Crosby & Nash spend an evening at the Wilbur

A review of David Crosby and Graham Nash at the Wilbur Theatre on May 18, 2011

, Managing Editor

No strangers to the road, David Crosby and Graham Nash, a musical partnership that’s lasted over 40 years now, have embarked on yet another tour billed “An Evening with David Crosby and Graham Nash”. With a songbook and collection of stories as deep as this esteemed duo’s, there’s no need for an opener. Fans were treated to two sets at the Wilbur Theatre on Wednesday night.

Although their modesty and wit make for a laid-back, amusing atmosphere on-stage, the work of Crosby and Nash has quite often been the socially conscious and politically-charged variety. Crosby and Nash continue to sing these songs not just because many of them have become rock staples or fan-favorites, but because the content still has meaning despite being written decades ago. As Nash put it before “Almost Cut My Hair”, “as a writer it’s nice to have a song from 40 years ago still be relevant today… but that sucks!”.

The thing about having songs from 40 years ago is that it means they’re being sung with voices that have gone through four decades of recording and touring. However, Crosby and Nash’s harmonies showed no signs of wear. The duo also showed that they haven’t lost their knack for poignancy with issue-inspired tunes like “Don’t Dig Here” and “In Your Name”. The latter saw them take on religion while the former touched on environmental issues. “Don’t Dig Here”, which was featured on their 2004 self-titled double-album, was actually written by Crosby’s son James Raymond, who serves as the band’s keyboardist.

Starting the show just after 8 o’clock, Crosby and Nash had plenty of time to do as they pleased so they mixed stories and wisecracks in with their lengthy set. Crosby was humorously self-deprecating, frequently joking about his drug-related lack of memory and then summing up his position in the group after Nash had fans singing along to “Marrakesh Express”, saying “I am doomed to live in his shadow forever. He writes anthems… I write the weird shit”.

Nash had the floor as he returned with just Raymond accompanying him as the second set began with “Cold Rain”, a song Nash said he wrote about meeting the Everly Brothers before he was famous himself. His story about waiting on the steps of the brothers’ hotel all night was a little drawn out, but he kept things nice and simple before “Our House” as he preceded it’s performance by joking, “the things you write to get laid!”.

Crosby and Nash dedicated much of the second set fulfilling fans wishes with many of the songs that had been shouted out all night, such as “Almost Cut My Hair”, “Wooden Ships” and “Guinnevere”. The duo would return once more for their most-cherished track, “Teach Your Children”, which they dedicated to all the “underpaid and under-appreciated teachers”… once again finding relevance in words written 40 years ago.

Setlist
1. Eight Miles High
2. I Used to Be a King
3. Wasted On the Way
4. Long Time Gone
5. Lay Me Down
6. Lee Shore
7. Just A Song Before I Go
8. Don’t Dig Here
9. To The Last Whale
10. Cowboy Movie
11. Marrakesh Express
12. Deja Vu
Intermission
13. Cold Rain
14. Guinnevere
15. In Your Name
16. They Want It All
17. Grace/Jesus of Rio
18. A Slice of Time
19. Camera
20. Cathedral
21. Our House
22. Military Madness
23. Almost Cut My Hair
24. Wooden Ships
Encore
25. Teach Your Children

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