Graham Nash Plays Two-Night Gig at Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre
Graham Nash is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a co-founder of two iconic rock groups, The Hollies & Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, a published photographer, a political activist, and an OBE. He has been inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame twice! Pretty heady stuff, yet Nash came to Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre sold-out show with a sense of humor and a down-to-earth sensibility that shows why at 81 years old he is still enduring after almost 60 years in the music business. Oh, and I forgot to say that he played Woodstock! He is playing not one but two shows at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater this week.
He opened with CSN’s 1982 hit “Wasted on the Way,” and coming next was the 1969 tune “Marrakesh Express,” both written by Nash. Graham has a brand new 2023 album out titled “Now,” and we got some of these songs along with CSN, Hollies, and solo stuff. Nash played harmonica and guitar along with his multi-instrumental band members, Zac and Adam, and longtime collaborator and producer Todd Caldwell, who handled the keys. The mandolin was beautiful on the cover of “Bus Stop.” The 1975 collaboration of David Crosby & Nash’s “Critical Mass/Wind on the Water” was haunting with the intro in the dark. Graham said he & Crosby had their ups and downs, but he was an incredible musician, and “I will think about him every day for the rest of my life.”
Graham paid tribute to two former ladies who were in his life with a song called “Better Days,” dedicated to singer Rita Coolidge. He performed Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” and he talked about what a great woman Joni is and how wonderful it is that she is doing so well and credits that to singer Brandi Carlyle! He sang “Our House,” written during the two-year period he lived with Joni in Laurel Canyon. An enthusiastic version of the 1970 Stephen Stills hit, “Love the One You’re With, included audience participation. A funny story leading into “Immigration Man” about Graham being the only one of CSNY who couldn’t get back into the country, and he was arguing with immigration. He is a charming storyteller, and when a fan yelled out, he took them on with wit & class. (“I want some of what they are on.”)
He saved some of the best for last with a couple of the most well-remembered political tunes of the 70s with “Chicago” and “Ohio,” which was written by Neil Young for the Kent State tragedy. “Just A Song Before I Go” that he wrote on a bet for $500 and years later actually got paid on the bet. The chill vibe in the Capitol Theatre was perfect for this show. He closed the evening with the CSN&Y hit from the album, “Deja Vu,” “Teach Your Children,” which was written by Nash. An honor to watch one of the best musicians & songwriters from any generation play incredible music from such a rich time period of music.
Vicky Sullivan Photos