david bazan [2013]

Living Room
Los Angeles, CA
30 May 2013

It’s not all that often that your best friend since 7 years-old invites you to fly to Los Angeles to see one of your favorite mutual artists perform in someone’s living room.

At least not for me.

So when it happens, you’re kind of obligated to make it happen. Even if you’ve somewhat recently seen said artist perform in someone’s living room 10 minutes away from home.

David Bazan performs in people’s living rooms. It’s pretty great. Sure, he does regular tours as well, but once you’ve seen him play a living room, it’s kind of hard to go back to The Independent.

So I fly to LA, we play some mini-golf in a mall (because that’s how Angelinos roll) and then we head out to the far reaches of a sprawl I never knew existed. There we walk up to a bizarre facade-in-the-midst-of-construction house and knock sheepishly at the door.

The strange man (our host, we came to learn) who answered was something far from friendly, but after giving him our names, we were granted entry. And this is the point at which it became clear that there is no one kind of David Bazan living room show. Unlike the respective shows that my friend and I had previously attended, this one was not warm, community-inspiring, or pillow-on-floor seated. This was perfectly-arranged hotel-conference-grade chairs, facing a gigantic HDTV.

Eventually, Bazan made his mild-mannered entrance and set up in front of aforementioned entertainment center. He said a quick hello, took out his guitar, and quickly tuned. The music began, his powerful yet vulnerable voice filled the room, and all of these incongruous details became irrelevant.

He played many of our favorites, including Virginia – a song that is truly meant to be played in a living room. He played them with the same intimate passion he brought to the Oakland living room show. He demonstrated that he remains one of the best performers I have ever seen.

Do yourself a favor and see a David Bazan living room show someday. Accompaniment from childhood friend is encouraged but optional.