With a a few guitars, a keyboard, and guitarist/collaborator, Shane Fontayne, Graham Nash played a two-hour set to an almost-full house at the Uptown Theater, in Kansas City, on Saturday night. With a set that included songs from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Hollies, solo work, and even a Beatles cover, there was something for everyone that evening.
Opening with Bus Stop, by The Hollies, Graham explained that he left the group after that song, as he lost trust with the band, since the single only made it to the top 30, instead of the top 10, where The Hollies were used to being. Through the evening, Graham would tell anecdotes, as well as the history of the songs. Sometimes they’d be amusing, sometimes they’d be poignant, but above all else, it was honest, with nothing held back.
Immigration Man, for instance, came about at an airport in Vancouver, when Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, were trying to get to get back to California, and everyone made it through, except Graham (who had immigration forms to fill out). Cathedral, on the other hand, “CSN had just played at Royal Albert Hall, so I got up at dawn, rented a vintage Rolls Royce, went to a dealer’s house, and scored some acid. I took a trip, as they say, to Stonehenge, and laid there for a million years, then took a walk to Winchester Cathedral.”
Things also became somber, though. At the start of his second set, Graham plainly said, “I’m sick of singing this song. Shit, I wrote this song about my father going off to WWII. We haven’t learned much, have we?” Before moving into Military Madness. Still an activist at his age, and along the same theme, Graham wrote a new song, about the events in Ferguson, MO, which he dedicated to Michael Brown, and Freddie Gray, Watch Out for the Wind.
At 73 years young, Graham’s light tenor voice hasn’t suffered, and he still sounds as good singing his hits, as he did decades ago. Graham will have a new album, called Golden Days, out in 8 months. For now, you can catch him on tour, with meet & greet packages, where available.