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Review: David Bazan Show

David Bazan
“Live Show”.

When Bazan came on stage, the crowd grew silent, to which Bazan responded with, “Yea, shut the f**k up,” and then softly giggled. From Bazan’s large yet gentle appearance comes a sound that fills the room with lyrics that never fail to impact. Like the axe being carried in his caricature on the EP Fewer Moving Parts, Bazan’s lyrics chop at political, Christian, and music-industry associations that are often attached to him until all you have left is a single figure. David Bazan falls on a dangerous fence, but it’s an honest fence where a man truly grapples with life and feels all that can be felt. Because of this, people vicariously use his lyrics and the figure of Bazan is lost all together in the midst of a narcissistic fan base. During the typical Q&A time Bazan was asked if he was still a Christian, to which he replied in the negative. Cheers from the crowd ensued.

One has to wonder, if the question was, “Are you still a Muslim?” would the crowd reply similarly. What was odd about this scene, and how it seemed to have been the climax of the show, is that Bazan is pretty open about his faith and lack thereof in his music. The questioner, and those he spoke for, looks to artists like Bazan as a support-group; instead of letting Bazan speak for himself, listeners all too often look to him as a leader for revolting against religion and, anachronistic to Bazan’s seeming agenda, God. Bazan ended the night (at least, this was his ending, though the crowd persuaded him to play a few more after this) with his own rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” I haven’t heard Bazan belt out lyrics so powerfully since his The Whole EP, and it seems that this is the re-visioning of the faith that infiltrated through Pedro’s lyrics and now shows up in his political agenda of Fewer Moving Parts. Though I asked my friends, “Are you going to the show Tuesday?”, it was far from a “show”; it was more like a confession of sorts, or, if you will, a “testimony”. By ending the night with a song that can be sung by anyone who adheres to any faith, Bazan seemed to be saying, ever so eloquently, “Yea, shut the f**k up.” Eschewing any categorical association, Bazan is truly making it known that he still runs the show, and we best not forget it less we miss the message he is trying to get through all the broken pieces that make Bazan the amazing artist that he is.

-Mr. Green