Pedro the Lion played Brighton Music Hall – 5/11

Reactivated sad-rock darlings Pedro the Lion headlined a Saturday night gig at Allston’s Brighton Music Hall earlier this month with singer-songwriter John Vanderslice. 

Pedro ringleader David Bazan never really went away in the 11 years that the band stayed split, but that didn’t make the moniker’s 2017 reactivation any less of a cause for celebration among its dedicated fanbase. Gigs late that year were finally followed up with Phoenix, Pedro’s Polyvinyl debut and first LP in 15 years, in January, and the project met predictable acclaim.

A spring tour brought the band’s current three-piece iteration to Boston on a balmy Saturday evening, perfectly suited to the bittersweet nostalgia that those prominently-featured new songs evoke. Bazan and company sounded in fine form, bolstered by a striking lights-and-visuals show featuring color-shifted thematic footage of Phoenix‘s titular city.

Opener John Vanderslice – a troubadour who won my heart some years back on a collaborative EP with The Mountain Goats about organ-harvesting colonies on the moon – played a freewheeling and frequently hilarious solo set that alternated between songs (one featuring Bazan on drums) and audience Q&A.

Check out photos from both sets below.