All images taken by contributing f28 Music Media photographer Rich Levine.
David Crosby and The Sky Trails Band took the stage at The Carolina Theatre in Durham to the sound of an eager and appreciative audience on 8/13/19. Starting the show with the beautiful CSN song, “In My Dreams”, then “Tracks In The Dust” from his solo album “Oh Yes I Can” showed he was willing to dig deep into his catalog that spans six decades and prove this was not just a nostalgia trip. Each song over the two sets was greeted with equal enthusiasm, but there were times when the music, especially Crosby’s voice, which is still as powerful today as it was 50 years ago, brought the audience to its feet before the band finished playing.
To hear The Byrds “Eight Miles High” performed with reverence and CSN’s “Guinnevere” sung with a haunting beauty by this band of accomplished musicians was thrilling. Crosby took the time to introduce each band member, discussing how he came to know them and how much he appreciates them as artists in their own right. He also wasn’t shy about his past, his politics, or his feelings about the current state of the music business. But the overall feeling was joy. At one point in the second set he walked up to the microphone, smiling from ear to ear and said, “You may not be able to tell, but we’re having a really fucking good time up here.” Throughout the two sets, there was a wonderful mix of old, not-so-old, and new songs. All of them seemed to fit perfectly together. “Long Time Gone”, written in response to the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, sounded just as powerful today as it did when it was released in 1969, with Crosby bringing passion and anger to the lyrics that seem just as relevant today.
Closing the show with an encore that featured “Ohio”, the protest song about the killing of four students at Kent State University in 1970 might seem like an odd choice, but the audience sang the “Four dead in Ohio” chorus while Crosby responded with “How many more” and it proved that some songs, and musicians, are timeless. Crosby may remind some people of their younger days, back in the 60s or 70s, but as his most recent album title aptly states, in 2019, David Crosby is Here If You Listen.
Pictures and concert highlight by Rich Levine.