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Buffalo Springfield – 01.06.11 Konzertreview

Peter from Belgium reports from the field:

Where to start!

I came over to San Francisco with tickets for tonights show in Oakland, and Saturdays show at The Wiltern in LA… Wednesday morning it was raining so I stayed a bit longer on the internet… and stumbled across a site selling off some tickets for the show that evening!

As some of you who follow me on Facebook will already know, I was able to purchase a seat for $17, plus charges! OK, I was up in the nose bleeds, but I was there!

The entertainment started at the pre-show meet, attended by around 30 Rusties and Shorers, amongst them ‘Lost Dog’ who I met for the first (and only) time, at the Neil Young show in Gent, Belgium in 2001!

After a few beers and some food, we headed of to The Fox Theatre, what a beautiful venue! Gillian Weich open the show, accompanied as ever by Dave Rawlings. She did a great job, but anticipation was already building for the main event!

What made this so unique, for me at least, was the knowledge that no one had any idea what songs they would play, and of course no idea of what order either! Unlike recent C&N, CS&N, CSN&Y and NY shows, where it has become fairly predictable at times. So it was fair to assume we’d get some of the songs Stills and Young have been singing in recent years, such as Rock and Roll Woman, Bluebird, Mr.Sould, Expecting to Fly and FWIW. We weren’t disaappointed, although Expecting to Fly didn’t appear in the set, the other 4 did!

The stage set up was interesting too, from where I was sat it appeared that Richie Furay’s mic stand was clearly in front of those for Stills and Young. Indeed one of my impressions from the evening was Young standing back a little and letting his two old buddies have the limelight, Young of course had the last word, but I’ll come to that in a minute!

So they opened, surprisingly in my opinion, with ‘On The Way Home’, with Furay out front on lead vocals… then they moved into what I thought they’d open with, Stills, ‘Rock and Roll Woman…’ done this time in the ‘Buffalo Springfield’ style and finishing in about 4 minutes, unlike the Stills solo version with the extended guitar break. I’m not even going to try and remember the whole set list, you’ll find hat elswhere I’m sure!

They played just about every well known Springfield song, Young was in fine form, cracking jokes on stage… such as “we’re the Buffalo Springfield, we’re from the past!” and a comment, which I didn’t catch all of but was along the lines “we haven’t worked for 43 years… can you believe that? 43 years!”.

My personal highlights, ‘R & R Woman’, ‘Nowdays Clancy can’t even sing’, a really rocking version of ‘Mr Soul’, and too many others to recall, everyone a gem though! They completed the set with an extended rocking version of ‘Bluebird’.

Then came for me, the not only the surprise of the evening, but the undoubted highlight!

The first song of the encore was a stunning rendition of ‘Broken Arrow’…

This was the song that first brought NY to my notice, guess I never thought I’d see it played live! Even with the idiots in the audience screaming through the quiet parts, this song still moved me! Then we had ‘For what it’s worth’, finally shutting up the stupid woman behind me who’d been screaming for it since the start of the concert! They ended a 90+ minute set with the great Buffalo Springfield song (not), ‘Rocking in the free world’!

A strange choice and sadly out of place here, but as I said in the beginning, NY likes to have the last word! What was interesting on this version was that Young let Stills take lead… so during one of the extended guitar breaks that puntuated the 7+ minute version, we had Stills at the very front of the stage in the spotlight, giving it his all, whilst Young and Furay stayed back neat the drum riser, seemingly content to let Stills loose!

After around 95 minutes and three encores, they left to a standing ovation, well deserved in my opinion… a really original show, with the slight exception of ‘Rocking in the free world’ at the end… I think I’d have preferred it if they’d squeezed a couple of other Springfield tunes in the middle of the set, and maybe finished with Mr Soul… but hey for $17, who am I to complain!!!

Tonight it’s more of the same, but from my expensive seat near the stage… will try to write in again tomorrow if there’s any significant changes to the set.

All in all a great evening, made more so by the Rusties and Shorers at the
pre-show! Will try to upload some photos later, there are a few on my Facebook page for those of you who are friends of mine there!

Peter

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