David Crosby always comes straight at you from the heart, even after a history of burned bridges and all. His Sky Trails tour two-setter at the Saban Theatre earlier this month was warmly greeted by his fans, and rightly so, from the “In My Dreams” CSN opener to the “Wooden Ships” and “Ohio” closers. “Eight Miles High”, “Guinnevere” and “Long Time Gone” were first set touchstones, and the set closing “Deja Vu” stretched for all the band to showcase their musical voices.
Drummer Steve DiStanislo working skin on skins to subtle and expressive effect, James Raymond, producer, arranger and son of Croz on keys spotlighted, and Michelle Willis lending her Rhodes inspired runs and vocals. Crosby had an origin story for all, but especially bassist Mae Liesz, whose busking turn led to love and touring. And guitarist James Pevar, who has been playing with Crosby for 30 years brought the tune back from the edges to that rolling 6/8 we all know.
The exquisite “The Lee Shore” opened the second set. Crosby later sharing some dark moments as a junkie and how Jackson Browne pushed him to finish “Delta”as a turning point in his recovery. An a capella take of “What Are Their Names” sent shivers and “Ohio”, such a fitting encore. Neil’s call to musical and political arms. The two men who don’t speak and may never share a stage again, but the music binds us all. Croz regaling the audience to sing at the top of our lungs to be heard in D.C. and beyond.
These tunes resonate deeply. They are of another time and of this moment, just as who we were and who we are are one and the same, and oh so different. And the man still has the pipes to crawl inside your soul. It is way past time to let our freak flags fly. Thanks for the reminder, Croz. We will always remember your name.