The sold-out audience loved it all, every bit of the two+ hour show which began shortly after 8 p.m. when the stars came out to shine and were not preceded by an unknown group.
It was Crosby, Stills & Nash all night and none other.
They sang the old favorites and some new ones, too ("Love the One You're With," "Just a Song Before I Go," "Our House," "Name of Love," "Radio"), and the mostly 50+ white audience sang with them sometimes, and the second half was the best.
An occasional breeze cooled the sweaty throngs whose enjoyment was interrupted intermittently by lightning streaks which lasted most of the night. A harsh rainfall poured on the lawn crowd which fled to the overhangs at the beverage and food counters, but many stayed put on the grass, determined not to miss a note at Wolf Trap.
When Graham Nash announced they were going to sing a song to Bradley Manning, scattered boos were heard from a few males in the crowd, and David Crosby shouted at them: "You haven't even heard a f---ing word yet! Talk about pre-judgment!"
When "Almost Gone" ended, Nash screamed: "The
f---ers who are responsible for killing millions are free, and he's in jail for telling the truth!" The people cheered and clapped, and no counter voices were heard, and those who sympathize with the soldier, who may have assisted in the release of documents which could have saved countless lives had they been released years earlier, were grateful.
Crosby, Stills & Nash have been around for 40+ years, but like fine, aging wine, their music has not weakened, and the people stood and wildly applauded the entertainers, happy to be present for celebrations of singular artistry and talent.
An usher said it was only the third sell-out of the season (Dolly Parton and Garrison Keillor were the others) and most Saturday nights at Wolf Trap have seats available since the "big" stars prefer larger venues for weekends. He said the sound is actually better on the lawn.
Another reason to spend a night in the grass at Wolf Trap and hear Seal on Tuesday night.
Attention, seniors: If any tickets remain 30 minutes before show time, they are available for purchase at half price at Wolf Trap for you and you only, which may be the only advantage to moving up. At least, at Wolf Trap.