.") Then they weaved their way back into anti-war songs, singing “Let’s Impeach the President” as images of George Bush flip-flopping on various issues played in the background while the faces of dead soldiers also were shown on the giant screen. A count-up showed that 2,537 American soldiers had died in Iraq as of Thursday. Many of their anti-Vietnam songs sounds as fresh and relevant as ever, a sad commentary on this war. The boys closed with “Ohio,” “What Are Their Names?”, “Lookin’ for a Leader,” "Deja Vu" and “Love the One Your With.” The tour heads to Neil territory in Canada next week before returning to the NY/NJ area in late August.

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