The Zach Pietrini Band Launch a Tour of Living Rooms
Those in the punk-hardcore scene have long understood the value of house shows, enjoying intimate concert experiences in private spaces and residential homes. Now more artists in other genres are opening their eyes to the concept and its perks. House shows can be a way to supplement club dates when artists need to fill their schedules, but increasingly, artists and fans alike are finding they prefer the DIY events to traditional concerts.
Even well-known indie acts like David Bazan, Laura Gibson and S. Carey, artists who are more than capable of playing large venues, often choose to embark on “living room tours” instead. Milwaukee’s own Zach Pietrini Band are in on this movement, and will give the city a chance to see them play in one of the most intimate environments imaginable when they embark on their Songs & Spirits Living Room Tour this August.
This tour is unique in that it will bring the underground thrill of rambunctious punk basement shows to quieter, cozier environments. And, in a step up from the cheap beer that usually accompanies such events, the band partnered with the local distillery Twisted Path to provide the beverages. “I really love their products, anyway,” frontman Zach Pietrini said, “so it was just a natural partnership.” Both local and looking to grow their reach, they know creativity is as essential to their business tactics as to their artistry. “They’ve got a rested gin that is like nothing I’ve ever had before,” Pietrini added. “It’s pretty amazing.”
Believe it or not, house shows are some of the most lucrative for local musicians. Without venue fees cutting portions to sound and lighting crews, promoters, bouncers and the like, artists are able to keep most of the profits for themselves. House shows also help artists go above and beyond just performing for the community to fostering actual relationships. Pietrini’s tour offers everyone in the city the opportunity to come out and bond each other and with him. “That’s kind of the beauty of this,” he explained. “We ask that people invite their friends, their families, their coworkers. We’ll come to anybody’s house.”
Pietrini has played quite a few house shows before and knew the low-key aesthetic would work particularly well as a performance platform for his new album, Holding Onto Ghosts. Its songs explore a range of delicate topics—from quiet, consuming depression to forceful nostalgia and heart-lifting familial love—surrounded by a confluence of Americana influences and communicated with refreshing vulnerability.
“The way that I write, a lot of it is just about myself and my life, so it gets to be challenging when [I’m] trying to deliver that message over a really big area or fighting through the noise of a bar,” he said. “[House shows allow] for a more intimate, real setting where [I] can really engage with people on the subject matter. My biggest desire in writing and performing music is to connect with people and hopefully make the world seem like it’s a little less lonely and, I think with house shows, time and time again, that happens.”
The Zach Pietrini Band’s Songs & Spirits Living Room Tour kicks off on Saturday, Aug. 5, at 8 p.m. at 2806 N. Booth St.