Last night was one of those really pleasant suprises. I had read earlier in the month that John Davis, ex lead singer of Superdrag would be in town. I didn't really care for Superdrag so much, at least that I remember. But, an article in Magnet Magazine a few months back got me curious about John Davis's solo stuff. Davis isn't shy about his conversion to Christianity, as you can see in this article in Nuvo. The article in Magnet magazine was along the same lines, but without the "I'm trying to hard to reatain street cred" vibe that the Nuvo writer put out. About himself, not John Davis, that is. So around 8pm we went down to Radio Radio to hear some music.
I expected John Davis to have a backing band, but he was all alone. Throughout the set he played some songs electric, some acoustic, a few at the piano. I really, really enjoyed most the songs. One or two of them drifted into a bit too much of a bluesy vibe for my liking but the rest of the set was excellent. When he was at their definitely was that Beach Boys Pet Sounds feel to the songs. Overall, I don't feel like I am doing the set justice, really. I am strugling to really explain his style except to say that it was just good rock and good pop most the time.
There couldn't have been more than 50 people at the show. This had to be a step down from some of the shows Davis played as a member of Superdrag. Nearly all, if not all the songs had a message of his faith front and center. Some mentioning the lifestyle that he left behind for one that he is trying to live now. It's difficult to really explain how powerful songs like that can be when you see a man of Davis's talent playing in front of less than 50 people and when you have an idea of his past. Davis He has a really unassuming stage prescence, quite different than I had expected from an exc lead singer of a pretty successful band. Throughout the show Davis said the phrase "I really appreciate" at least 10 times it seemed. There could be no doubt that he was earnest in what he was playing and singing. There also could be no doubt that he really was appreciative of the opportunity to play for that room of people.
At once it was quite humbling and very encourging to see what Davis is doing. It's impossible not to hear the message in his songs, its rather blatant. If somehow you missed that, some between song banter lets you know where he is coming from. He never came across as preachy, just honest.
Truth told, I've had a really shit week. Sometimes thats just the way things go. And at the risk of sounding cheesy, Davis's set really spoke to me. And I guess I should clarify, if the music was poor in the mood I have been this week I just woulda left the show pissed off. I've heard enough terrible "Christian music" to last me 7 lifetimes, and it just makes me angry more than anything else. But, I don't think Davis's music needs me a spokesperson. I think that most people who like indie pop/rock would at least find it tolerable, if not really enjoy it. But, last night was just one of those nights when a show actually really meant something more than just the show itself, at least to me.