AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (Reuters) - Urging its fans to ''Rejoice! Rejoice!,'' Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young opened its first tour since 1974 here on Monday night with a triumphant 31-song, three-hour show that journeyed through the superstar rock quartet's past, present and even future.
Kicking off its ``CSNY2K'' tour before a crowd of about 17,000 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in suburban Detroit, the group -- a loose association of singer-songwriters that formed in the glow of the original Woodstock Nation of 1969 and has worked together sporadically since -- showed that like its baby boomer audience, it's become a bit more grizzled, lined, gray and, in some cases, paunchy.
But age in no way diminished the musicians' enthusiasm for the music they were making.
The lengthy concert surveyed the quartet's work together, as well as the individual members' solo outings and a few songs from Buffalo Springfield, Stephen Stills' and Neil Young's acclaimed '60s group.
Selections from CSNY's latest album, ``Looking Forward,'' which was released last fall, largely sounded better than they did in their studio counterparts -- particularly the Caribbean-flavored ``Faith in Me,'' after which a greatly pleased Stills declared, ``I just won the biggest bet!''
The quartet's once soaring harmonies didn't quite hit the majestic heights of the late '60s and early '70s, but on songs such as ``Our House,'' ``Helplessly Hoping'' and ``Heartland'' they displayed a pleasantly gruff, husky, back-porch quality that seemed appropriate for a group of friends getting together -- after far too long -- to sing together.
The evening's biggest ovations, however, came for electric standards such as Young's ``Southern Man'' and ``Rockin' in the Free World'' and Crosby's protest anthem ``Almost Cut My Hair,'' many of which featured searing guitar duels between Stills and Young.
``This band can sing like the Byrds and jam like the (Grateful) Dead,'' Young said in a pre-tour interview. ''Hopefully, we can get the audience turned on to what we're doing and have it just be a music thing.''
Judging from the crowd's response on Monday, that's just what seemed to be happening. The tour continues on Wednesday night in Kansas City and is slated to run through late April.
This is the first of 3 volumes, next time the other 2 .
Very nice Audience, Ex+ quality.
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Stand And Be Counted
Pre Road Downs
Faith In Me
Almost Cut My Hair