Home > Concert Photos, Indie Rock, Rock & Pop, Singer-Songwriter > REVIEW: David Bazan Band @ Mississippi Studios (Portland, OR – 11/6/09)

REVIEW: David Bazan Band @ Mississippi Studios (Portland, OR – 11/6/09)

7th Nov 09 (Sat) Leave a comment Go to comments


So, last night’s show could have been presented by “Keep Portland Beard.”  Every member of both bands sported beards (which, to be fair, had some dual members).  I think beards and indie rock are like eye shadow and goth.  Except at least the women of indie rock don’t have beards (not that I know of at least).

I drove by the venue around “doors” time… and the line was part way down the block.  Yikes.  As I parked my car and walked to the venue, I spotted David Bazan and some of his posse hanging out by the nearby burrito cart.  He was on his mobile; so I opted not to bug him.

After a delicious hummus plate washed down by a McTarnahan’s Amber, SAY HI started… I found my seat at the awesomely cozy Mississippi Studios.

Say Hi is a trio, and they played what I’d call “power pop indie rock.”  I mean, that’s my best explanation… very catchy, hooky – yet retaining that gristle and DIY charm of a touring group of guys.  While Say Hi didn’t have the one-two writing & vocal punch of Neil Gust & Elliott Smith’s Heatmiser, I think Heatmiser is my closest comparison to Say Hi.  Great pop songs in a rock setting, definitely enjoyable.  They played about 40 minutes and, unfortunately, it flew by.  But… they’re from Seattle; so they’re totally on my “auto notify” Pollstar radar now.

After a very short set break (5 minutes, maybe)… David Bazan (plus band) hit the stage…

The first time I saw David Bazan (December 2003 with Over the Rhine) was the only time I’ve seen him with a “band.”  Even that time, it was a stripped down Pedro the Lion set with just David and T.W. Walsh (drummer).  The singer of Say Hi joined David on guitar, the Say Hi bassist traded bass duties for guitar / keyboards / percussion.  Blake Wescott joined on guitar, there was a new drummer, and David took care of bass (and guitar during the encore).

The set was a heavy David Bazan “solo albums” set, as expected.  I’ve really been digging his latest album, Curse Your Branches; so I picked it up on vinyl last night.  Most of the set was CYB stuff and Fewer Moving Parts material.  He did throw in a few expected Pedro the Lions and Headphones songs as well…

Setlist: about 90 minutes

  • Hard To Be
  • Please, Baby, Please
  • I Do (Pedro the Lion tune)
  • Bless This Mess
  • Q&A #1
  • I Never Wanted You (Headphones tune)
  • Magazine (Pedro the Lion tune)
  • Heavy Breath
  • Q&A #2
  • Cold Beer And Cigarettes
  • When We Fell
  • Lost My Shape
  • Curse Your Branches
  • Q&A #3
  • Fewer Broken Pieces (aka Fewer Moving Parts)
  • Bearing Witness
  • Q&A #4
  • Keep Swinging (Pedro the Lion tune)
  • How I Remember
  • In Stitches
  • Encore (David solo): Priests and Paramedics (Pedro the Lion tune)
  • Will You Still Love Me In December (Julie Doiran cover)
  • Q&A #5
  • Harmless Sparks

Best David Bazan line of the night… “Infants are necessary, but they’re kinda bullshit.”

I loved David with a band.  I think the highlight of the night for me, though, was Say Hi.  I usually don’t expect to like an opener, and I like being pleasantly surprised.  I didn’t have enough coin to get some Say Hi music last night, but I plan to in the near future.

Another highlight… David’s Q&A sessions are also usually a fun aspect of his shows – it really makes a Bazan show more personal and intimate.  Most of the questions surrounded his recent “coming out” as an atheist-leaning agnostic after many years in the Christian indie rock scene.  I always loved his candor and questioning of things in religion, even when he considered himself to be a Christian and I had moved out of that camp.  I, honestly, don’t think his lyrical themes changed all that much.  His Q&A answers last night were more along the lines around around tolerance, regardless of religious beliefs or non-beliefs.  Personally, I’m glad to have him in the more doubtful camp.  However, above that, I’m glad that he’s not trying to be divisive with things like faith and his “falling from faith.”  We should move towards being different than the prior generations who don’t know tolerance.

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

~Dan – np: Lowell Brams, Sufjan Stevens & Bryce DessnerLibrary Catalog Music Series: Music for Insomnia
Lowell Brams, Sufjan Stevens & Bryce Dessner - Library Catalog Music Series: Music for Insomnia

all pictures (cc) 2009 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Recent/Upcoming Tour Dates

  • 10/01 – San Francisco CA – Independent
  • 10/02 – Costa Mesa CA – Detroit Bar
  • 10/03 – San Diego CA – Casbah
  • 10/04 – Los Angeles CA – Troubadour
  • 10/05 – Tucson AZ – Solar Culture
  • 10/07 – Austin TX – Mohawk
  • 10/08 – Denton TX – Dan’s Silverleaf
  • 10/09 – Memphis TN – Hi-Tone Café
  • 10/10 – Murray KY – Lovett Auditorium / Murray State
  • 10/11 – Birmingham AL – Bottletree
  • 10/13 – Orlando FL – The Social
  • 10/14 – Atlanta GA – Drunken Unicorn
  • 10/15 – Chapel Hill NC – Cat’s Cradle
  • 10/16 – Washington DC – Black Cat
  • 10/17 – Philadelphia PA – Kung Fu Necktie
  • 10/18 – New York NY – Bowery Ballroom
  • 10/20 – Cambridge MA – TT the Bear’s +
  • 10/21 – Montreal QC – Il Motore
  • 10/22 – Toronto ON – Lee’s Palace
  • 10/23 – Pontiac MI – Pike Room
  • 10/24 – Chicago IL – TBA
  • 10/25 – Champaign IL – Highdive
  • 10/27 – Madison WI High – Noon Saloon
  • 10/28 – Minneapolis MN – Turf Club
  • 10/29 – Iowa City IA – The Picador
  • 10/30 – Lawrence KS – Jackpot Saloon
  • 10/31 – Omaha NE – Slowdown
  • 11/01 – Denver CO – Hi Dive
  • 11/02 – Salt Lake City UT – Kilby Court
  • 11/05 – Vancouver BC – Media Club
  • 11/06 – Portland OR – Mississippi Studios
  • 11/07 – Seattle WA – Neumos
    House Shows
  • 12/9 – Detroit, MI – 8pm – tickets available on db.com
  • 12/10 – Cleveland, OH – 8pm – tickets available
  • 12/11 – Columbus, OH – 8pm – SOLD OUT
  • 12/12 – Indianapolis, IN – 5pm – tickets available
  • 12/12 – Indianapolis, IN – 8pm – SOLD OUT
  • 12/13 – New Haven, IN – 5pm – tickets available
  • 12/13 – Ft. Wayne, IN – 8pm – SOLD OUT
  • 12/14 – Goshen, IN – 8pm – SOLD OUT
  • 12/15 – Lansing, MI – 8pm – tickets available

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