David Crosby and Friends @ Theatre Maisonneuve – 10th November 2017

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I confess that I had never sat down to listen to David Crosby until I was confirmed I would be doing a review for the show. Don’t get me wrong, I requested to review it but only took it upon myself to listen to his projects and read his story a couple of days ago. I was only familiar with the songs “Our House” and “Teach Your Children”.

I had judged a musician by its face, thinking he was old and his voice was gone, and his music by his album covers, thinking that they were similar to Neil Young and repeating the same style. But how I am glad I was wrong.

The venue chosen for this show had the right balance between intimate and majestuous enough for such a talent. The volume was spot on, with enough power to submerge you into what the band had prepared for the night and subtle enough to hear the stories Crosby wanted to share.

The concert turned out to be a guided tour into his life, music and his worry into what America has become in the last year. Every song he accompanied with a brief introduction, meditation and sometimes story of where he was when he wrote it.

Most people speak of Keith Richards having outwitted death many times but Crosby has escaped it a lot of times too. He told confessional stories about his life as a junkie, how friends and music saved it and how he wants to live life now to its fullest (and presumably move to Canada, away from Trump, despite the cold and being willing to forgive us for having put gravy in french fries).

Having read what happened to Crosby’s previous bands, this one seemed to be the best one yet. He even said that, even though he was in many great bands, this one was his favorite.

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The group is an extended version of CPR, conformed by David, his son James Raymond on keyboards, Mai Agan on bass, Jeff Pevar on guitar, Steve DiStanislao on drums & Michelle Willis on vocals and keyboard. The musicians were extraordinary, virtuous and very humble.

They played from all eras and bands (with the exception of The Byrds), including several tracks from his latest release “Sky Trails”, which if you haven’t heard, you should give a try and see how much David has evolved and finally merged his love for jazz, his love for life and his love for his wife, family and friends.

Among the songs were: In My Dreams, Morrison, Tracks in the Dust, She’s Got to Be Somewhere, At the Edge, Laughing, Déjà Vu, Long Time Gone, Map to Buried Treasure, Homeward, Through the Haze, Sky Trails, What Are Their Names and Breathless. Unfortunately he didn’t play Ohio like he had done in several shows of this tour.

I showed up to the concert curious to see and hear what and who is Crosby in his own words. My expectations were low given that the last time I went to see an ageing legend (a certain Beach Boy), I was greatly disappointed with how badly he had aged. But I was happily surprised by a beautiful concert that not only introduced me to Crosby and what a great influence he has been to the world of music, but also made me a fan. A fan after a concert and that is a first.

Review – Ricardo D Flores

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