David Crosby is one of the best singer-songwriters of the last 50 years. He was a big part of The Byrds, and was involved in one of the first super groups ever, with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and sometimes Young. He has lived a wild life, and, at a sold out show at The Egg in Albany, NY on the last day of June, Crosby not only played songs spanning his entire career but had great stories to go along with them.
With a few acoustic guitars, a couple of amps, a rug, and his wonderful smile, Crosby started the show with “Tracks in the Dust” and never looked back. He joked about everything from famous friends, including “poet” Joni Mitchell and “old weird Bob [Dylan].” He expressed his love for the two of them and said that, at the end of the day, these were the two best songwriters ever, though only one has a nice voice.
With this he instantly did his best Dylan impression and after having fun with it, he thanked Dylan for changing his and everyone’s life in the venue. He then jumped into a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “For Free”. He also spoke about Neil Young, who he called as “weird as snake suspenders,” and how he loved him dearly for it.
He explained how Young always wants perfection, and that it’s a wonder to work with someone like that. He then went into “Carry Me” and “Thousand Roads” before taking a short break.
Crosby started the second half off with The Byrds song “Everybody’s Been Burned” and quickly got political, stating how he doesn’t mind politics but doesn’t like politicians. Afterwards, he sang a beautiful a cappella version of “What Are Their Names”. The crowd was so quiet and attentive that you could hear a pin drop.
Crosby continuously joked about doing songs that the audience would know, but that he was saving it for later in the show. When that moment finally came, it was in the form of the one-two punch of “Déjà Vu” and “Guinevere” to close the set, and the crowd ate it up. With a bow, a wave of the hand, and a smile, Crosby exited the stage to a thunderous ovation. The fact that he can still play the guitar and sing as beautifully as he does is just fantastic.
Check out the remainder of Crosby’s solo acoustic tour dates here.
Words and photos by Bryan David Lasky.