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Michigan Boogie

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Stephen Stills flew in trom Denver to do two oeneins ior Michigan Democratie Congressional candidates. and to this end performed two sets at local bar Chances Are. He was traveling light, borrowing the house band's guitarist's Les . Paul to pour out some rock and roll after he finished his acoustic set. Between sets he went over to Crisler to watch the Ali-Foreman fight; consequently he returned jubilant and somewhat hoarser. That had a definite effect on his performance. It is rare to see Stills in such a semi-intimate setting. It isthe fifth time I've seen him, in situations ranging from 5000 people in Bushnell Auditorium, Hartford, back irr the Buffalo Springfield days, to this past summer's appearance of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Beathboys and Jesse Colin Young at Denver's Mile-High Stadium (86,000 people). Stills sounded tired, and his selections limited. However, in this context, he was still impressive-something like a past heavyweight champion who still thinks of himself as a contender. Stills opened with "Change Partners," pushing for the high notes, avoiding the low ones. He followed that with a truly gorgeous rendition of "Blackbird," a song that fits Stills today like a second skin. ("Blackbird singing in the dead ot nightIake these oroKen wmgs juu icam w uy. , He stuck in that mellow, yet highly bluesified vein for the rest of his acoustic set. in vesting Standard Stillsian numbers like "Know You've Got To Run," "Blues Man" and "4+20" with real anguish. He knotted his face into grotesque grimaces, and tried some vocal things which made the songs more more effective than ever before. My lady Jean, who never had seen Stills before, asked me how oíd he was. I told her that he must be just the far side of thirty, and she was surprised. "He looks so much older." And he does. The touring, Scotch and such have taken a heavy toll from Stills, and somehow he's emerged both weaker and stronger. He's no longer the brash, incredibly egocentric RockStar who had to run the show. When he sang "Word Games." it was as though I was listening to a distinguished eider statesman address a heckling crowd. Stills came to play wooden music to raise some funds for a political campaign, and the crowd wanted boogie. Well, boogie he did. He jammed with Head East, the rock band - playing at Chances Are last week, laying down "Crossroads" and a raucous "Black Queen" ("This is a song about a card game"), playing guitar with reckless abandon, letting the notes fall like punches, finally exhausted but triumphant, spun the guitar around in lus hand-and dropped it. All in all, Stills was less a concert than a show, all for real. Por a Michigan Boogie reveiw of Bob Seger at t nances Are Turn to page 19. ______________- .