Call me close-minded, but I've never been able to listen to David Bazan's
records under the name Pedro the Lion. The name was just too self-consciously cute for me to ever take the music seriously. Plus there was a psuedo religious zeal about the band's followers that kind of bugged.
Now, thankfully, David Bazan has replaced the dreadful moniker with his own given name. But if Friday night's set is any indication, there are plenty of sensitive late twentysomething guys still drinking Bazan's koolaid. Dozens of PTL faithful lined up against the stage, swaying to the music and singing along with every word.
The set itself, while featuring pretty songs with clever chordal turns, was mostly boring. Bazan's laidback vocal delivery and overdriven electric guitar were interesting for a song or two, but for the most part the performance suffered from the overly sparse arrangements. A rhythm section would have been ideal, but even a mere keyboard player or second guitar player would have done wonders to perk up a flat set and engage casual listeners.
While Bazan entertained a devoted few, he did little to convert the masses with his underpowered message. —Jason Weinheimer