Following up re the 5/17 show at Belly Up in Solana Beach, stray observations...
This is actually the second time we've seen Dave since he got the band back together, the first time being a weird short New Year's Eve set opening for Third Eye Blind up in Orange County. Obviously two very different environments. The band definitely felt like it had gelled a little better at this point - everybody was in sync, the songs flowed into one another, the little feedback jams between songs felt natural. It was the same set as LA minus 1976. Dave played bass on everything except Monarchs and Big Trucks, where he switched to a partscaster version of a Broadcaster, it looked like.
The first banter session discussed unifying themes of the songs, basically suggesting they were chosen to reflect the times we live in and how we got here. The word 'fascism' came up a few times. There was some interesting commentary about the theme of toxic masculinity and about how frequently people seem to misconstrue the lyrics, an example being someone who thinks "she's a maid, I guess that's what she gets paid for" is intended to be interpreted approvingly. This being California, most people were on board; this being North San Diego County, some people looked uncomfortable.
We did not get an actual Q&A, he did respond to one request for a song from Rare Coins, the split with Sean Lane, saying basically "we're working on a couple of them but we're not ready yet." As noted above, he said that Phoenix would be out in January. He said he's writing "a bunch of records about places [he's] lived." They are still selling Rare Coins, which is sold out a lot of places, so I finally got a copy. I had not made the connection that Sean Lane is also the drummer in the current lineup. He also talked a bit about taking lights on tour and how he used to think he didn't care about "showmanship", didn't need lights because Fugazi didn't need lights, but (paraphrasing) "this might be the weed talking, but lights are cool, and I think Fugazi would be better with lights."
The version of Trouble with Boys that closed the main set was great.
The encore banter was a charming but rambling appreciation of the audience, maybe my most interesting takeaway was that he said he will tour as Pedro only with a band (the implication, I guess, being that some solo tours may still happen as David Bazan?)
The only negative thing I'll mention is that I think Dave seemed maybe pretty stoned or something? He seemed pretty out of it at the beginning of the show and there were more small flubs than I'm used to seeing him make. Not even remotely enough to detract from my enjoyment of the show, though.
I'm just one too many mornings and a thousand miles behind.