Recap: David Bazan at The Church Of Murray
The former Pedro The Lion leader played a secret house show Thursday night
House shows in Milwaukee normally cost somewhere between $5 and a 12-pack of beer. But on Thursday night, 40 people shelled out $20 to see former Pedro The Lion frontman David Bazan play his acoustic guitar—no mics, no amps—at the Church Of Murray, a house in Riverwest that’s home to several local bands and a crash pad for touring acts. Judging from the response, the intimate group of Bazan devotees thought it was worth every penny.
So, why tour living rooms instead of clubs? Bazan explained that his label, Barsuk Records, wanted him to lay low in order to maximize press for Branches. Bazan said he was fine with the strategy but added, “I also have to pay my bills." With a second child on the way, Bazan apparently couldn’t sit at home and not get paid, so the label agreed to a “secret show” compromise. It’s a brilliant move for a musician on his level—Bazan pocketed a cool $800 for his unadvertised, word-of-mouth, sold-out Milwaukee appearance. It’s good work if you have the fanbase to support it
This was no rowdy house party—the audience sat politely on the carpeted floor while Bazan sung and chatted for 75 minutes, primarily pulling material from his upcoming release, Curse Your Branches. Heads bobbed, faces grinned, and most adorably, a young girl in attendance with her parents was lulled to sleep. (Everyone above the age of 6 was enthralled, though.)
Miffed that you missed out? Fear not—Bazan will be back with a full band in a more traditional venue when the new album hits stores on August 25. Barring that, Bazan told the Church Of Murray faithful that the house show tour has been fun and that he’ll do more in the future. “Not the next tour, and probably not the one after that, but maybe the one after that.” So, lesson learned—keep an eye on davidbazan.com and get a jumpstart on those tickets next time, or maybe host the next show yourself.