Stephen Stills Newcastle City Hall October 16 2008
The members of CSN&Y have made quite a few visits to the UK in the past few years including tours by CSN, Crosby and Nash and Neil Young. This time its the turn of Stephen Stills to come over and play for us.
The City Hall was around 3/4 full for this show, but that didn’t detract from the atmosphere. Everyone was here to see someone who has written some of the greatest songs of our lives, and played some great guitar along the way too. The set was split into two halves; the first half was largely acoustic and the second a full electric set. Stills came on and opened with Helplessly Hoping; his voice was strong, if admittedly not the same as it was 30 years ago! And he looks good. Much much better than last time I saw him with CSN at Manchester a few years ago. He covers Dylan’s Girl from the North Country , does 4+20 from Deja Vu (joking that he is now 3+60 rather than 4+20) and closes the set with a beautiful version of Suite Judy Blue Eyes.
The second set features his band (who are great) and some wonderful guitar playing from Stills. I’d forgotten just how great his guitar playing is. He ends with For What its Worth and the encore is the inevitable Love the One your With. Manage to score one of Stills plectrums from a roadie at the end. I have a chat with a few friends after the show and get mixed views (from “excellent” to “shocking: his voice is gone”) ; but overall I think we all felt this was pretty good, and a rare opportunity to see a real legend.
Set list :
Helplessly Hoping; Treetop Flyer; North Country Girl; Change Partners; 4+20; Ballad of the Blind Fiddler; Johnny’s Garden; Daylight Again/Find the Cost of Freedom; Suite Judy Blue Eyes
Isn’t It About Time; Rock & Roll Woman; Wrong Thing To Do; Rocky Mountain Way; I Want To Make Love To You; Bluebird; For What It’s Worth; Love The One Your With; Dark Star