Woodstock '94, Part Two

The Band - Crosby, Stills & Nash

August 13-14, 1994

First Appeared in The Music Box, December 1994, Volume 1, #6

Written by John Metzger

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As part of Saturday's concert, The Band took the stage with a slew of special guests that included Roger McGuinn, Bruce Hornsby, Hot Tuna, Bob Weir, and Rob Wasserman. The group that once backed Bob Dylan has been on an exhaustive tour this year in support of its new album Jericho, and once again it proved its competence by leading the crowd through the blues-inspired Caledonia. In fact, The Band covered quite a few songs from its album, including Bruce Springsteen's Atlantic City, complete with Levon Helm on mandolin. A number of its classic songs were also performed: Rag Mama Rag featured a horn section that gave it even more of a New Orleans-bred ambience. The Weight surprisingly sounded fresh with Garth Hudson playing some excellent organ in contrast to Hornsby's piano, and Hornsby handled the second verse, much as he has been doing with the Grateful Dead of late.

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Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman joined The Band for Rock 'n' Roll Shoes. Weir fumbled through it, obviously just learning the song. The Band left the stage leaving Weir and Wasserman to do a mini-set which included Fever and Eternity, two songs that fit quite well together. Weir and Wasserman invited Hornsby back to the stage for a rockin' version of Throwin' Stones. Wasserman took this straight into his version of Satisfaction, which is delivered as a killer bass solo.

Melissa Etheridge's set was listless at best, and while it was a nice idea for her to do a tribute to Janis Joplin, her voice can hardly compare. Consequently, even this fell flat.

Crosby, Stills, and Nash was one of the most anticipated acts of the first day, and the trio put on a solid, well-rehearsed set. There were no real surprises, other than the volume of new material that was performed. At times, keyboardist Michael Finnigan nearly outshined CSN with his fantastic organ solos and fills that proved a good match for Stills' vibrant electric guitar. Highlights from CSN's set included a killer version of Deja Vu with Stephen Stills playing some excellent lead guitar. John Sebastian joined the band to add a little harmonica. Marrakesh Express was also quite energetic.

Unfortunately, when CSN first took the stage playing Love the One You're With, the group put forth so much energy that its vocals suffered. By the time it hit Long Time Gone, the harmonies had converged with perfection as Stills kicked out yet another scorching guitar solo.Wooden Ships once again carried its powerful message out to the audience as Graham Nash asked the crowd to buy and light a candle for the people in Rwanda. Unfortunately, those in attendance seemed as oblivious to this as they did to Blind Melon's testimony earlier in the day.

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Copyright 1994 The Music Box