David Bazan – Live

4 Feb

david_bazan_guitar

The Basement: Thursday, January 31 2013

There’s wearing your heart on your sleeve, then there’s Seattle’s David Bazan.

The one-time Pedro and the Lion frontman isn’t one for sugar-coating his songs – as this stripped down solo offering revealed – be it when recounting his battles with the bottle (“all this lethal drinking is to hopefully forget about you”, he admitted on Stitches), or his journey from evangelical Christianity to quizzical non-believer (“you expect me to believe that all this misbehaving grew from one enchanted tree?” he asked on Hard to Be)

Playing to a small – yet clearly devoted crowd – Bazan, with his receding hairline, beard and hoodie, came across like the common bloke’s Josh T Pearson. Like his fellow countryman, Bazan fulfils the role of a latter-day anti-preacher, preferring to plough his own furrow as he questions and challenges instead of willingly obeying.

At times, his acoustic offerings were mesmerising, especially when the unnerving intensity of his words were smartly juxtaposed with some seriously sweet melodies. Occasionally some of his tamer meanderings trailed off into tepid territory, but when his vocals took on the same raw and rasping passion as his lyrics, it was match made – if not in heaven – then somewhere else suitably sublime.

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