David Bazan Fitzgerald's November 30, 2012
I must have been absent the day we began celebrating albums' "birthdays"; nevertheless, when it serves as the reason for an artist to play one of his most esteemed albums for an entire tour, I'll play along.
Pedro the Lion front man David Bazan is commemorating the 10th anniversary of 2002's Control by playing it live in its entirety all tour long. He and his band rolled through Houston Friday night in what, according to Bazan himself, was the only Texas venue whose tickets didn't sell out.
And though it wasn't close to selling out, we didn't care, because it meant the crowd was comprised only of Pedro the Lion superfans -- most whom quietly sang along to each song.
The vibe was laid-back all around; we secured a spot behind a father who propped his five-year-old son on his shoulders for a better view.
The Bazan trio jumped right into Control, maintaining its tracklist order.
"Fucking Houston," Bazan finally remarked, grimacing. The crowd cheered, until he elaborated, "Such a love/hate situation."
True to form, Bazan opened the stage for questions. Fans' hands sprung up, asking an array of questions, including why he downsized the band from five to three (Answer: "We lost money on tour in 2009."), and whether we'd see another (2005 Bazan side-project) Headphones album in the future (Answer: "No, but maybe a Headphone-esque one.").
We spoke to Bazan last year as he promoted his solo record, Strange Negotiations. He recalled the band's show at Mary Jane's Fat Cat, several years prior. He mentioned that concert Friday night as well, which garnered heavy cheers from the crowd.
"OK, not as many of you who just cheered were actually at that show," he joked.
The band split Control's tracklist into two parts. Midway through the set, they tuned out some non-Control songs, including Headphones' "Gas and Matches" and "How I Remember."
Later, Bazan initiated a second Q&A round, during which fans asked him his favorite song he's ever written, (Answer: "Not so much 'favorite,' more like 'song I hate the least...'Cold Beer and Cigarettes'"), and the best meal he's had on this tour (Answer: "Soul food, at Five Sisters Blues Cafe, in Pensacola").
The band closed out their set with Control's final tracks, and left the stage with no encore. While the band didn't exactly unveil any new tricks from their sleeves, fans of Pedro the Lion -- and of Control, in particular -- surely left satisfied.
Personal Bias: I'd have much preferred hearing It's Hard to Find a Friend or The Only Reason I Feel Secure from start-to-finish, over Control.
The Crowd: Mild-mannered dudes.
Overheard In the Crowd:: "I liked it at first, but then it got really depressing."
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Random Notebook Dump: Guys, it's almost as asinine to shout, "Show me your tits" to a man as it is to a woman... almost.