Good Evening Boston (Screamer-04001-004)
The greatest virtue of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young are their willingness to take tremendous risks. For almost forty years these four artists have played solo and with one another in many and various permutations. Their 1974 “reunion” tour, their first of many, offers a clear glimpse into their strength. Their ego clashes are well known, but what other group goes into a tour as loose, playing CSN & Y classics along with solo pieces from each band member?
At the very least these concerts display the “strength through diversity” ethic. Rock, folk, blues, acoustic, electric, piano, harmonies, etc, they do it all with an infectious joy that has produced some of the most amazing concerts ever. On this release we can hear a band who have a versatility and looseness that other bands can only hope to attain. The label promises these are new tape sources. All I can say that they are very good audience recordings. Their similarity leads me to believe they are from the same taper in almost identical locations for the two shows.
The sound is very good although a bit distant from the stage. And the metallic sound that is present on the Neil Young Colorado 1971 is thankfully absent. The Boston crowd (as are most Boston crowds in the seventies) are very enthusiastic, clapping and singing along.
Boston Garden, Boston, MA – August 5th, 1974
Disc 1 (73:31): Love The One You’re With, Wooden Ships, The Losing End, Prison Song, Almost Cut My Hair, Immigration Man, Down By The River, Teach Your Children, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Blackbird, Helplessly Hoping, Guinnevere, For Free
Disc 2 (75:51): It’s All Right, Love Art Blues, Out On The Weekend, Heart Of Gold, Change Partners, 4 + 20, You Can’t Catch Me/Word Game, Pre-Road Downs, First Things First, Deja Vu, My Angel, Black Queen, Revolution Blues, Pushed It Over The End, Military Madness, Ohio
Each evening begins with double salvo of “Love The One You’re With” and “Wooden Ships”, and then any pretense of a set list is thrown away. Each evening they even include a cover the The Beatles’ “Blackbird” to the hushed amusement of the crowd.
Boston Garden, Boston, MA – August 6th, 1974
Disc 3 (65:42): Love The One You’re With, Wooden Ships, Immigration Man, Traces, Grave Concern, Black Queen, The Losing End, Almost Cut My Hair, Old Man, Old Man, Teach Your Children, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Blackbird, The Lee Shore
Disc 4 (64:11): Simple Man, Our House, Sugar Mountain, Change Partners, You Can’t Catch Me/Word Game, Deja Vu, First Things First, On The Beach, My Angel, Military Madness, Ohio, Carry On
On the third disc during the second concert “Old Man” is listed twice. That is because Young cuts the song off after thirty seconds to tell the crowd “Don’t take this personal, but when I wrote this on the ranch there was no clapping.” By the time we hit “Ohio” and “Carry On” at the end of the second show, after more than four hours of music, you can hear the crowd cheer in utter pandemonium for these two classic performances.
Screamer are a new label and they released Good Evening Boston and the Neil Young Colorado 1971 at the same time. They seem to specialize in newly found Neil Young, CSN&Y, and Bob Dylan tapes. Their other releases include: Neil Young & Crazy Horse Another Osaka and Boston Tea Party, Bob Dylan Cambridge 1975 and Boston 1975 Complete, and The Rolling Stones Live At LA Forum July 9th, 1975.