jakub | February 18, 2024

Jefferson Starship Transported The Peabody Auditorium In Daytona Beach, Florida Back In Time For An Amazing Night Of Music And Nostalgia On February 16, 2024


 

It had been just more than 2 ½ years since I had paid a visit to the beautiful Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach, Florida and I was ecstatic over tonight’s show featuring rock icons, Jefferson Starship. tracing its roots back to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship found success from the mid-70s through the mid-80s until a break in membership resulted in the end of Jefferson Starship and the birth of Starship. In 1992, original Jefferson Airplane guitarist/vocalist Paul Kantner resurrected Jefferson Starship and the band continued to prosper, even after Kantner’s passing in 2016. Jefferson Starship released a new album, Mother of the Sun, in 2020. The band has undergone more personnel and names changes than any band I’ve covered to date, but one thing is certain, the music and the magic are still going strong.

 

Situated approximately ½ a mile from the shores of Daytona Beach, the Peabody Auditorium has been hosting magnificent events for more than 70 years. With the Daytona 500, Bike Week and Spring Break poised to invade Daytona Beach, I was elated that this show was happening before the traffic got really bad. I arrived with an hour to spare and thanks to the extremely efficient staff, I  was able to snag my credentials and get in place with very little effort.

 

 

With the crowd in their seats, the lights went down right around 7:45pm. The large projection screen began showing a spaceship launching into the sky followed by video clips of the band performing throughout the years. At the conclusion of the intro, the stage came to life and the band kicked the evening off with 1974’s “Ride The Tiger.” With guitar in hand and donning her signature straw cowboy hat, vocalist Cathy Richardson was front and center. This was only my 2nd visit to the Peabody Auditorium, and I had forgotten how great the acoustics were. 

 

 

My favorite song, “Find Your Way Back,” was the second song of the night and Richardson, as she would do all evening, crushed the vocals. Occupying the stage right position was none other than the legendary David Freiberg. The fact that this man founded his first band in 1965, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and is still touring and making music at 85 years old is amazing. He paid homage to the late Marty Balin as he sang “Runaway” and “With Your Love.” 

 

The opposite side of the stage was home to the highly accomplished lead guitarist Jude Gold. Drumming virtuoso Donny Baldwin was on point throughout the evening although he was a little difficult to see due to the lighting. Manning the keys was long-time keyboardist Chris Smith, who has been a member of the band since 1998. A highlight of the performance was when Freiberg and Richardson teamed up to deliver an inspiring rendition of the 1987 hit “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”  Come to think of it, the entire night was one big highlight as hit after hit, such as “Sara,” Miracles,” and “We Built This City,” came pouring out.  

 

As the evening started to wind down, there were still a couple of mega-hits that had yet to be heard. It was about that time when Richardson grabbed her cowbell and the band launched into 1979’s “Jane.” This song is considered by many to be the band’s anthem although with so many hits, it’s clearly debatable. The final song of the show was 1970’s “Somebody To Love,” a song written by Darby Slick and sung by his sister Grace while they were with The Great Society. Richardson’s powerful pipes did more than justice for a song that fittingly brought the show to a close. I’m sure that those in attendance would share my sentiment when I say that Jefferson Starship picked us up and brought us back to a time when life seemed a little easier and the music was timeless. Thank you for the journey.

 

Jefferson Starship:

David Freiberg: Lead/Backing Vocals, Rhythm Guitar

Donny Baldwin: Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals

Chris Smith: Keyboards, Synthesizers, Piano, Bass

Cathy Richardson: Lead/Backing Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica

Jude Gold: Lead/Rhythm Guitar

 

 

Setlist:

1.Ride The Tiger

2.Find Your Way Back

3.Stranger

4.Count On Me

5.Lather (Jefferson Airplane Cover)

6.Winds Of Change

7.Runaway

8.With Your Love

9.It’s About Time

10.Sara (Starship Cover)

11.Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now

12.Miracles

13.Embryonic Journey (Jefferson Airplane Cover)

14.White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane Cover)

15.We Built This City (Starship Cover)

16.Jane

17. Somebody To Love (The Great Society Cover)

 

 

 

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