Show Review: Pavement @ Stubbs (9/28)

After a semi-tragic day in Austin, a return to innocence was much needed.  Fortunately for me, and about 2000 other people, Pavement would provide the necessary cure for all those lucky enough to get into Stubbs.  Follow the jump for review and fancy photos.

Local band Woven Bones kick started the show off with their simple garage rock barrage.  They sounded great from the get go, and the best thing about their performance is they seemed to acknowledge that they were there as a brief appetizer, but they wouldn’t let that deter their good times.  They gave us a quick run through of some of the tracks from their recent release In and Out and Back Again, and then left the stage in smiles.  Their unassuming attitude and fast-paced tracks made for the perfect opener.

Finally, Pavement took the stage to thousands of cheers and shouts.  For some of us, myself included, this was our first experience witnessing the band in the live-setting.  They kicked things off with “Silence Kit” and a few others before jumping into their first “hit” of the evening, “Date with IKEA.” Malkmus instantly seemed to come to life, not that he wasn’t into it from the beginning, but his hair shook from side to side as he rocked us the way we always wanted, the way he probably always did.  Shortly there after Bob Nastanovich took the highlight reel into his own hands as the band kicked into “Stereo.”  Bob’s always been energetic, and he’s still got  it, taking the microphone in hand, and tauntingly singing from the front of the stage.

It probably took the rest of the band a little while to catch up to Bob and Malkmus, but by classics like “Spit on a Stranger,” it seemed like even old Spiral Stairs was having a rocking good time up there on the set.  Surely the constant cheers and sing-a-long atmoshpere encouraged the band every inch of the way.

There were some off moments throughout the evening, such as the occasional low vocals from Malkmus during the more forceful songs, and some slight mishaps as the band started several songs, but it reminded me of one important factor that really tied me to Pavement as an aging teenager.  First, they wore no uniforms, just jeans and t-shirts, ascribing to no particular fashion trend.  Second, they did seem sloppy at points.  It all brought home the point that these are just five normal guys who wrote some great songs, songs that hold personal meaning for so many of us out there.  Several occasions reminded me of where I was the exact moment I heard certain songs, such as “Cut Your Hair.”  They weren’t perfect by any means, but we never asked them to be, did we?  We just wanted them to play the hell out of the guitar, which they did, and to consistently give us great tracks. They did that too. For nearly two hours, Pavement reminded us precisely why we all fell in love with them in the first place.  We all have our own version of the story, and for one great night in Austin, we were reminded of those stories, as well as those great tunes.

Here’s the set list from our good friend Aaron Davidson: Silence Kit, Frontwards, Box Elder, Date w/ IKEA, Unfair, Starlings on the Slipstream, Stereo, Rattled by the Rush, Perfume-V, Shady Lane, Fin, Cut Your Hair, Spit on a Stranger, Zurich is Stained, Fight This Generation, Trigger Cut, Conduit Sale, Range Life, Mouth of a Desert, Two States, Heckler, Here, Kennel District, Summer Babe, Stop Breathin, AT&T.

You can see more fancy photos from the show on the photobriangray website.  Great photos Brian.

One comment

  • I have to admit that even with all the mangled lyrics and the off-key singing, it was worth the ten hour drive from Las Cruces to the ATX to see the show last night. It was like seeing old friends after a long time. I had a blast. The most surreal part of the evening (aside from it taking me about 4 songs to realize that I was actually seeing Pavement) was standing next to Mr. Ben Kweller and his lovely lady, Liz, to buy some shirts and records. I guess that’s Austin for you, but to see another musician hanging out with us regular folk after a show and not kicking it back stage with the band was crazy. Anyway, great review as always, Nathan.

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