CROSBY, STILLS & NASH : DAYLIGHT AGAIN
Label : Rhino
Release Year : 1983
NTSC : 4:3
Run Time : 107:00
Review (AlMusic) : Daylight Again features Crosby, Stills & Nash on their 1982 tour, nearly a decade before The Acoustic Concert, 15 years after their first gathering and, arguably, at the peak of their form as an electric trio. The 80-minute concert video, filmed at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, is a particularly dazzling showcase for Stephen Stills' very formidable lead guitar skills, as well as featuring solid backing from David Crosby and Graham Nash on electric guitars, with Mike Finnigan (keyboards, vocals), James Newton Howard (keyboards), Michael Stergis (guitar, vocals), George "Chocolate" Perry (bass), Efrain Toro (percussion), and Joe Vitale (drums). Opening with "Turn Your Back on Love," the group runs through 20 songs, most of them classics associated with either CSN or the members' solo histories (going all the way back to Stills' 1966 composition "For What It's Worth"). Nash's piano skills come to the fore on "Chicago," (supported by Stills' highly animated playing on a double-necked guitar); "Just a Song Before I Go" captures the trio in their best harmony mode, again with some gorgeously fluid lead electric guitar from Stills on the break, and "Wooden Ships" gets a thunderous introduction and becomes a beautiful showcase for several contrasting but complementary guitar styles as well as more rich harmonizing. In addition to reaching back through their middle history as well ("Dark Star" etc.), the group also extends itself to the Beatles' "Blackbird." Among the other transformations, "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" turns into a dazzling display of nimble-fingered acoustic playing by Stills, who changes guitars at this show the way Madonna changes costumes. It's all worthwhile, capturing the trio's sound - albeit, helped by some impressive support musicians in the background - at what was still a bold and freshly creative phase in their history (though, admittedly, one that was already starting to seem quaintly nostalgic for the 1960s). The picture quality is excellent and the sound is good and loud as well as crisp and vivid, matching the best audiophile CDs - the disc opens on a simple menu that offers play, song-selection, and audio options (including Dolby stereo and 5.1 digital).
Review (ConcertDVDReviews) : Finally, I can remove CSN from my missing in action list of those notable artists who have yet to release a concert DVD. I originally picked up this intriguing concert on laser disc (remember those big bastards?) in Japan, back in 1987, and it has remained one of my favorites. The overall picture and audio quality of the DVD transfer doesn't quite match the phenomenal quality of the original laser disc, but the new Dolby 5.1 surround mix almost makes up for it. Daylight Again was filmed in 1983 at Los Angeles' Universal Amphitheater during CSN's tour in support of their new album, also called, Daylight Again. It was a miracle that they were even able to pull off this concert at all, let alone have it turn out as good as it did. The concert took place literally weeks before David Crosby was arrested on drug charges and subsequently thrown in jail. It was sad watching what used to be such a brilliant musician, singer, and songwriter in the pathetic state he was during this concert. Crosby looked like he was off on his own far away planet most of the night, his eyes completely glazed over as he stared zombie-like out into the crowd. It is amazing that the crack or heroin (or probably both) that was in charge of him this night, even allowed him to stand and sing at all. Stills and Nash valiantly held things together, giving career performances, even with their friend and partner decaying in front of them. The set list for this concert was pretty satisfying, mixing songs from all of the CSN(&Y) albums as well as from each of their solo efforts. My main gripe was that their great Deja Vu album was seriously underrepresented, having only one song, "Teach Your Children". Where was "Woodstock" and "Carry On"? CSN were still at their peak vocally, with the exception of Crosby's occasional slurred or mumbled vocals. It is amazing how three such distinct sounding vocalists can harmonize so brilliantly together. For me, Steven Stills guitar playing was the highlight of this performance. His muscular, yet soulful acoustic playing on the rarely performed "Treetop Flyer" and "Blackbird" was stunning. Unfortunately the production quality of this disk doesn't equal that of my Laser Disc version, but then again I don't have to deal with a huge platter that needs to be flipped over half-way through the concert anymore. Now that I think of it, I don't even have my laser disk hooked up anymore. (anybody want to buy one?). Most importantly, we now have this excellent concert, and important piece of rock and roll history for everybody to see. The video quality is about what you would expect from a 1983 film transfer. The picture is usually very clear, with the occasional blurry camera angle every now and then. The picture was quite soft looking and the colors looked faded. On a good note, the audio was outstanding. The Dolby 5.1 mix had good instrument separation, and everything sounded crisp and clear. The bass drove the subwoofer nicely, and the drums mix was exceptional. All of the vocals were mixed primarily through the center channel, but were also echoed to the front and rear side speakers, creating some excellent concert ambience. Using the Dolby Stereo option, I preferred it without Pro Logic processing, the instrumentation was a little more crisp and powerful, especially Stills' guitar, but you loose much of the live concert feel. The camera work was right on the money. They used some clever angles, my favorite being from the side of Crosby, Stills and Nash, showing all three singing, with Crosby's spaced-out expression right in the forefront. I would have liked to have seen more shots of the entire band performing, to augment all of the great close-up shots. The concert recording is about all you get with this sparse DVD package. I normally don't emphasize the special features that come with a concert DVD, because usually they are not worth the trouble. CSN, however, had a golden opportunity with this DVD to give their fans some insight into the trials and tribulations of the Daylight Again tour, and this concert in particular. They should have done an interview which discussed this historic concert and tour, as well as their long and storied careers. How great would it be to hear David Crosby, who now has his life back together, talk about what it was like to do that tour, and what if anything he can remember about the filming of that particular concert.