Wednesday, October 17, 2012

No. 596 – Dark Star

Performer: Crosby, Stills & Nash
Songwriter: Stephen Stills
Original Release: CSN
Year: 1977
Definitive Version: None

Shortly after 9-11, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young announced they would tour again, a mere two years after their previous tour, which, of course, had been 26 years after their last tour. The timing, I’m certain, wasn’t a coincidence. In fact, Neil Young had just released a 9-11 song, Let’s Roll, about Flight 93.

Regardless of the reason, I was game to go again. If it were half as good as the 2000 show had been, it would be a great night. For CSNY, Dad decided to make it a family affair a la Rush in 1990. Scott and Shani would come up from Cincinnati, and then I’d meet up with them, Dad, Matt and Casey. This was to be Casey’s first concert.

That was the plan, anyway. The reality ended up being different. We met at Dad and Laura’s house for dinner, but Casey wasn’t doing too good. In short, he was having serious stomach problems. Casey NEVER got sick—no flu, no colds, no nothing. And the fact that he really wanted to see CSNY made him feel worse.

Finally, Dad told the rest of us to leave; he and Casey would catch up when they could. So we headed off downtown. The concert this time, February 2002, was at Nationwide Arena, rather than the Schottenstein Center at OSU. Another more significant difference: I wasn’t with Debbie.

Oh, she was there, all right, with my replacement—in the third row. Her new guy had ponied up the $200 per ticket for the choicest seats for her birthday. Well, good for her. We were in the nosebleeders. Although that knowledge didn’t put a damper on the whole proceedings, needless to say, it didn’t help.

The setlist for the first half was almost identical to that of the 2000 show, with some major exceptions, the first being that CSNY played all of Carry On. They also added Déjà Vu, which is never the wrong move.

The biggest change, however, was toward the end. In 2000, they played the island-flavored Faith in Me from the latest album to set up Almost Cut My Hair, my favorite CSNY song (SPOILER ALERT). This time the island-flavored set-up song was this one, of all things. Yes, it was Debbie’s favorite CSNY song. Et tu, CSNY?

The rest of the show was OK but didn’t pack the wallop of the 2000 show. For whatever reason, Neil took far more of a supporting role this go-round, blending in the background most of the evening. That made a huge difference. Still, it was a decent show overall—at least half as good. But Dad and Casey never made it, so I felt really bad for him. As far as I know, he hasn’t been sick since then. It was just one of those things—bad timing.

Fast forward four years: I’m in Chicago, and one of the tapes in Laurie’s regular rotation is CSN. This, in fact, is NOT Laurie’s favorite CSN song, although she likes it well enough, but again, hearing it in a new light with new experiences made me like it a lot more.

And this time my ex was nowhere in sight.

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