Columbus, OH, The Basement and Singing Dog Records, July 6, 2006

 

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

One can only wonder how much more one person can do to help independent music. But for those who want to ride the coattails of being an advocate for independent music and stores and say they are an artist can do nothing about it, said artists should just look at what Pete Yorn is doing.

As Yorn travels across the country in support of his new major label release, Nightcrawler, he is also looking out for the small guy by playing 5-song acoustic shows in independent record stores. And if that is not promotion enough, Yorn is also recording each show and selling 200 copies at each store, in which High Street's Singing Dog Records was the host in Columbus.

But Yorn was not done there, as he then trekked a few miles south to play The Basement, a few-hundred person bar to bring his fans back to the club days of old.

 

Yorn opened the set with For Nancy, and for the next 100 minutes or so, Yorn filled the tiny room with big time sound. For Yorn fans, it was a dream come true as some bought tickets off eBay for $50 each, even though the face value was $20. Even for $50, the show was a good deal as Yorn played a solid mix of new material, old favorites and obscure covers.

Looking at past setlists, Yorn has been known to play up to eight songs for his encore, but this night it was a six-song extra session complete with a Smith's cover (There Is A Light That Never Goes Out) as well as a Warren Zevon favorite (Splendid Isolation).

 

Columbus, Ohio must be a favorite stop for Yorn, as during his last stint on the road, Columbus was one of only a few stops where Yorn tested some new material for Nightcrawler.

 

Without a backing band, Yorn went totally acoustic which means that he went for putting his flaws out on the table, and for many artists, that is not something they would be comfortable doing. But even as solid as Yorn is, there were flaws, but those flaws are what makes each show memorable and exciting. Columbus may have been the best true fan show to date, as many of his more popular songs such as Burrito and Suspicious Minds were put on hold and the show seemed to be geared around more diehard Yorn fans versus the average, everyday Yorn listener.

 

Yorn mentioned at the record store performance how he wondered if The Basement was the best venue to pick (probably due to its small size), but both the sound and ambience provided by the tiny rock club proved to be a nice place to witness Yorn's giveback to his fans. The stage was the perfect size and height to give Yorn the appearance of an icon while still allowing fans to be chest level and just feet from their favorite artist. His banter with the audience was witty and apropos, and perhaps the only downfall was at Singing Dog, he told a fan whom requested June that he may play it because it was one of his favorites as well. But alas, Columbus didn't get June either, but anytime Bandstand In The Sky is played, that should pretty much heal all wounds.

Pete Yorn
Pete Yorn
Pete Yorn
Pete Yorn
Pete Yorn
Pete Yorn