Review: David Crosby’s Final Farewell

David Crosby & The Lighthouse Band/Live at the Capitol Theatre/BMG
Four Out of Five Stars

The sudden unexpected passing of David Crosby was a sobering moment for all those that came of age listening to his evocative songs and meditative melodies. This makes a listen to his final album, Live at the Capitol Theatre, much more of a bittersweet experience. Recorded in concert nearly five years ago, this 16-song live CD and DVD finds Crosby and company—Becca Stevens (vocals, guitars), Michelle Willis (vocals, keyboards) and Michael League (vocals, guitar, bass)—resplendent in their exquisite vocal harmonies, which, if not quite as distinctive as those of CSN, are certainly well-tuned. Crosby himself is in fine form, tossing out candid asides to an obviously appreciative audience (I know you’re not supposed to start a show with two new songs, he jests early on) and sounding genuinely delighted to be sharing the stage with his young colleagues. This could possibly turn into a really good night, he concedes. It might already be a really good nite

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His self-effacing attitude aside, he’s in fine form, and while a good many of the songs in the set may be new to those who have been out of touch with the Coz over the past few years, the selection of songs purveys the mellow, melodious tones that were a hallmark of Crosby’s musical motif. So too, the fact that his voice has been stilled makes this a bittersweet experience magnified by watching this familiar figure on the DVD and knowing that the beaming, mischievous godfather to the Woodstock generation will no longer be with us in the present time.   

We’re left then to enjoy the standards which bask in the familiarity factor—“Deja Vu,” “Woodstock,” “Laughing,” “Guinevere,” and “Carry Me” in particular. While Crosby’s performances away from his noted colleagues Stills, Nash and Young didn’t always come across with the same power or, for that matter, the poignancy, there’s little doubt that he was in fine form on this particular evening. 

In 2022, Crosby announced he would no longer tour due to the fact he lacked the strength and dexterity to carry on as before. The recent documentary, Remember My Name, revealed a certain amount of resignation and regret. Yet Crosby was always candid when it came to confronting his demons and failures. On this particular evening, none of that seemed evident, making this performance an apt coda to an incredible career. This then, is the way he ought to be remembered.

Photo by Scott Harris / BMG

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