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Published: 2002/09/23
by Mick Skidmore

Graham Nash, Paradise, Boston, 9/15

The most obvious question one would have after witnessing Graham Nash's
dynamic solo show at the Paradise is simply "Why doesn't he do this more
often." This was only Nash's second date of his first solo tour in over a
decade and a half! but it was well worth the wait. Nash and band were simply
superb as they delivered two hours of classic music. In fact, it made one
realize what a wealth of songs Nash has written over the years. In many
ways the band was much more sympathetic and in-tune musically to his rich
melodic songs than the CSN&Y rhythm section that we saw earlier this year
and this was evident from the onset. The show opened with a blistering
rendition of "Wild Tales" and picked up pace with the topical "Military Madness" which
had Nash adding "nuclear madness is killing the country." Next up was a
perfect rendition of "Marakesh Express" which boasted neat and complicated
guitar fills from Dean Parks and nice keyboard work from James Raymond. The
affable Nash was in good spirits and even joked about collapsing on stage
during the tour's first date saying that he couldn't figure out what caused
it, noting that he has toured before.

A superlative version of "I Used to Be A King" from his first solo album
"Songs for Beginners" really highlighted just how much the band gelled and
featured another sophisticated solo from Parks. He delved into material from
the new album, Songs for Survivors with "Lost Another One" and the haunting
"Nothing in the World." For many years during live performances Crosby and
Nash and Crosby Stills and Nash prefaced Nash's "Wind on the Water" with the
pre-recorded studio vocal piece "A Critical Mass." Nash informed the crowd
that the guitarists in the current band, Parks and Jeff Pevar, suggested
that they actually play the piece on guitars. The result was truly mesmerizing
with Parks on electric and Pevar adding delicate acoustic work. For the
anti-nuclear "Barrel of Pain" Nash prefaced the song by saying "30 years
later and we are still going through this nuclear shit" obviously reflecting
on these troubled times. In this song the band kicked into high gear with
some tenacious interplay between the two guitarists with Pevar adding some
meaty slide riffs. Later Nash joked that between himself, Crosby, Stills
and Young they had a repertoire of about 900 songs adding "About 600 are Neil's
and they are all in A minor." A lively "Wasted on the Way" and a blistering
"Dirty Little Secret" from the new album brought the first set to a close.
After a short break Nash returned alone for the delicate "Right Between the
Eyes." He was joined by Pevar for the seldom performed "In Her Eyes" and the
striking Richard Thompson song "Pavanne." Eventually the rest of the band
rejoined him. They ran through solid versions of "Just a Song Before I Go,"
an expansive "Cathedral," and an energetic "Pre Road Downs" before closing
with "Immigration Man." Of Course, the encores were the obligatory but
classic "Our House" and "Teach Your Children" which of course had the
audience singing along enthusiastically. Hopefully Nash will tour more
frequently and hopefully the planned live album from the tour will
materilize. At least onlay has to convince himself of the quality rather
than CS&Y and trust me there was plenty of quality here. By the end of the
tour the band should be really hitting a high.

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