As an organizer of shows in unconventional spaces, I was immediatly intrigued when Wyndham Manning informed me of a high-profile living room show that would be happening in Madison. When I checked out David Bazan’s website for details on the show and to purchase my $20 ticket, I found that he’s got quite the operation going. Bazan, of Pedro the Lion fame, has now traded in rock clubs for upscale living rooms around the country. So while the ticket price was steep, I figured it would be worth it just to witness how such a show would work.This “house show” was much different than any other house show I’ve attended. Held at a first floor condominium in the Metropolitan building, arguably the ritziest living space in Madison, this was a far cry from the sweltering hot kitchen where we had our last Urban Agrarian house show. The crowd was different too – filled with “balding hipsters” – to quote Wyndham’s twitter feed that night. The only opening act was the hostess’s eight year old son telling jokes he made up on the spot. What he lacked in originality he made up for in cuteness and honest effort. Before long Bazan casually strolled in, and after receiving a beer and tuning his guitar, he began to talk and play.
Having never listened to Bazan’s solo work before, I was taken aback with the honesty and beauty of his songs. From the very beginning I could tell this was a man who had been through a lot in life, and had taken those experiences and crafted them into songs that cut right into soft spots that everyone has. While I couldn’t sing along to any of his originals, he played some familiar covers that immediately put a smile on my face. “What a Wonderful World” and Dylan’s “The Man in Me” were two of my favorites, both delivered excellently by Bazan. I recorded the special evening for your listening pleasure, downloadable below.