David Bazan at Fine Line Music Cafe, 11/6/12
The dirge-like climax of Control, "Second Best," was the highlight of the evening. Over the six to seven minutes the song took up, Bazan, bassist Andy Fitts and Drummer Alex Westcoat achieved the sort of synergy you don't typically expect from a solo artist and his touring band. These guys work as a unit, and on a song like "Second Best" where the bass has to provide an undercurrent of doom for the impending plot point that comes on the concept album's next song, "Priests and Paramedics," and a precision drum fill tips the whole story of the song over on its head while Bazan's lyrics conjure what could be the most sorrowful tale of infidelity ever sung. Sure, the song is sad as hell, but it looked like those guys were going to melt up there lost in a sea of power chords and fog from the hyperactive fog machine, and that kind of pure bliss rocking out is always a positive thing in a live setting.
It was a weird way to spend election night, but on paper seeing a songwriter I really admire play the album that made me recognize his admirable qualities in the first place is a bit more rewarding than sitting on the couch pretending there are any real surprises left in American politics (I.E. "Ooo, Obama won Vermont! I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING!" or "Kansas goes red again! WHO KNEW?!"). It was much more fun to stand in a crowd watching a band play a great album to an audience who came to see that great album get played and played well and in new and surprising ways at that. Of course there was the obligatory and obnoxious request for a Prince cover, but it couldn't ruin what a remarkably solid night of bearded-dude rock.
Gas and Matches
Cold Beer and Cigarettes
How I Remember
When They Really Get To Know You, They Will Run
Priests and Paramedics
Critic's Bias: I have a fierce love of concept albums, and had never seen one played in a live setting, so...
Notebook Dump: Is the Fine Line's fog machine broken? Does it have a sensor that goes "Not enough fog! Better crap out some more and fast!" before unleashing an ungodly amount of fog into the room?
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