- The Washington Times - Monday, March 11, 2002

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young took a mostly baby-boomer audience on a trip back to tie-dye shirts, peace signs and Woodstock in a nearly three-hour show Friday at MCI Center.
While all four members were in good form, the night truly belonged to Neil Young, whose musicianship and stage presence often took over the concert. The quartet has released only a handful of albums together, yet as solo artists and in other collaborations they've made close to 100 records, with Mr. Young being the most productive of the four.
The stage was decorated with a few palm fronds and Arabic-style tents at the back, and a large projection area behind the band. All four members seemed relaxed, as David Crosby scanned the crowd at the show's start, wearing one of his familiar flannel shirts, and Graham Nash kicked off his shoes to go barefoot onstage.
As if to show their commitment to giving fans what they want, CSN&Y; opened with "Carry On," one of the more popular songs on their debut album as a foursome, "Deja Vu." After all these years, the four still have nearly perfect harmony, even if age is starting to wear down their solo singing abilities. It's rare to find a group that can layer four guitars, four vocal lines, bass, drums and keyboards on top of one another and still not sound overbearing.
Stephen Stills and Mr. Young, the two lead guitarists, played off each other quite well. The four would occasionally group around one another in a circle, as if summoning a storm with their music. Mr. Young stayed mostly in place, looking a bit like a goblin, with his farmer hat, dark clothes and scowl. He hunched over as he played, frequently bobbing his body up and down as if pained by the effort.
The set featured three new songs by Mr. Young, including "Going' Home" and "You're My Girl" (written for his daughter), which will appear on his new CD, "Are You Passionate," due in stores March 26.
The band also played Mr. Young's "Let's Roll," a song released to radio in the fall that was written as a tribute to Todd Beamer and other passengers who fought terrorists aboard United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11.
"I like to listen to the oldies station," Mr. Young told the crowd, eliciting huge cheers. If so, he's sure to have heard "Southern Man," one of his songs that gained the biggest response Friday night.
The group was joined by venerable keyboardist Booker T. Jones, from Booker T. and the MG's, for most of the songs.
The highlight of the first set was Mr. Stills and Mr. Crosby singing behind a psychedelic, lava lamp-style backdrop to "Wooden Ships" before the four came back to end the set with "Cinnamon Girl," an upbeat dance number penned by Mr. Young.
After intermission, the quartet came back to such early hits as "Helplessly Hoping" and "Woodstock."
Mr. Nash took the stage by himself to sing his signature tune, "Our House," and Mr. Crosby joined him for a hushed version of the eerily beautiful "Guinnevere." They also introduced a tune by Mr. Nash called "Half Your Angels," a New Age keyboard-driven song intended as a September 11 tribute, which rode the line between touching and schmaltzy.
The night ended with "Rockin' in the Free World," from Mr. Young's 1989 album "Freedom," a song that may as well have been penned recently. The crowd jumped in to sing "Don't feel like Satan, but I am to them/so I try to forget it/anyway I can/Keep on rockin' in the free world."
After joining hands in a theatrical stage bow, the quartet emerged for a surprise rendition of "Eight Miles High," one of the more popular songs from Mr. Crosby's days with the Byrds, the band he co-founded.


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