Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Joe Walsh Share Stage at ‘Light Up the Blues’ Concert

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Stephen Stills, Joe Walsh and Neil Young performing “Mr. Soul” at the Greek Theatre, April 22, 2023

Stephen Stills and Neil Young teamed once again on stage last night (April 22, 2023) at the sixth edition of Stills’ Light Up the Blues concert series at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. The three-time bandmates performed songs from each of their previous (and legendary) collaborations with Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and closing with “Long May You Run,” a favorite they recorded as the Stills Young Band. Among the fellow music stars joining them for the event—organized by Stills and his wife, Kristen, to benefit Autism Speaks—were Willie Nelson and Joe Walsh. The concert marked Young’s return to the live concert stage for the first time since the pandemic. (He has previously been announced as one of the stars set to perform at Nelson’s pair of 90th birthday concerts. Those take place one week later, also in Los Angeles.)

During Young’s 11-song set, he and Stills were joined by Walsh for a sparkling version of Buffalo Springfield’s “Mr. Soul.”

The resumption of the Light Up the Blues show marked the first post-pandemic concert in the series; a May 30, 2020, edition was cancelled. The players were joined onstage by Young’s longtime touring band, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, plus Chris Stills, Oliver Stills, Sharon Von Etten, and many special guests. Jeff Garlin served as emcee. The event was an immediate sell-out.

Stills honored his longtime bandmate, David Crosby, with a performance of “Wooden Ships,” which they wrote with Paul Kantner. Stills was joined by his son, Chris, and Crosby’s son James Raymond.

Young has participated in the annual benefit concert several times. The 2023 edition was first revealed on Feb. 13. David Crosby’s son, James Raymond, also performed. “His singing voice sounds so much like David that it’s scary,” Stills told the Rolling Stone. Days after the benefit was announced, Stills shared news of a previously unreleased live album from 1971 that features two songs with Croz.

Watch Stills and Walsh perform “Helplessly Hoping at the 2023 benefit

The pair also teamed on Walsh’s classic rock favorite, “Rocky Mountain Way.”

Walsh also performed “Life’s Been Good.”

Related: Our recap of the 2016 edition

Watch Stills and Young perform Buffalo Springfield’s “Bluebird”

Over the years, the Light Up the Blues Concert has also featured such artists as Crosby, Stills & Nash, John Mayer, Patti Smith, Brandi Carlile, Sheryl Crow, Beck, Burt Bacharach, Don Felder, Jakob Dylan, and more, and has raised millions of dollars in support of the work of Autism Speaks, helping to drive the organization’s mission.

Garlin introduced Nelson for his brief set.

Watch Stills and Young perform “Long May You Run”

Light Up the Blues 6 celebrates people with autism, while supporting Autism Speaks in its mission to promote solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of people with autism and their families. Proceeds from the Light Up the Blues concert will go toward Autism Speaks’ efforts, which include funding life-enhancing research, increasing early childhood screening and interventions, and improving the transition to adulthood.

Related: Our Album Rewind of the Stills-Young Band’s 1976 LP, Long May You Run

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13 Comments so far

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  1. Johnny Trump
    #1 Johnny Trump 14 February, 2023, 01:25

    Where’s Richie Furay ? Not here.
    Buffalo Springfield

    Reply this comment
    • The Saguaro
      The Saguaro 14 February, 2023, 09:58

      Where in the article did it say that it was a Buffalo Springifeld reunion? Neil rocks with Lukas’s band!

      Reply this comment
  2. v2787
    #2 v2787 4 April, 2023, 15:51

    Neil Young is and has always been one of the most overrated musicians on the planet. He’s a rough, ragged, abrasive guitarist and has an off-putting, whiny singing voice. I love Stephen Stills, but I can’t stand listening to Young. I guess opinions vary. If you like Neil Young, great. Have fun. As for me, I’ll avoid subjecting my ears to his cacophony.

    Reply this comment
    • Mikeotb
      Mikeotb 5 April, 2023, 00:22

      Over rated? I was at the iconic Dylan 30th Anniversary show at MSG. A who’s who of the greatest classic tock artists of our time. And Neil Young with his unique voice absolutely stole the show. Not sure who you grew up listening to, but in bashing Neil Young you are certainly in the minority.

      Reply this comment
    • TurtleThom
      TurtleThom 7 April, 2023, 23:05

      His voice is unique and quite original. My problem with Neil was his lack of discretion in his album releases. He is one of those prolific songwriter/artists who thinks every note he ever recorded was worthy of an album release. He was wrong. Maybe one in every three records he released was worth the effort. He needed an editor.

      Reply this comment
      • Ron Wilhelm
        Ron Wilhelm 12 April, 2023, 21:24

        “worth the effort”? To who? Neil Young can and does release whatever he feels like. He doesn’t follow some marketing script that says only release records every three years and only if it is going to be platinum. He writes what he feels, records what he feels, and releases what he feels. That’s Neil Young.

        Reply this comment
    • JimF
      JimF 16 April, 2023, 01:08

      Neil Young is one of the best artists still around. You have your opinions as does anyone but my opinion is Young is amazing. He’s truly a legend and one of my top idols of all time.

      Reply this comment
  3. Grasshopper
    #3 Grasshopper 24 April, 2023, 11:24

    Before you go on about Neil, research his youth. He has probably overcome more problems others would never expect. I’m proud of him. We share one of those deficits. He didn’t want pity. He’s made it with class, strength, and talent.

    Reply this comment
  4. Da Mick
    #4 Da Mick 24 April, 2023, 16:28

    I’m sorry. As much as I admire Stills and Young, and what they’re raising money for, that was just pathetic. Sadly, Stills just cannot sing anymore, which is tragic because he was once so vibrant vocally. And with Young lurking around the stage singing half the lyrics to “Mr. Soul” while not at a microphone just makes me wonder if these guys should just be in an old age home now. Musicians in their primes can’t just go out and do a major performance when they’ve been away from it for long periods of time without extensive rehearsals and warming their skillsets up. What makes these guys think they can just get together and play like it was yesterday? I understand the concept of fellowship doing this show, but there were just too many guitarists out there banging away on these song creating a bunch of noise overall. While you have to admire Joe Walsh’s spirit, as he seemingly wants to get in on every gig of this type that exists, he was not adding to the mix, and was unnecessary. It was all so painful, I couldn’t watch any of their songs all the way through. Every appearance I’ve seen of Stills lately on these 1-off gigs, he’s been the same. But, somehow, I was hoping for more from Neil Young who has been performing up until recent years. We still have their great records, but leave the legacy in peace.

    Reply this comment
  5. Jas
    #5 Jas 21 September, 2023, 00:47

    I was at this show at the Greek Theatre. I was thrilled to hear some Buffalo Springfield tunes and early CSN. It was also great to see Joe Walsh. I would have been happier with less Neil Young and more Stephen.

    Reply this comment

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