Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: Celebrity Theatre
Date: Thursday September 12th, 2019
Tour: The Sky Trails Tour 2019
Having grown up during the 60s, Woodstock and the Vietnam War, I remember a lot of the bands that emerged during those years. In the mid-60s, The Byrds were an American band that merged folk music with rock music using harmony singing. As a member of The Byrds, David Crosby was a young guitar player that wrote “Eight Miles High”, one of The Byrds biggest hits. In 1968 David was kicked out of The Byrds and joined with fellow musicians, Graham Nash and Steven Stills and formed the super group, CSN (Crosby, Stills & Nash). In 1970, Neil Young joined the group for a short time. During that time, they were known for their anti-war songs, love songs and their marvelous harmonies.
I first saw CSN&Y in July of 1974 at Diablo station in Phoenix, Arizona. It was a very hot day, but I remember the band playing for over 3 hours. It was a fantastic concert. Over the years I have seen each of the members of the band during there solo tours. I last saw David Crosby in Scottsdale where he played a solo acoustic concert promoting his newest album, Lighthouse. It was really nice because he also talked about the different songs. For tonight’s show David put together a new band called The Sky Trails Band that features James Raymond (David’s son) on keyboards, Jeff Pevar on guitar, Mai Leisz on bass, Steve DiStanislao on drums and Michelle Willis on keyboards and vocals.
With Michelle, Jeff and Steve providing backing harmonies, there were times if I closed my eyes, I could hear CSN. They did a 2-set performance that was a mixture of older The Byrds and CSN(&Y) songs, with CPR songs and songs from David’s solo career. The first set ended with “Déjà Vu” where each member of the band was allowed to perform a mini solo part of the song.
After the break, they came back out and played one of my personal favorite Crosby songs, “The Lee Shore”. Just like the last show, David talked a lot about the different songs and how he wrote them. For one of the newer songs “Janet”, David had Michelle take over lead vocals. They ended the second set with another fan favorite, “Wooden Ships”.
The band did not leave the stage for their encore song. Instead, David asked the audience to sing along and boy did they. The final song was “Ohio”, a famous song written about the events at Kent State University in Ohio in May of 1970 where 4 students were killed. I remember the event very well since I lived in Ohio at the time. For me this song has always been a very emotional song and from the way the audience sang it, the song must have deep meaning to them also.
If you are waiting for CSN to get back together, don’t hold your breath. There is a lot of bad blood between Crosby and Nash & Stills. For tonight’s show David was very non-political and really only said that this coming election is very important and that we all should make sure we vote. David was also very candid about his drug issues and actually told the story of how he wrote “Delta” when he was hiding out from the law, high most of the time, but with help of friends, he stayed sober and completed the song. It is great to see David back at the top of his game. Over the last few years, he has written new material and it is very good. You should really check out his new albums, Croz, Lighthouse, Sky Trails and Here If You Listen.
If you really like David or other musicians and want them to continue creating new music you really need to either go to their shows or purchase their CDs/albums. Just listening to a streaming version of the music pays the artist next to nothing.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2019, All Rights Reserved
David Crosby Setlist:
In My Dreams (Crosby, Stills & Nash song)
Morrison (CPR, CPR song)
Eight Miles High (The Byrds song)
At the Edge (CPR, CPR song)
I Think I (New song, not yet released)(
Guinnevere (Crosby, Stills & Nash song)
Long Time Gone (Crosby, Stills & Nash song)
Déjà Vu (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song)
The Lee Shore (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song)
Breathless (Just Like Gravity , CPR song)
Thousand Roads (Thousand Roads)
Delta (Crosby, Stills & Nash song)
What Are Their Names (If I Could Only Remember My Name)
Janet (Here If You Listen)
Wooden Ships (Crosby, Stills & Nash song)
Ohio (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song)