Crosby, Stills and Nash, Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin
Published 19/09/2015 | 07:00
Decades before Mumford and Sons and their Banjos of Terror, Crosby, Stills and Nash were the original posterboys for free-wheeling folk-rock.
Through the 60s and early 70s they carved a beloved niche as purveyors of laid-back roots music, their tunes almost as magnificent as the lush moustaches and shoulder-length curls they sported on their album sleeves.
Half a lifetime later, as the three musicians stood shoulder to shoulder on stage, it was clear much of that original alchemy has endured. As, in the case of the professorial Crosby, had the facial hair. 'Tache twinkling in gloom, he took lead vocals on an epic Somebody Home, his grainy croon electrified by Stills' spiralling guitar.
Bobbing his head with irrepressible enthusiasm, the gangly Nash, for his part, brought a boy-scout zeal to I Used To Be A King and Myself At Last - wide-eyed ditties that testified to his talents as a pop composer.
"Heritage rock" summons chilling images of humourless middle-aged men pouring of the sleeve notes of the newest Bob Dylan box set. But on the latest leg of their European tour, Crosby Stills and Nash made it plain that celebrating the past is no sin, provided you've got a songbook as storied as theirs.
Interwoven in beautiful harmony, their voices were eerily well preserved for three septuagenarians who, by every account, lived much of their youths in the fast-lane.
Stills' musicianship, in particular, was breathtaking, his solos sweeping the listener away from dreary Dublin to the endless horizons of the American heartland.
As gilded classics such as What Makes It So, Almost Cut My Hair and Wooden Ships came crashing down over the sell-out audience in a deluge of nostalgia, who could argue that sometimes it's better to look back than gaze forward?