Crosby, Stills & Nash | The Auditorium, Rome | 19 July, 2010

Last night's appointment at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in the open air Cavea saw yet another of the highlights of this year's Luglio Suona Bene programme with living legends of folk rock David Crosby, Stephen Stills and recent OBE recipient Graham Nash performing on stage again together as Crosby, Stills & Nash. Throughout their various permutations – with and without Neil Young, as solo artists and duos too – and their widely reported fallings-out over the years, what has remained a constant has been the quality of the music, and seeing them play last night, reconfirmed the fact that over forty years since the release of their eponymous debut album, these men are still consummate musicians who sing songs that resonate as much today as ever before.

Crosby, Stills and Nash on stage in Rome - 19 July 2010

Crosby, Stills & Nash opened the show in spectacular fashion with a Joni Mitchell song that is synonymous with their status as cultural icons of American music and was a clear nod to their very beginnings when they performed at the most famous music festival of all time - Woodstock. When, towards the end of the show, somebody screamed out a request for this very song, David Crosby smiled and replied, “We already played Woodstock” and Graham Nash added with a chuckle, “You missed it!” A blistering first set took in several of their absolute classics - Long Time Gone, Marrakesh Express, Southern Cross and a gorgeous Long May You Run (their Neil Young tribute of the present tour – aka the "tall skinny Canadian", as Crosby described their sometime collaborator) - wrapping up the first hour with a breathtaking Wooden Ships.

After a short break they were back on stage for an acoustic, close harmony set that kicked off with a lovely Helplessly Hoping and then moved through a series of cover versions – rumour has it they have a cover album in the works – the Beatles' Norwegian Wood, Gregg Allman's Midnight Rider, a fabulous Bob Dylan cover with Girl From The North Country, which perfectly suited Stills grittier vocals, as well as a Rolling Stones classic, Ruby Tuesday, which saw the audience singing along. Another surprising cover would come later on in the evening with a rocking homage to The Who with Behind Blue Eyes. The sell-out crowd last night whooped and cheered every time Nash and Crosby made magic with their still perfect vocal harmonies (Guinnevere, Delta and Cathedral were stand-out songs by Crosby and Nash) and each time Stephen Stills amazed us with some seriously impressive guitar work. When they closed the main show with Almost Cut My Hair - David Crosby's vocals soaring over the Cavea, the ever defiant hippy-at-heart standing with his long white hair blowing behind him, whilst Stephen Stills and Graham Nash duelled guitar licks – it was simply spine-tingling! And it wasn't over yet...they had already been on stage for more than two hours in torrid temperatures, but deafening applause called them back for an extended encore and one more chance for us to join in on the chorus of the civil rights anthem Chicago (We Can Change the World), Stephen Still's solo hit Love the One You're With and one final crowd pleaser, Teach Your Children. A truly wonderful evening.

Watch Almost Cut My Hair below or click here to watch on YouTube.