Devendra Banhart at the Fillmore, by Jon Ching

Devendra Banhart (photo: Jon Ching)

Devendra Banhart, along with old-school locals and old-time friends, Vetiver, played The Fillmore Thursday night and spread a message of love and global unity. Amongst his whimsical, quirky performance of old and new songs from his latest album Ape in Pink Marble, Devendra connected with the crowd  on a local level.

Having spent his formative years in San Francisco, he reminisced on the good times living here and said that he so very much wanted to live here again. To the somewhat noisy crowd, he exclaimed, “Shut the fuck up for one moment.” He continued to express — and to a degree pleaded — that he had but one major request of San Francisco in order for him to move back: “Make More Art.” In his days in the city, every night, he said, was an eviction party in his community where creatives would throw art shows in the spaces they were soon about to lose. That sentiment rings true even nowadays, with so many creatives leaving for one reason or another.

Devendra also got personal, sharing a moment he had a week ago as he performed in Mexico. He said he was nervous playing there in the current political craziness, knowing that he represents this country. But before he could finish apologizing to that crowd with a prepared speech he had made explaining that our current administration doesn’t reflect anything he believes in, the Mexicans said, “We know.” In fact, he said that as he’s traveled the world recently, he’s come to understand that everyone in the world is hurting right now and collectively scratching their heads.

With his moment on politics through, he urged the roaring crowd to take action, unite, and use this moment to come together and be strong. He said do all of this in the foreground, but to always have in the background LOVE.

I wish everyone in this city was at Devendra Banhart’s Fillmore show to hear his words. Make art, stand up for what is right, and always come from the direction of love. We need to remember that the energy behind our pushback is from the defense of the beautiful moments we share with each other because we are all together, not separate. Those are sentiments I need to remember on a daily basis, and so should you.