It was a wet, dreary, New York Autumn evening. I drove over an hour to the town of Kingston, New York's first Capital. I was there to continue my Woodstock Quest to see David Crosby and Graham Nash, who are currently touring small arenas in the eastern portion of the United States before a CSN tour of Australia. The Ulster Performing Arts Center is a renovated vaudeville/movie house that seats 1,500. The good news, I scored a sixth row center seat. The bad news, at 42, I was one of one of the youngest members of the audience. The worse news, I sat next to some drunken asshole who was incredibly annoying – he snuck in a flask (I haven't done that since I was 17 – this guy was in his 50's).
Enough about the petty crap though, on with the show. Politics was the theme of the night. Graham Nash wore a t-shirt "1-20-09 Bush's Last Day". They opened with Nash's "Military Madness". Throughout the evening, numerous references were made against the current war and the current administration. Kingston, though, not far from the hippie, yes...still, community of Woodstock, NY (the town where the festival was supposed to be held) must be a democratic stronghold.
A trimmer David Crosby, who lost 53 pounds, wore a blue jersey with red collegiate style "CSNY" letters sewn on. His jeans seemed a little large with a belt holing his pants up ( I recognize it well having lost 35 pounds myself and not buying all the new clothes I need).
Both David Crosby and Graham Nash were in fine voice laughed and joked like the old friends that they are. James Raymond, who is Crosby's son, played keyboards and was lauded by both Crosby and Nash throughout the night. Mr. Raymond also authored the songs "Grace" and "Puppeteer". Dean Parks was a master on the guitar. The two hour set, not including the 30 minute break, had a jazzy feel to it. The set list is below:
1st set: Military Madness Marrakesh Express Long Time Gone Lay Me Down In My Dreams In Your Name Carry Me Grace / Jesus of Rio Cathedral Déjà Vu
2nd set: Our House Guinnevere Milky Way Tonight Live On (The Wall) Just a Song Before I Go To the Last Whale…Critical Mass/Wind on the Water Puppeteer Carry Me Almost Cut My Hair Wooden Ships
Encore: Chicago Teach Your Children
James Raymond - keyboards Andrew ? - bass Steven DiSlanislao -drums Dean Parks – guitar
Due to the rain, I was denied in my quest. By the time I exited the theatre, David Crosby was already on the bus. Graham Nash shook a few hands on his way to the bus; however, the pouring rain prevented him from stopping. So, I got denied - but I saw a great show.
So, for those counting at home: I've tried for nine and have been denied by four (Mitch Mitchell, Tommy Shannon, David Crosby, Graham Nash) and have had five successes (Marty Balin, John Sebastian, Arlo Guthrie, Country Joe McDonald, and Billy Cox).
Next up: Hot Tuna on December 14th; however, there will probably be something before then. Leslie West and Johnny Winter are playing nearby in November. Also, I hear Sly & the Family Stone (yes, Sly Stone) is playing B.B. King's in NYC on December 7th. Damn this quest – 130 living musicians and I live in the NY Metropolitan Area – where everybody plays. Darn, Darn, Darn – this is going to be expensive. Also, it is invading my life – I'm planning my 20th college reunion around a Sha-Na-Na concert. I'm pathetic!