Pedro the Lion
Revolving casts of players complement David Bazan's music, but there would be no Pedro the Lion without him. He is known for brooding internal meditations on existence, man's struggles with a higher power and the dark aspects of humanity. A Christian artist, Bazan draws more indie kids than church groups, and his moral messages are illustrated by great storytelling and precise, clever lyrics.
His past efforts have been quiet offerings centered on minor chords, spare droning guitar and a vocal delivery that evokes a sleepy Lou Barlow. His latest offering, Control, is more of the same but punched up with a dynamic rock backdrop. Control is more abrasive than his earlier work; his vocals are more aggressive. The album roughly traces a doomed relationship from marriage, adultery, divorce and murder. Far from a hallelujah chorus, Control address real life in a bleak, almost faithless world.
This tour, Bazan is playing bass, while collaborator Casey Foubert mans the drums, Christian Wargo of Scientific plays guitar and Pedro alumnus Ben Brubaker rounds out the band on keyboards. The show is said to feature an extended acoustic set by Bazan bookended by full band sets. The flexible setup should allow Pedro the Lion to plumb all its depths, from Bazan's earnest earlier acoustic songs to the full sound of Control.
Pedro the Lion
Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt
Scheduled to perform with the Stratford 4, and Ester Drang on Saturday, May 17. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call 602-462-5516 for more information.