Stephen Stills, Neil Young Share the Stage: 2016

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Stephen Stills and Neil Young during "For What It's Worth," May 21, 2016 Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Stephen Stills and Neil Young during “For What It’s Worth,” May 21, 2016, at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre

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 included 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).

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.”

Watch a subdued version of “For What It’s Worth”

Related: Our Album Rewind of Buffalo Springfield Again

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.”

Related: They did it all again in 2018 with members of the Heartbreakers

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 its follow-up, 2016’s Pierced Arrow.

Related: Young again joined his friend when the event returned in 2023

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. LouisVA
    #1 LouisVA 22 May, 2022, 12:14

    I understand your feelings concerning Neil’s voice. I’m a big fan of Neil but there are some artists that I cannot handle for the same reason – the voice grates. Right off the top of my head I think of Van Morrison. He’s a good song writer but his voice is one that I cannot stand.. Music appreciation is very subjective.

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