August 19, 2015 Graham Nash’s Enchanting Evening at The Paramount Huntington, NY 8-12-15
English singer-songwriter Graham Nash has a long history of music credits that spans back to the early 1960’s with the likes of The Hollies, then later with Crosby, Stills & Nash, making him become one of the most adored musicians in modern times. Attaining a Grammy award, Nash was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 as a member of Crosby, Stills & Nash, and again in 2010 as a member of The Hollies. His accomplishments go beyond the world of music though as Queen Elizabeth has also appointed him an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his contributions as a musician and as a philanthropist. He is also a highly accomplished photographer, and it comes as no surprise that when he released his autobiography, Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life, in September 2013, he would be on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Exciting fans, Nash announced he would be partaking in a special solo tour through July and August 2015 across the United States. Beginning out on the West Coast, working his way across the heartland of the country, Nash arrived in Huntington Village on Wednesday August 12th at The Paramount. It was a perfect Summer night on Long Island to enjoy an evening with Nash featuring no glitter or glam, just a very intimate heartfelt performance of truly classic songs, as well as some new songs that will be on an upcoming album to be released in the Spring of 2016.
Walking onto the stage in blue jeans and bare feet, he was accompanied by just one other musician, Guitarist and Vocalist Shane Fontayne. Greeted by a nearly packed theater cheering, it was evident that the audience has been following his work through his whole career as it was made up of generation after generation of fans. Adding to the mood, the stage was adorned with candles and the lighting was simple, but flattering.
Taking their places, Nash and Fontayne started the evening with two of The Hollies’ classic songs in “Bus Stop” and “King Midas,” then went into “I Used To Be A King” from his first solo album in 1971, Songs For Beginners . Bringing everyone back almost forty years with the story of the time he met these two older blue-haired ladies in a room full of sweet smoke and then he played “Marrakesh Express.” Thereafter, the 1972 hit ”Immigration Man” was another audience pleaser, getting them to stand on their feet and sway along. Nash then put his guitar down to sing a new song, “Golden Days,” that as he explained, was written by himself and Fontayne for a new album that will be released this upcoming Spring. Nash, with his guitar and harmonica, took to another new song, “Myself, At Last,” but midway through this song he stopped and joked, “Truly a new song,” then picked the song right back up where they left off and fans clearly enjoyed it. Moving along, “Cowboy Of Dreams” and “Wind On The Water,” both songs from 1975’s Wind On The Water, “Wasted On The Way,” a hit from 1982’s Daylight Again and the unforgettable “Our House,” a song Nash wrote for Joni Mitchell, closed out the first set to a standing ovation.
Nash and Fontayne return to the stage with Nash on the keyboards to play “Simple Man,” also from his first solo album, then “Lady Of The Island” off Crosby, Stills and Nash’s 1969 debut self-titled album. Nash dedicated “Back Home” to his dear friend and drummer, the late, great Levon Helm. After the audience’s cheers came down to a hush, someone yelled, “You sound beautiful! We love you,” to which a humble Nash smiled ear to ear. Balancing out the setlist, “Military Madness,” another song from Nash’s first solo album, “Southbound Train,” a song from 1972’s Graham Nash David Crosby, and “Just A Song Before I Go,” a song from 1977’s CSN, got the audience all revved up.
Keeping everyone fully attentive, Nash then told a story of how he had a little time off and took a trip to Stonehenge. He further explained that on this trip, he found himself at a cathedral where he stood upon the grave of a fallen soldier who passed in 1799. The soldier happened to share Nash’s birthday, thus the surreal experience inspired the Crosby, Stills and Nash’s 1977 hit “Cathedral.” An interesting story to hear, the audience kept wondering what would come next. Closing out the second set was “Chicago,” where everyone swayed and sang to each word, at times drowning out Nash and Fontayne. There were many times during the night where the audience gave standing ovations, but this time there was not a seat left occupied.
Wanting more, The Paramount was filled with cheers and clapping so loud it was almost deafening. Nash and Fontayne returned to the stage within minutes for a much appreciated encore. Nash shared with the audience that they often use Beatles songs to warm up their voices before a show, and that is when they played the beautiful track “Blackbird,” sharing one microphone. Nash thanked the audience again and said, “We will now sing this song for every teacher in the world” and went into “Teach Your Children” where the audience again swayed and sang to each and every word. Slightly past mid-way through the song, the house lights came up and Nash ceased singing, and let the audience harmonize the final words for a ear-tingling ending.
It was truly a magical night filled with nostalgia and history. The audience left the room filled with new memories from someone they have adored for many years, and they are looking forward to the new music that Nash will be releasing in the near future. This tour continues throughout August, including two sold shows at City Winery in NYC on the 23rd and 24th. At a point after the first set concluded, Nash commented on how beautiful a venue The Paramount was, that can only leave hope he will return again after the release of his new record.