Click here for photos from this show in the QRO Concert Photo Gallery
Click here for photos of Graham Nash at City Winery in New York, NY on September 26th, 2013 in the QRO Concert Photo Gallery
Legend Graham Nash inspires Asbury Hall
It’s not often that you get to see a living legend on the stage. The word “legend” has been thrown around way too much but in the case of Graham Nash, it’s not debatable. Being a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a two-time Songwriter’s Hall of Fame inductee can attest to that. Oh right, plus he’s an accomplished photographer and digital printing pioneer. On Monday, May 8th, he brought his “Sixty Years of Songs and Stories” tour to Buffalo’s Asbury Hall. Sixty Years! And he’s not just performing music from his heyday with David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Neil Young (or some combination). At the ripe age of eighty one, Nash is still making new music, with his seventh solo studio album Now set to be released later this month!
Asbury Hall filled quickly, with the average age of the attendees probably hovering between seventy and seventy-five. Oddly enough, security was still providing wristbands to confirm that the audience members could legally drink! One fan joked that everyone’s grandkids were probably over thirty! Several fans confirmed that they’ve been seeing Graham Nash perform either with the Hollies or with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young back in the sixties and seventies!
The tour is called “Sixty Years of Songs and Stories”, but Nash kicked off the evening with no story but the classic “Wasted on the Way”. He went on to dedicate the next song “Bus Stop” to Allan Clarke of the Hollies. There would be several song dedications: “Love of Mine” from the new album to his wife Amy, “Simple Man” which he wrote for Joni Mitchell, and a lovely acoustic version of “A Love Like Yours” (with guitarist Shane Fontayne and keyboardist Todd Caldwell) to Buddy Holly. He did talk briefly about David Crosby’s passing. He said everyone thought David would go way earlier than that, and that even David would have laughed at that. He then played “Critical Mass / Wind on the Water” with the “Critical” instrumental in the dark.
The show was broken up into two sets with a twenty minute intermission for the band to “rest a bit” and for Nash to pee! You know the band and audience are older when the men’s bathroom line is longer than the women’s. Many in the crowd understood Nash’s situation!
Two highly entertaining stories were about “Cathedral” and “Just a Song Before I Go”. On the first, Nash recounted his rental of a Rolls Royce (“as you do”) while in England performing at the Royal Albert Hall. He obtained some LSD and hallucinated all the way to Stonehenge! Winchester Cathedral was down the road so this song came to him. Drugs obviously inspired a lot of creativity in the band. On the second song, before Nash was going away, a young drug dealer had bet him $500 that he couldn’t “write a song before you go”. Nash couldn’t let that one slide and promptly wrote “Just a Song Before I Go”. A young woman approached Nash later on after a show and handed him an envelope. It turns out it was a check for $500 from that young man’s family. Debt paid!
Throughout the evening, Graham Nash’s voice was clear and on point, even on high notes that many singers can’t hit as they get older. His ability to maintain his vocal range as well as play guitar, piano, and harmonica at the ripe age of eighty-one is astounding. Thus, his legend continues!
When he completes his U.S. tour, he will be heading over to the U.K. and Europe at the end of July to continue to share his music with the world. If you’re a fan or even if you’re too young to have ever heard of Graham Nash, the Hollies, or Crosby Stills Nash & Young, go see this incredible artist. They’ll still be looking out for audience members under thirty!