Show Review – Pedro the Lion – Bushnell, IL

As I sloshed through the fresh mud of the festival grounds trying to locate the tent titled “Encore One”, I tried to anticipate what to expect out of ol’ Dave Bazan tonight. It seems that with each time I have seen him he has grown progressively colder and bitterer, and I wondered if tonight would be any exception. I managed to find a spot center of stage right behind a group of scene-sters who were arguing about what genre they would classify Pedro the Lion under, I laughed when one of them suggested the title “Snore-Core” (because it puts him to sleep). Finally, after several more minutes of waiting, Bazan took the stage wearing his trademark black t-shirt and jeans (when asked about his attire later in the show he stated that it was a product of his obsession with the idea of a uniform.)

After a long and tedious sound check, the band opened up with “Indian Summer” and the crowd’s energy immediately picked up. After playing a few more songs off <em>Control,</em> Bazan immediately opened up the forum for his patented mid-show question and answer period. In the past during these sessions either: a) people ask ridiculous questions and he gets upset or b) He ignores all questions and uses the time to share his current ideologies regarding politics, religion, etc. Strangely, this evening Bazan appeared to be in a relatively chipper mood, and when he was asked a handful of decent questions, he enthusiastically entertained them. In fact, he was so pleased with the first question and answer period that he proceeded to have about five more before the end of the set.

After question time he began to play some of the older songs that the crowd had been requesting. During this portion of the set he played “Slow and Steady Wins the Race”, “Winners Never Quit”, and my personal favorite “Big Trucks” off the record <em>It’s Hard to Find a Friend.</em> Bazan concluded each section of songs with more questions, and assurance that he would be playing “a bunch more songs” (which he definitely did, the total set time was nearly two hours).

As the show came to a close most of the songs being played were from the <em>Achilles Heel</em> album, and the new tracks sounded great live. At one point during the closing minutes of the show Bazan was showered with variety of women’s panties that were thrown from the crowd. He was wildly amused by the incident, and openly admitted that it was definitely the first time that it had happened. It was a unique night in many ways: a happy Bazan, a long set, excellent audience involvement, and yes of course, the panties.

9.0/10

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