Lancaster, PA has only one good rock n roll venue. The city that hosts the historical Fulton Opera House and the expensive American Music Theater has sadly ignored the rock n roll end of music. The Chameleon Club tries to make up for that. They host the small indie rock acts and the big national acts. Henry Rollins and Andrew W.K. have both made stops there in the past half year or so.
For an indie act, Pedro the Lion is one of the bigger ones out there. They're signed to the indie rock kid's Deity, Jade Tree. Ask an indie kid what his religious beliefs are and he'll respond with the new trinity, The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit, and Jade Tree.
So, for a small city like Lancaster, Pedro the Lion pulled a decent crowd. The variety of people there was surprising. I was expecting it to be all scene emo kids trying to look cool. There were those, yes, but also some metal heads, Christian rockers, some old school friends, and more.
Seeing the Christian rockers was amusing. Sure, David Bazan, the main man behind Pedro the Lion, started in the CCM market. Sure, he still alludes to his faith in lyrics. But the lyrics also bear more than your average CCM fan will put up with.
Opening up was John Vanderslice with whom I was previously unaware. I didn't mind his set. He played with a full band and his music was a quirky indie rock which I thought worked pretty well. I wasn't too fond of his vocals, but the backing music was pretty cool. Some of my friends, however, hated him.
Pedro The Lion took control of the evening. Unlike many artists who will only play the new songs with some fan favorites mixed in, Bazan did a really impressive job of playing a good selection from each album. My favorite songs were those he played off of "Winners Never Quit." He also played a number of covers, the best which was "Political Science" by Randy Newman. He neglected, however, to play my favorite Pedro the Lion song, "Mind Of Her Own," which I had been looking forward to.