David Crosby played Town Hall (review, setlist)
Legendary singer/songwriter David Crosby returned this year with Lighthouse, his second solo album of the 2010s (following 2014’s Croz, which was his first album in 21 years), and his first album to tap into the style of Crosby’s legendary 1971 debut, If I Could Only Remember My Name, since that album. He recorded it with the assistance of Snarky Puppy’s Michael League, and Crosby says it was Michael who had the idea to bring that sound back (perhaps because it’s his most influential album on modern musicians). As Crosby made clear at New York City’s Town Hall last night (12/15) — the final stop of his Lighthouse tour — playing with much younger musicians did help reinvigorate him. In addition to Michael, Crosby’s current live band has Becca Stevens and Michelle Willis (who both sing on Lighthouse), and Crosby told the crowd how it’s a (fun) challenge to try and keep up with them. They also clearly help him sound great. Crosby’s voice has aged wonderfully, but you’d have to assume the younger singers’ harmonies are part of what made everything sound so rich last night.
Some vocal members of the older crowd seemed a little annoyed that he wasn’t doing more CSN(Y) stuff (he did three, “Guinnevere,” “Deja Vu,” and the Joni Mitchell-penned “Woodstock,” all of which sounded great with his new band), but Crosby looked genuinely thrilled to dedicate a tour mostly to new music. It’s really quite admirable that he’s still able to write a record as enjoyable as Lighthouse, so while more classics are always nice, it felt like a real treat to see him doing a tour like this. The only other solo album he pulled from was If I Could Only Remember My Name, which of course worked perfectly with the new material. He did “Laughing” right after opening with two songs, and had he not prefaced it with the story of how that song came to be, you might have thought all three came from the same writing sessions.
The story in question was about an interaction he had with George Harrison. For some background info, he talked about the first time The Byrds played the UK, and were terrified at the thought that they might meet The Beatles. (Ultimately, John Lennon caught their show, and he and Mick Jagger hung with the band after to get “herbally enhanced.”) Hearing stories like those, and Crosby’s opinions on politicians, and his funny stage banter in general, was as worth it as hearing the music.
As Crosby was very proud to be playing with the musicians he was playing with, he had Becca and Michelle each do one of their own songs too. Check out the full setlist:
David Crosby @ Town Hall – 12/15/16 Setlist
Things We Do for Love
The Us Below
Somebody Other Than You
Paint You a Picture
Lean On (Becca Stevens Band song)
Déjà Vu (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song)
Carry Me (Crosby & Nash song)
What Are Their Names
Look in Their Eyes
Persimmon (Michelle Willis song)
Guinnevere (Crosby, Stills & Nash song)
By the Light of Common Day
Woodstock (Crosby, Stills Nash & Young/Joni Mitchell song)