Crosby Stills Nash & Young: D


If you attended any shows during CSNY’s 2006 “Freedom of Speech” tour, or have listened to Neil Young’s Living With War, you’ll already know the emotion attached to the songs that are included on this striking live album.   What I found most surprising by comments from some of the concertgoers who disliked the political message was that they claimed they had no idea what they were in for.  Excuse me?  I know you might have paid $200, which no one forced you to do, but these were the same guys, in one form or another, who featured “Military Madness,” “Ohio,” “For What It’s Worth,” and “Find the Cost of Freedom” in their back catalogues.  And the “Young” responsible for one (major) fourth of the band had just written a song called “Let’s Impeach the President,” which was widely covered by almost every magazine and newspaper before and during the tour. 

But I digress. Déjà Vu Live is a beautiful message of music, and the captured rawness of it all reveals the sweet spots (“Shock and Awe,” “What Are Their Names?,” “Military Madness,” “Find the Cost of Freedom”) and the warts (“Déjà Vu,” “Looking For a Leader,” “For What It’s Worth”)  — as a live album should.  Lucinda Williams’ Live at The Fillmore West comes to mind as the only other recent live album that is a true representation of what really happened on a real night of music being played in front of people.  Kudos to everyone involved for keeping the sound fresh and in the moment; just as Young sings on “Roger and Out,” that he can “feel you in the air today,” this collection of live tunes will take you back to the night in 2006 you spent singing or booing along with CSNY. 

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