As fortune had it, I was able to attend the opening night of the first tour in 44 years by Buffalo Springfield. The recently renovated Fox Theatre in Oakland, CA provided the ideal setting for this one of a kind band. One was reminded of the timelessness of outstanding songwriting and uniquely great musical arrangements. Neil Young, Steve Stills, and Richie Furay are the surviving members of the original Springfield, formed in Los Angeles in 1967. They shared the spotlight more or less equally on this June 1st performance, each one taking turns showcasing his original songs. Their camaradarie and pure joy of trading guitar riffs and vocal harmonies was evident immediately. Their signature sound came through loud and clear, all these years later. Literal tears of joy were visible among the sold out crowd during some of the show's more moving songs. Never mind the predominently gray haired, balding, pot bellied fan base (average age of those in attendance was roughly 60). This was a no-holds barred evening as the songs reaffirmed the values and committment to great music that many of us grew up with in the 60's and 70's. The performers sensed it, and they, too reveled in the still beautiful compositions that kept coming over the 100-minute concert. Highlights were a hard rocking, high volume rendition of "Mr. Soul," "Bluebird," "Rock and Roll Woman," and "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing." But there were no duds on this magical musical journey and a night everyone in attendance will likely remember forever. Gillian Welch opened the show with her fine musical partner, Dave Rawlings. They squeeze more sound out of two guitars and two harmonious voices than practically anyone, and provided a nice setup for what was to come soon after with the incomparable Buffalo Springfield. JH

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Jim Hudak

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