12 of the Greatest Live Performances by David Crosby
Music legend David Crosby joins us at LOCKN’ for a once-in-a-lifetime 80th birthday party for Phil Lesh. Crosby’s voice was an integral part of the American soundtrack in the 1960s and 1970s, influencing a generation of rockers and singer-songwriters. To welcome him to LOCKN’, we’re looking back at some of the greatest performances of his illustrious live music career.
1. June 17, 1967 – The Byrds at Monterey Pop Festival, Monterey County Fairgrounds, CA
In 1967, The Byrds played the revolutionary Monterey Pop Festival, in which 200,000 people attended over three days to see acts like the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix. The group played, among other tunes, a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Chimes of Freedom,” echoing the vibes of peace and love which were present at the event.
2. August 17, 1969 – Woodstock Music Festival, Bethel, NY
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young played their second-ever live performance at the legendary Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York. They performed on the Sunday lineup, which also featured The Band, Joe Cocker, Johnny Winter, and many others. Opening with the masterpiece “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” the group went on to play acoustic and electric sets to an audience of 400,000+ people in the midst of the “Summer of Love.”
3. December 21, 1969 – CSNY at Balboa Stadium San Diego, CA
Approximately three weeks after the tragedy at Altamont Speedway, which featured a performance by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the group made their way to Balboa Stadium in San Diego, California. Despite many decreeing that the Altamont tragedy was the end of the hippie era, CSNY gave an electrifying set that proved peace and love are here to stay.
4. June 2 – 7, 1970 CSNY at Fillmore East New York, NY
CSNY disseminated in July 1970, but left in their wake a stunning live album titled 4 Way Street featuring recordings from the previous month’s six-show run at New York City’s Fillmore East. Featuring both acoustic and electric sets, the supergroup played enthralling versions of “Ohio,” “Long Time Gone,” “Pre-Road Downs,” and more. The run drew thousands of fans, including Bob Dylan, who stopped by one of the nights to witness the musical phenomenon.
5. October 4, 1973 – CSNY Reunite at Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA
On a Thursday night in October of 1973, fans attending the Stephen Stills show at Winterland Ballroom were delighted when David Crosby and Graham Nash accompanied him on stage. A few songs later, Neil Young joined the trio, marking it the first time in two years since the group had played on the same stage together, and becoming known as a warm-up for their 1974 reunion.
6. September 14, 1974 – CSNY at Wembley Stadium, London, UK
In the summer of 1974, CSNY embarked on a momentous and groundbreaking stadium tour. Rehearsals occurred at Neil Young’s ranch on a stage built just for the occasion. Speaking on the setlists and noteworthy songwriting during the tour, Crosby said, “The advantage of having four writers is that you’ve got this enormously wide pallet to work with. We were writing new songs every night.” (Citation: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/the-oral-history-of-csnys-infamous-doom-tour-110505/) The group played to over a million people across 31 dates over 24 cities, one of them being London’s famous Wembley Stadium. There, CSNY performed a rip-roaringly fantastic rendition of “Love the One You’re With.”
7. July 13, 1985 – CSN at Live Aid, John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia, PA
Live Aid, held simultaneously at both London’s Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium, was one of the most notable benefit shows in history, raising over a $100 million dollars in famine relief. Crosby, Stills, and Nash became part of the stacked Philadelphia lineup featuring, among others, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, and Duran Duran. Here they are singing “Teach Your Children” in unison with a crowd of about 100,000 people.
8. December 4, 1988 – CSNY at Oakland Coliseum Arena, Oakland, CA
CSNY played two shows together as a unit in 1988, one being the Bridge School Benefit at the Oakland Coliseum Arena in Oakland, California. The supergroup, fresh off the recent release of their 1988 studio album American Dream, performed as an acoustic quartet alongside a lineup featuring Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Tracy Chapman, and others. The performance included a particularly beautiful rendition of Crosby’s “Compass.”
9. July 15, 1998 – CPR at Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland
In the 1990s, David Crosby reunited with his biological son and musician James Raymond, a relationship he praises as “absolutely uncanny and wonderful.” Not only had a personal relationship blossomed, but also a musical bond. The two joined with Jeff Pevar to form the group CPR, and released a number of albums. Here they are performing their song “Morrison”, which was written in response to the portrayal of Jim Morrison in the 1991 biopic, The Doors.
10. June 27, 2009 – CSN at Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, England
Crosby, Stills, and Nash played the famous Glastonbury Festival in 2009, alongside a lineup featuring Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and Blur among others. Besides expert covers of the Grateful Dead’s “Uncle John’s Band” and The Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday,” CSN played a blistering version of Crosby’s classic “Long Time Gone.”
11. April 22, 2012 – CSN at The Performing Arts Center, San Luis Obispo, CA
CSN reunited in 2012 to play 50+ dates across the United States, South America, and Australia. One particular stop in Luis Obispo, CA was recorded as a concert film. This particular show opened up with “Carry On,” and proved to the audience that they still had the magic, 40+ years after forming.
12. December 8, 2018 – David Crosby & The Lighthouse Band, The Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY
More recently, David Crosby & The Lighthouse Band made their way to The Capitol Theatre for a night of delightful songs and thoughtful storytelling. The setlist featured a culmination of songs spanning from his time with The Byrds, CSN (&Y) and CPR, as well as original works. His performance proves that he is making some of the most incredible music of his life, even in his late 70s.