Show Review: Stephen Malkmus @ the Mohawk (2/22)
The former Pavement singer/guitarist returned to Austin at the newly renovated Mohawk, but he was here to promote Mirror Traffic–no hopes of Pavement songs! Local boys TV Torso opened up the gig, and Nurses were the middling act on a pretty laid back evening over at the Mohawk.
Unfortunately, due to unforseen circumstances with missing tread on one of Brian’s car’s tires, we were not able to make it in time to see our good friends in TV Torso. But, knowing those dudes, we’re pretty sure that they rocked, especially considering it was such a great opportunity. But, be on the look out for new tunes from those dudes, as they’re currently hard at work in the studio trying to get us a new record.
The unfortunate side-effect of opening for someone like Stephen Malkmus is that you’re almost guaranteed a short set, as Malkmus has a huge catalog, which was a bummer for Nurses–and me. I really enjoyed their record Dracula from last year, and was hoping to get a good little set of those tracks. Of course, the three-piece band did an exceptional job of pulling off their short set, giving out those West Coast grooves with their bits of electronic flourishes. “Fever Dreams” is perhaps one of my favorite jams from last year, and live, it was precisely what I was looking for, throwing off that vibe of wonderment that often accompanies their tracks. Vocalist/guitarist Aaron Chapman provided the role of laid back cool that was needed for their tunes. I dug it, just wanted them to go at it for a bit longer.
Stephen Malkmus rocked for almost 1.5 hours, ending his set with a little “Bennie and the Jets,” which capped off an evening of enjoyable tunes. He began his night with the his recent hit, “Senator,” off of Mirror Traffic. It was an energetic opener, which definitely started off the set in the right manner. From there on he went all over his catalog, excluding the Pavement hits, of course. Still, you can’t escape his towering figure looming large over that microphone with the distinctive voice that will always make you nostalgic. It’s hard to distance him from his past, but that’s not to say he doesn’t have great tunes still. In fact, his last two efforts, have probably been his best, so it’s great to see him devote a good part of the set to recent tracks like “Tigers.”
I won’t lie to you; I’ll admit that at times his guitar noodling left me a bit indifferent, though I’m pretty sure I’m the only asshole in the crowd that felt that way. Every one in attendance was jamming right along with Stephen and his Jicks. But, the winner seemed to be the Mohawk, now with three differeng balconies. Brian (our photographer extrodinaire) was excited by the various angles for viewing, and who better to bring that idea home that Stephen Malkmus as he tossed his hair about, stomped his feet in rhythm and ultimately won us over again and again with each tracks. It was a warm night, but one with great sounds at a venue that just got a whole lot better.
There are more pics at B’s photo site…