Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Oakland Stadium 1974 (Masterport-245)


Oakland Stadium 1974 (Masterport-245)

Oakland Stadium, Oakland, CA – July 13th, 1974

Disc 1 (44:29):  Love The One You’re With, Wooden Ships, Immigration Man, Traces, Cowgirl In The Sand, Grave Concern, Black Queen, Ohio

Disc 2 (79:53):  Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, Blackbird, Human Highway, Carry Me, For Free, The Lee Shore, Prison Song, It’s All Right, Our House, Long May You Run, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Ambulance Blues, Sugar Mountain, Know You Got To Run, You Can’t Catch Me/Word Game

Disc 3 (68:07):  Don’t Be Denied, Deja Vu, Pre Road Downs, First Things First, Long Time Gone, Revolution Blues, Pushed It Over The End, Carry On, On The Beach, Chicago

Given the combustible relationship between the artists and especially with the Buffalo Springfield contingent, CSN&Y’s great reunion tour in 1974 was booked in massive stadiums across the country for the maximum amount of exposure and made the tickets on this tour a hot selling item.  After two shows in Vancouver and Seattle, the tour played two huge dates at the Oakland Coliseum on July 13th and 14th. 

These shows were billed as “Days On The Green N. 2” organized by Bill Graham.  The all day event featured The Band, Joe Walsh, Brainstorm, Jesse Colin Young, and Ross and ended with a long, almost three hour long set by the headliners playing two electric sets surrounding a long acoustic set and drew 76,000 spectators. 

A tape featuring part of this show was released in the seventies titled Traces on vinyl.  A condensed version of this tape was issued on two discs calledWe Waited 3 Years For This, and the complete show was released on All Along The Navajo Trail.  Oakland Stadium 1974 on Masterport uses the same.  Masterport dub this a Mike Millard master, but that is wrong on both counts.  This isn’t from Millard (he taped in southern California), and this isn’t from the master but a first generation copy that has been circulation.  It is a very good to almost excellent sounding tape that is a bit thin on the lower end.  The first couple of seconds of “Love The One You With” are missing and there were digital clicks during “Long Time Gone” from 3:51 to 4:22, “Carry On,” “On The Beach” and before “Cowgirl In The Sand.” 

They have been edited out and the LP source was used in “Long Time Gone.”  Ten seconds in “Push It Over The End” were missing and the LP was used to fill the cut.  This release includes “On The Beach” as the first encore which the other titles lack.  Although there is some debate, there are no cuts surrounding it and it has the same sound quality as the rest of the tape so it does sound legitimate.

About this show, one commentator writes:  “Neil Young fans should be delighted with this. We get one of his greatest unreleased songs, an electrifying ‘Pushed It Over the End’ as well as ‘Traces,’ another unreleased tune. Also featured is a solo ‘Ambulance Blues’ and an absolutely incredible read of ‘Revolution Blues,’ featuring Neil and Stephen on electric guitars, which blows away the On the Beach version.

“Other strong Young songs include group acoustic spins of ‘Sugar Mountain,’ (an unusual version with harmony vocals) ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart,’ and the then-unreleased ‘Human Highway’ (far superior to the Comes a Time version) and ‘Long May You Run.’ We also get ‘Ohio’ and ‘Cowgirl in the Sand,’ both electric, as well as the classic from Time Fades Away, ‘Don’t Be Denied.’ Neil fans certainly went home satisfied from this concert.

“As did fans of David Crosby and Graham Nash. Both provide outstanding vocals throughout the show, especially on standout acoustic cuts like Crosby’s new ‘Carry Me,’ Nash’s electric ‘Immigration Man’ and the lovely duet on ‘Lee Shore.’ Nash’s solo spot is particularly strong, with only the always maudlin ‘Our House’ tarnishing great versions of ‘Prison Song’ and the new ‘It’s Alright.’

“In the two electric sets, Crosby’s ‘Long Time Gone’ and ‘Deja Vu,’ along with Nash’s ‘Pre-Road Downs’ and new ‘Grave Concern’ are also strong. Navajo Trail provides ample evidence that Crosby and Nash were key members of the band (stronger proof is found on the Empty Ocean Road bootleg of the awful Stills-Young Band tour, where their absence makes the vocals of the remaining duo sound shrill and lifeless). Nothing wrong here with Crosby or Nash.

“Which leaves the ‘headliner’ of the group, Stephen Stills. In earlier tours, Stephen was the star of the show, getting the last acoustic solo spot and the majority of the lengthy lead guitar parts. For the ’74 tour, this status seemed to continue, but as Navajo Trail shows it was clearly not deserved. By ’74 the velvet voice that gave us ‘Four Days Gone’ and ‘49 Bye Byes’ had given way to a rough, low register blues growl that struggled to stay in tune (notwithstanding the fact that, yes, he did hit the high note on ‘hearrrrrrt’ during the middle part of ‘Suite’). And while his guitar playing remained strong, his songwriting did not. His few new tunes offered on the tour were mediocre, such as the ho-hum ‘First Things First’ found on Navajo Trail (where he plays congas, not guitar).

“And while his solo spot generated audience excitement, the performances of ‘Know You Got To Run’ and ‘You Can’t Catch Me/Word Game’ were uneventful. Perhaps the sets’ weakest performance is the monotonous ‘Black Queen’ where the electric guitar riff goes on … and on …and on. And while ‘Wooden Ships’ early in the show is outstanding, the set closer ‘Carry On’ sounds tired, perhaps because the band had played it so often on other tours. While this assessment of Stills’ performance may seem harsh to fans, other bootlegs from the tour confirm that by 1974, Stephen Stills’ best days were behind him.” 

Oakland Stadium 1974 was released the same day as Wembley Stadium 1974 close to thirty years after the event.  It is among the final releases on the label and is limited to two hundred numbered copies.  The packing is a standard fatboy jewel case with a great color photograph on the front cover.   

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