Riding the Marrakesh Express

Sometimes delayed gratification is worth it. After almost 30 years of being a fan of Crosby, Stills, & Nash I finally got to see them live in concert on Monday night.

They performed at the AVA Amphitheater just south of Tucson at the Casino del Sol. Michael and I met our friends from SPI, Sandy and Jeff at the concert. We had seats on the "lawn" which is a grassy area in the back where you can spread blankets and lay back and enjoy the show.

The concert was great, despite the fact that all the guys are now well into their 60's. David Crosby can still power out their classic songs with a nice clarity and Graham Nash can still carry great harmony. While Stephen Stills voice seems to be failing him at this stage sometimes, his guitar playing still can bring the crowd to its feet.

The guys started the show with "Marrakesh Express" and then segued into some of their newer stuff. Just before their intermission they gave us a taste of what was to come in the second half with a great rendition of "Our House".

After intermission they returned to their acoustic roots with one of my and Michael's favorites "Guinevere" and followed it up a bit later with a really rocking version of "Wooden Ships" that featured some great licks by Stephen on guitar. David Crosby thrilled the crowd with "Almost Cut My Hair" which, considering the age of the crowd and the number of bald heads was a bit ironic. They also had an audience sing along with "Teach Your Children".

For an encore the guys reached way back into their Buffalo Springfield roots with "For What It's Worth" which kept the crowd on their feet and singing along.

The whole experience was great. Despite our jokes at the beginning about the drugs of choice being Viagra or Caduet we did get some great whiffs of grass during the night. At least some things never change!

I have to admit to a lot of emotions during the night. It was great to be with our friends Sandy and Jeff to share such a great experience. During the concert I couldn't help think how cool it was to finally be at a rock concert with Michael. We've been to a lot of operas, classical concerts, and theatre events together but never a real rock concert.

Over the past year or so we've really developed sort of a new level to our relationship since I love the music from the early 70's despite being in high school in the early 80's. After many years, Michael has rediscovered his enjoyment of that musical form recently and we've enjoyed sharing what some of that means to both of us.

He'd never seen CSN in concert either, despite their music being a big part of his life as a high school and college student. The fact that the first time we saw these legends in concert was together was a real treat.

I also had to think back to my high school days as well. One of my favorite and most influential teachers is only a couple years older than Michael. She introduced us to a lot of the political thought and culture of the late 60's and early 70's. Her influence was key to my love of CSN and I can recall discussing the song "Ohio" in her class in high school. Recently, I have reconnected with her via email and we've come to exchange emails frequently. Besides being a teacher she was a great friend to her students and got many of us involved in theatre as well. She's one of those people whose influence on my life is indelible and to whom I owe a great deal.

All in all, Monday night was incredible and a night I will always remember, despite not getting to go backstage and doing some hits of Prograf* or Cellcept* with David Crosby!

*anti-rejection medications for liver transplant patients.