The crowd at Southgate House surely went home with sore throats last night. With every song David Bazan sang, his fans sang along. From a guy near the back who did an animated and fairly accurate imitation of Alex Westcoat’s happy-go-lucky drumming to the hundred or so feet that tapped along, all signs pointed to a happy house. Then again, what wasn’t to enjoy (other than SGH’s less-than-stellar sound system)?
Bazan and his duo of backing musicians, Westcoat (drums) and Andy Fitts (bass), covered the whole spectrum of his musical resumé. That’s certainly a lot of ground to cover, too, once you consider the near-decade’s worth of music he put out with his former band, Pedro the Lion. Bazan and the crowd on the ballroom floor made their way through his catalog with ease. They never skipped a beat as he switched from the era of Pedro the Lion to songs off either of his solo albums. Nor did they mind when he pulled out a song from someone else’s repertoire and covered Tom Petty’s “Climb That Hill” beautifully.
It was definitely the beauty of Bazan’s voice that made his concert so enjoyable and entrancing. There was no spinning around with his guitar, mic humping or stage diving. Nothing about his performance came off as a “show.” No, David Bazan is far too cool for that. What concertgoers got, instead, was an attractive man in a hoodie closing his eyes, singing his heart out and tapping his navy Chuck Taylors. What he received in return was a room full of nodding heads, smiling faces and … tapping Chuck Taylors.
It’s hard to imagine that anyone left Southgate House feeling unsatisfied. The music was loud but the air was subdued and content — just as it is on his records. Between songs there were dropped F-bombs and laughter and during his songs the ballroom swelled with more than just guitar. The room was also thick with voices and emotion as the people on the floor sang or mouthed each and every last word.
Bazan doesn’t just have fans. He has followers.