Pavement’s Still Got It
There has been much attention to Pavement‘s recent reunion tour in the media, like magazines from the New Yorker on down. The excitement of Generation X (or is it Y?) at getting to hear one of their anthem leaders live again was contagious. It’s odd to think that it had actually only been ten years since their last show; somehow it seemed much longer. Pavement’s reunion got a lot more love and attention than other bands who have gotten back together after not having played for much longer stints (see Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Spandeau Ballet).
I had the fortune of getting to see them twice on this tour: back in July in Chicago at Pitchfork Music Festival and on September 21 in Central Park. I will admit that I was exhausted at Pitchfork (they were the last band of the 2.5 day-festival) and didn’t make much of an effort to get up front because I knew I was seeing them again.
At Central Park’s Summerstage, after an opening set by Thee Oh Sees (which I missed), Pavement (the complete and original lineup of Stephen Malkmus, Bob Nastanovich, Scott Kannberg, Mark Ibold and Steve West) took the stage for the first of a four-night stint in Central Park (they played one show at the Williamsburg Waterfront on September 19 as well). The crowd was full of aging hipsters and ex-lonely boys that were shaking in their boots in anticipation. As Malkmus and Co. came on stage and started playing the hit (in the smallest sense of the word) “Shady Lane” you could tell they were as happy as the crowd to be there.
They proceeded to play more than 25 songs, but made plenty of time for stage banter and joke cracking in between (sample: “I didn’t realize they had such good weed on the Upper East Side” — Bob Nastanovich). They actually played a few less “popular” songs than I thought they would (no “Spit on a Stranger,” “Summer Babe,” or “Major Leagues”), but I think they just wanted to vary the setlist since they had so many nights in a row there. Personal favorites included “Range Life,” “Gold Soundz,” (after which Malkmus quipped, “”That was the Superchunk version of ‘Gold Soundz.’ In a good way, obviously.”) Box Elder,” “Stop Breathin’,” and “Unfair Song,” as well as “Debris Slide” and “Conduit for Sale,” which featured Nastanovich stomping and jumping across the stage and growling into the microphone–he looked like he was having a blast.
Bob Nastanovich pacing the stage in Central Park at Pavement’s reunion show
All in all it was a pretty perfect evening, and it seems like after reading reviews of the other sets at Central Park, was probably the best one (too bad for everyone at the Wednesday show when it rained!). Here’s the complete set list (thanks Brooklynvegan):
Elevate Me Later
Starlings of the Slipstream
Grounded…spiral’s dad’s fave
Rattled by the Rush
In the Mouth a Desert
Cut Your Hair
Fight This Generation
Date with IKEA
Shoot the Singer
Conduit for Sale
Heaven is a Truck
Entry filed under: Bands We Like, Concert Review, DevoLT, Jams. Tags: Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Central Park, Pavement, Pitchfork Music Festival, reunion tour, Spandeau Ballet, Stephen Malkmus, Summerstage.