David Crosby & Friends

07 May 2017

Boulder Theatre, Boulder, CO


"David Crosby & Friends"? A solo acoustic tour? Just kidding, but part of the reason David is fronting his own band these days involves his strained relationship with former band mates Graham Nash and Neil Young. Though, David had no shortage of friends on stage or in the sold-out audience at the legendary Boulder Theatre this evening.

Crosby's Friends included CPR band members Jeff Pevar, James Raymond, and Steve Distanislau, Estonian bassist Mai Agan, and Snarky Puppy keyboardist Michelle Willis.

David happens to be on a rather unbelievable creative streak these days.  With three solo studio albums in the can within the last three years, such efforts make his three previous solo studio albums, recorded over the course of 25 years, seem like a walk in the part.  Crosby remarked how he used to be lazy, writing 2-3 songs a year, but now he's constantly working on new material. 

Not only is his creativity at a peak, but so is his voice, which chalks up a remarkable story in itself, considering his intense usage of hard drugs for almost 10 years last century. His vocal strength, range, and intonation are that of a young, healthy adult.  I've never heard anyone his age (75) sound as amazing as David sounds these days.

David seemed very comfortable on stage, passing on the opportunity to talk politics, and maintaining a reverence and politeness helpful for keeping his following.

Tonight's set included CSN classics such as "In My Dreams", "Long Time Gone", and "Delta" for which he politely thanked Jackson Browne for, in 1980, driving David over to Warren Zevon's house to allow David to finish the song on piano. Two CSNY tunes, "Deja Vu" and "Homeward Through The Haze", and several Crosby-Nash tracks, namely "Low Down Payment", "Carry Me", and "Luck Dragon", kept the audience pacified. 

"Thousand Roads" enjoyed a new, funky arrangement, in the key of G (vice E).

The mostly-CPR band easily breezed through "Morrison", "Rusty and Blue", "At The Edge", "Angel Dream", and "Map To Buried Treasure".

Only one Byrds track, the relatively lesser-known "Triad", David introduced by saying, "Many people believe that this song was the reason I was fired from the Byrds, and that's simply not true -- I was fired from the Byrds because I was an asshole."

David introduced two new tracks, "She's Got To Be Somewhere" and a song about D.C. called "Capitol", from a new CD presently available only at his shows, Sky Trails.

During his set a fan predictably yelled "Almost Cut My Hair" to which David immediately responded, "Don't do it!" and suggesting that doing so would cause erectile dysfunction.

For his encore, David started with "Cowboy Movie", in which David implies that one Rita Coolidge was supposedly the cause of the 1970 breakup of CSNY, a claim disputed by Rita in her recent autobiography. The beautiful Michael-Hedges-arranged "My Country Tis Of Thee" ended the show.

Noticeably absent from the show were James Raymond's vocals, almost as if to suggest voice problems, disinterest, or lack of room given four other vocalists on stage. Michelle Willis handled most of James' parts.

David willfully confesses that he is not making as much money today as he had been when touring with CSN, but his level of happiness appears to more than make up for the difference.

[****] - Steven T.

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