Editor’s note: Please check websites or call ahead to confirm the shows are still going on.
By Greg Carannante
City & Shore PRIME
It was one of those concert miracles that you always hear Deadheads going on about. It began when I arrived at the Sunrise Musical Theater without a ticket for the Crosby & Nash concert and ended with Graham Nash serving me a beer from behind a backstage bar.
In between was an impeccable performance of ethereal harmonies and familiar yet spellbinding songs that I watched enthroned in the first row. My miracle ticket came compliments of a gaggle of hairdressers who said they’d worked on the stars’ entourage that day and been paid in free passes. I’d had the dumb luck to cross their path.
“Would you like a ticket?” one of the heaven-sent hairdressers asked. “We have an extra.”
Not only did she lay it on me for free — it came with a backstage pass!
About three decades later, Nash, who returns to Broward this month, and David Crosby are still on the road — although their roads have seriously diverged. A lingering feud over “things that were said” has kept the former classic-rock architects from speaking to each other in recent years.
Despite a famously precarious past, Crosby, 78, is experiencing a late-career resurgence. He’s released four excellent albums in the past six years, and was the subject of last year’s well-reviewed documentary, Remember My Name. With a surprisingly strong voice, his show at Parker Playhouse last May was the most enjoyable I’d seen all year.
And on March 21, Nash arrives at Coral Springs Center for the Arts. The 77-year-old tenor has also released a couple of notable albums of late: 2016’s excellent This Path Tonight, and 2018’s career-spanning compilation, Over the Years. The Rhino release gathers 50 years’ worth of his best-known songs, spiked with the obligatory unreleased demos and mixes.
Touring in support of the anthology, the two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee will present “an intimate evening” of songs and stories from his early years with the Hollies and the various musical-chair lineups of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. No doubt a highlight will be singalongs on the enduring radio bonbons Teach Your Children and Our House. The show starts at 8 p.m.; tickets start at $49 at thecentercs.com.
Hello, Mr. Garfunkel
Nash is one of two seraphic voices coming to The Center this month. On the 12th, the venue welcomes songbird Art Garfunkel, also estranged on and off from Paul Simon (what is it about these feuding duos?).
In friendlier days, songwriter Simon insisted that Garfunkel sing Bridge Over Troubled Water without his vocal accompaniment. At first resisting, Garfunkel eventually relented, and his solo voice elevated the duo’s biggest hit not only to the 1971 Grammy Awards for Record and Song of the Year, but also to the 1977 Britannia Award for Best International Pop Single of the previous quarter-century. The best record in 25 years — now that’s an award.
Garfunkel, 78, has carried on quite well sans Simon, having released a dozen solo albums over the past couple of decades. Accompanied in concert by a guitarist and keyboardist, he will draw from that solo work, selected covers and even a few passages from his 2017 memoir, What Is It All but Luminous. However, it’s the S&G repertoire that will surely resonate most sublimely — songs like The Sound of Silence, Mrs. Robinson and The Boxer that pop off the pages of the postmodern American songbook.
“I don’t look at it as a tour,” the singer recently said. “I just look at it as: ‘This is what I do.’ … This is my life. I love it.”
Garfunkel will also be performing on a cruise over tropical water, as it were — the On the Blue Cruise, setting sail from Miami on April 1-8, and also featuring Dave Mason, Al Stewart and other classic rockers. The Center show starts at 7:30 p.m.; tickets start at $55 at thecentercs.com.
Rebuilding The Wall
Back before Beatles albums changed everything, the single ruled rock ’n’ roll. Today, it’s a singles society once more, but classic rock albums are still finding the spotlight — in live performance, cut for cut and note for note.
This very cool way to rediscover a legacy album has caught on over the past decade, with such major artists as U2 and Springsteen recreating their own collections live. Phish even took it a step further and covered the Beatles’ entire White Album in concert.
The concept has created (or perhaps it’s the other way around) Classic Albums Live, the Toronto-based conglomerate that since 2003 has mined the ’60s and ’70s for albums to revive onstage — minus the impersonators and costumes. For founder and musician Craig Martin, it’s just about the music, man.
At one Classic Albums Live performance of Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced, I was riveted by the group’s fidelity to every note of the music, as well as to every squeal of feedback (this after having witnessed Hendrix and the Experience perform songs from the album just before its 1967 release).
Apparently Old School Square in Delray Beach is similarly taken with Classic Albums Live, having booked the act for a monthly residency that began in the fall and continues March 20 with Pink Floyd’s legendary 1979 high-concept album, The Wall, whose Hey You and Another Brick in the Wall made us Comfortably Numb. The series continues April 11 with the crowd-pleasing 1988 compilation, Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits. The shows start at 8 p.m.; tickets start at $20 at oldschoolsquare.org
The spirit of their legendary fathers lives on in progeny revivalists coming to town April 25 as part of The Wanee Block Party at Revolution Live in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Presented by the Allman Brothers, the daylong event stars Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening. Delray Beach resident Bonham is, of course, the son of Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. Wanee segues from Bonham’s Brit metal to Georgia-style jamming with Bros. drummer Jaimoe & Friends and the Melody Trucks Band, led by the daughter of the other Allmans drummer, the late Butch Trucks. A late-night post-Wanee show by the Allman Betts Band features several sons of the Brothers’ founding members. Tickets begin at $59.99 at JoinTheRevolution.net
That’s Just the Way It Is
When it comes to rock shows in Fort Lauderdale, Parker Playhouse has earned the reputation of Boomer Central. That remains true following the venue’s recent renovation, with Hot Tuna electrifying a New Year’s Eve show and with the March 23 arrival of An Evening with Bruce Hornsby, the Grammy-winning, multifarious pianist and songwriter with Grateful Dead bona fides. But this month and next, Broward Center for the Performing Arts is stealing its sister venue’s classic thunder with shows by America (March 24), Yes & Alan Parsons Live Project (March 25), Buddy Guy and Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band (March 27), Dave Mason – The Feelin’ Alright Tour (April 9) and A Bowie Celebration (April 11), featuring the iconic late shape-shifter’s former bandmates playing the Diamond Dogs and Ziggy Stardust albums. Classic albums live, indeed.
PHOTO: Buddy Guy.