Stephen Stills, Neil Young Share the Stageby Best Classic Bands Staff
There was a one-night reunion of Neil Young and Stephen Stills when the two shared the stage for the latter’s Light Up The Blues concert on May 21, 2016 at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. This was the fourth annual event, hosted by Stills and his wife Kristen to benefit Autism Speaks‘ annual awareness and fundraising campaign. The evening’s lineup also featured Jack Black as MC; other performers include Jakob Dylan, indie favorites The War On Drugs, and Stills’ band The Rides, among others.
The three-time classic rock bandmates – Buffalo Springfield, CSN&Y and The Stills-Young Band – shared the stage for several of their legendary collaborations. Young performed “Heart of Gold” (see below), “Thrasher,” “Out on the Weekend” and “Human Highway,” the latter accompanied by Stills and Stills’ son, Chris. Young joined The Rides’ set for covers of two Springfield favorites: a rocking “Mr. Soul” and “For What It’s Worth,” as well as a blistering version of Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” with all of the evening’s guests (see below).
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In a joint statement, Kristen and Stephen Stills said: “We are so thrilled to be doing this benefit for the fourth time and so pleased to be back at the iconic Pantages Theatre. The last three Light Up The Blues benefits have been incredible, life-changing events for all involved. We were so grateful to be able to bring such a special night of music to the entire community, and to continue to support Autism Speaks.”
Here’s a subdued version of “For What It’s Worth”…
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Here’s Young’s beautiful solo version of “Heart of Gold.” Just him, his guitar and harmonica…
And the evening’s closer… “Rockin’ in the Free World”…
The Rides are Stills (guitar, vocals), Kenny Wayne Shepherd (guitar, vocals) and Barry Goldberg (keyboards), whose long resume starts with the Butterfield Blues Band, backing Dylan at Newport Folk in 1965 and The Electric Flag with Mike Bloomfield. Backing them are CSNY vet Kevin McCormick (bass) and Chris Layton (drums). The trio – which Stills refers to as “the blues band of my dreams” – released their first album, Can’t Get Enough, in 2013, and released its follow-up Pierced Arrow, on May 6, 2016.