Bumbershoot Review: David Bazan Adds More Moving Parts, Plays Older Favorites During Bumbershoot Set

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Who: David Bazan

When: 4 p.m.

Where: Broad Street Stage

The man who once famously sang his feelings about going solo--"I still run the show/ and don't you forget it/ so I had let some go/ don't think I don't regret it"--has added more moving parts to his live show. When David Bazan took the Broad Street Stage today, he was backed by a full band and performed tracks from nearly every album he's recorded, including Pedro the Lion's Control, the Headphones' self-titled album, and his solo EP. But it had been so long since Bazan truly performed as a frontman (and not just as a solo singer-songwriter) that I'd almost forgotten what his oldest songs originally sounded like.

In my recent memory, "I Do" from Achilles Heel and "Rehearsal" from Control were stripped down acoustic numbers, because that how Bazan has performed them while touring before and after the release of last year's Curse Your Branches. But when Bazan performed both at Bumbershoot today with his band, they were steady, beat-driven songs, with layered guitars and rhythmic basslines. For a little while, I thought Bazan had reimagined the songs for his new band, but when I listened to those tracks in their recorded formats, hours after the show, I realized that Bazan had been mostly faithful to the originals.

He's just back to his bandleader form and unafraid to pull from the oldest parts of his repertoire: he even played "Of Minor Prophets And Their Prostitute Wives" from 1998's It's Hard to Find a Friend. It's a logical progression: Curse Your Branches was a musically layered album that needed a full band to recreate its recorded sound live; I can only imagine Bazan's next album will continue in that direction.

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