Manchester Explosion

CSNY Tour Revels In Spontaneity

With more than 900 songs in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's combined repertoire, David Crosby tells that the band's second tour in three years is all about spontaneity and the unearth

With more than 900 songs in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's combined repertoire, David Crosby tells that the band's second tour in three years is all about spontaneity and the unearthing of hidden gems. "Admittedly, half of those songs are Neil [Young]'s. That guy is so prolific, I hate him," Crosby says with a laugh.

"But that's a tremendous backlog of songs and we have the ability to do any of them," Crosby continues. "I am doing some that I've never done with this band live, [including] 'Carry Me.' And we're doing Graham Nash's 'I Used To Be a King.' The other night, he sang it the best he's ever sang it his whole life. It's just a thrill. We're doing some things that people didn't really expect that are working very well. We have actually not done the same show twice, and we probably won't."

Other surprises include "Eight Miles High" (from Crosby's erstwhile group the Byrds) and "Wooden Ships." The latter track wasn't played at all during the group's highly successful CSNY2K outing of 2000, the quartet's first tour in 26 years. It's no secret sometimes-member Young was the catalyst for the band's reunion the first time around, as well as for the current outing, which hits Indianapolis tomorrow (Feb. 20) and wraps April 25 at Chicago's United Center.

"The timing is pretty much up to Neil, because he is sort of the big cheese of the group," says Crosby. "And I don't begrudge that to him, he's an unbelievable artist. He was the one who called us all and said, 'We need to do it again, now.'"

The reason to tour now was simple: after the events of Sept. 11, the country and the band needed healing. Interestingly, Crosby, Stills & Nash were touring at the time of the terrorist attacks. The trio was scheduled to play Denver on the fateful day and wound up canceling two other shows. "It was really hard on everybody in the whole country, but it was hard on us too," recalls Crosby. "We had a long, very sad ride [home]."

So, the foursome has returned for another batch of dates, singing about the history they witnessed nearly 30 years ago ("Ohio," "Woodstock," and "Southern Man"). As for their future, Crosby hints a live recording of their current tour and an accompanying DVD is in the works. However, after surviving drug addiction and a liver transplant, Crosby isn't looking forward as much as carrying on with his familiar smile and unbelievably positive outlook on life.

"Yeah, I'm extremely grateful," he admits. "Hell, I was supposed to die seven years ago. Imagine how grateful I am every day."

Here are CSNY's remaining tour dates:

Feb. 20: Indianapolis (Conseco Fieldhouse)
Feb. 22-23: New York (Madison Square Garden)
Feb. 25: Cleveland (Gund Arena)
Feb. 28: Hartford, Conn. (Civic Center)
March 2-3: Boston (Fleet Center)
March 5: Philadelphia (First Union Center)
March 6: Pittsburgh (Mellon Arena)
March 8: Washington, D.C. (MCI Center)
March 9: Atlantic City, N.J. (Trump Taj Mahal)
March 11: Milwaukee (Bradley Center)
March 12: Minneapolis (Target Center)
March 15: Tacoma, Wash. (Tacoma Dome)
March 17: Portland, Ore. (Rose Garden)
March 26: Phoenix (America West Arena)
March 27: San Diego (Sports Arena)
March 29: Las Vegas (MGM Grand)
March 30: Anaheim, Calif. (Arrowhead Pond)
April 1: Los Angeles (Staples Center)
April 4: Oakland (Oakland Arena)
April 5: San Jose, Calif. (Compaq Center)
April 8: Denver (Pepsi Center)
April 10: Austin, Texas (Erwin Center)
April 11: Dallas (Reunion Arena)
April 13: Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (National Car Rental Center)
April 14: Tampa, Fla. (Ice Palace)
April 16: Greensboro, N.C. (Coliseum)
April 17: Atlanta (Philips Arena)
April 19: Philadelphia (First Union Center)
April 22: Uniondale, N.Y. (Nassau Coliseum)
April 25: Chicago (United Center)