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  • December 14th, 2018

    reCAP :: 2018.12.08 :: David Crosby :: The Capitol Theatre

    Words by Jenny Rose Ferguson
    Photos by Scott Harris

    David Crosby and his new accomplices, “The Lighthouse Band,” finished off their six-week tour at none other than The Capitol Theatre. Crosby successfully avoided the typical reunion/solo tour formulaic set list– past hits restructured for a new band with scattered new pieces that tend to fall flat to modern listeners. Instead, he has immersed himself in the fresh talent and innovative creativity of emerging musicians. In embracing the new he has, yet again, proven himself as one of the most enthusiastic, imaginative and bold song-writers of our time. Mid-show he exclaimed, “I figure, without any question at all, that I’m the luckiest son of a bitch in the world…just when I’m supposed to be done– crispy and ready to die, this happens.” Though none would have put it quite as strongly as he did, it is truly incredible that his talent hasn’t gone stale after all these years in the spotlight.

    Humble as ever, Crosby walked on stage first, shocking the system of every audience member waiting in anticipation to see a legend appear on the stage. Sharing center with band-member, Becca Stevens, he sang his harmony with hands in pockets, smiling out at the crowd as if he was just another member of the band. It didn’t take long for the audience to realize why he was so eager to split the limelight with this new group. Becca Stevens’ and Michelle Willis’ harmonies were ethereal and hypnotic. Michael League’s percussion-heavy guitar was captivating in its creativity and boundlessness. Crosby’s reminiscent and unmistakable voice combined with these starkly fresh and modern elements, resulted in a completely unique sound. Even the tried-and-true classics like “Ohio” and “Guinnevere” breathed new life.

    Beyond the music itself, I could listen to David Crosby talk for hours. He offered an origin story for almost every song. Not only did these interludes take the audience behind-the-scenes of his creative process, but they taught us about his life and his beliefs. Sometimes hilarious, other times deeply contemplative, he is just as masterful a storyteller in speaking as he is in his music. Crosby’s authenticity is addictive. From the moment he welcomed his guitar on stage with a kiss and a “hi sweetie,” he had the audience in his pocket, hanging on every hearty chuckle and playful quip.

    Not one to have ever shied away from experimental music, Crosby’s artistic connection with these young artists is no surprise. It was an absolute joy to see him on stage with spirits just as energetic, funny and charming as ever. While some 20th century stars struggle to innovate in the modern music landscape, Crosby seems to continuously tap the creative fountain of youth. His new lyrics are just as quirky and prolific as they were in the hay-days of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash. “Vagrants of Venice” paints an imaginative, dystopian future, while “The Us Below” profoundly and achingly comments on love and loneliness.

    Seeing David Crosby and The Lighthouse band on stage at the Cap was a real gift. Though many may have bought tickets out of nostalgia, they left with an experience that exceeded expectations. The music coming out of Crosby, Stevens, League and Willis is thoughtful, imaginative, weird and beautiful. It may have been the last night of touring, but I hope they will continue making music together and come back to treat us again and again.