Pedro the Lion-from 2002

Underneath the sonic storm of rock music lurks many a
sensitive soul.  Vulnerability contrasted with rock
power can make for compelling songwriting, and the
sell-out crowd at the recent Pedro the Lion show at Emo’s
demonstrated an appetite for the revelation of deeply
personal experience.  Pedro the Lion has an enigmatic
reputation for the subtle warmth that pervades the
performance (and a certain publicity due to the
(un-preachy) Christianity of the singer and lyricist).
The three piece’s bare-bones alt-rock sound was
unremarkable but effectively framed the gentle and
earnest voice of singer David Barzan.  A vivid and
unpretentious personality emerged out of the
stripped-down arrangements, which were just noisy and
loud enough to have “rock power” but never subverted
the plaintive, unaffected vocals.  The mostly very
young crowd was rapt with the openhearted, intimate
songs…but a bit of casual chat from the singer
prevented any cult of personality from forming (and if
Pedro the Lion makes it big, no stoopid rock-star
Behind-the-Music style excess will be forthcoming.)
Would more electic and creative musicianship help or
hurt?  Hard to say, but as it is nothing in the
arrangements gets in the way of simple songs played
with heart.

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