Crosby Stills Nash and Tom

The legends can still sing! Crosby Stills and Nash are on tour with Tom Petty and I saw the show last night. Good show.

What impressed me the most is that CSN can still sing those great harmonies, although the key is nearly an octave lower than back in the day. Stephen Stills guitar playing might be even better than back when. Boomers know all the songs but the overall sound has been modernized so it appeals to a younger crowd too. In this case, ‘younger’ is relative because the average age seemed to be mid 40s and I saw more gray hair than I see at most concerts. Even though their most famous songs date back to the late 60s through the early 80s, their show is not a throwback to that era.

Tom Petty has been around quite awhile too, but he keeps things fairly fresh. He recorded new music this year and played four songs from the new album, but the real audience response came when he played the familiar hit songs. The real hit song part of his career ran from the late 70s to the early 90s but he has never stopped recording.

This was a good solid show, but not the best I’ve seen this year. The bar is pretty high when it comes to my definition of what makes a great concert. My favorites from the past three or four years: Dave Matthews Band for the mind-blowing awesome musicianship, Keith Urban for the musicianship and connection with the audience, Brad Paisley for the same reasons, Brooks & Dunn for the profound simplicity as well as audience connection, Sugarland because they connect and they’re clearly having fun and Tommy Castro for the musicianship and fun factor. In looking back over all the concerts I’ve ever seen, however, nobody tops Springsteen’s shows from the 1980s.

OK, that’s all. No profound conclusion or witty ending. It was a good show.