Devendra Banhart and Andy Cabic have been friends and musical collaborators for over a decade, so it makes sense that their intimate show at the Berkeley Art Museum (BAM) was akin to watching two extremely talented pals have a jam session.
Together, Cabic and Barnhart created the record label Gnomonsong around 2005 with their first release being a solo album by Jana Hunter of Lower Dens. Here is a photograph of them from the old days when they both had significantly more hair than they do now:
The sold-out crowd at BAM was mostly made up of incredibly respectful students, who were silent during the set except when songs finished and when they requested an encore. The stark museum is essentially an echo chamber with its high ceiling and concrete walls, which would make any mid-set chatter amplified. So thank you UC Berkeley kids for your politeness. (Once in the museum, people were also allowed to stroll around the different levels and view all the art on display, which added an extra artistic element.)
The songs played were a casual mix of tracks off Banhart’s newest album, Mala, Cabic’s more popular Vetiver tunes and a few old Devendra classics, including the closer “At The Hop.” Cabic provided high-register harmonies and kept the rhythm on his acoustic guitar, while Banhart’s unique vocals and electric guitar echoed throughout the museum.
Friday night’s show kicked off the power-duo’s quick six-city tour of Northern California. Other stops on the tour include a winery in Sonoma, Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, and Big Sur. Both Cabic and Barnhart have Bay Area roots, so this tour is likely a way for them to visit friends and their favorite locations while playing some music along the way. Check out the details of their tour and try to catch them somewhere up North.
Here is a video from the last time Devendra played solo at BAM in 2012: