Saturday, May 1, 2010

Return of the Prodigal Sons...

Pavement, Fox Theater, Pomona CA, 15 April 2010

As a warmup to their North American return to active duty at Coachella, Pavement added this warmup show at the stately Fox Theater in Pomona on the thursday before the action began. Anticipation ran high, and few were disappointed as Pavement steamrollered through a 2 hour plus show that managed to touch every nook and cranny of their catalogue.

It was a delirously loose show, with Malkmus holding his cards close to his chest and driving the proceedings forward...Guitarist Scott 'Spiral Stairs' Kannberg anchored the proceedings from across the stage...Mark Ibold, fresh from holding down the bass chair in Sonic Youth layed it down in the middle with drummer(s) Steve West and Bob Nastanovich rounding out the list. Westie was his usual Keith Moon-esque presence, and Mr. Nastanovich, having put his day job on hold, rotated through drumming, supplemental noise making, barked vocal asides, and dervishing his way across the stage...He is, in the live setting, the band's ringmaster of doom and chaos concscience.

The songs, good god, they ended up with 31 songs by the time the night ended. 3 tunes in, i gave up trying to keep a set list; it was just a barrage. So I'm stuck more w/impressions than a blow by blow account, but hopefully there's enough footage to give you a taste of the Pavement live experience...starting with a ragged but right version of 'Trigger Cut' from Slanted And Enchanted (below), complete with a bonus false start...

Spiral Stairs takes control with 'Date W/IKEA' from Brighten The Corners.

Finally, one of the emotional highlights of the night was a touching rendition of 'Here', also
from Slanted And Enchanted.

The band seemed genuinely touched by the response at the end of the night, and it was a relief, in the wake of so many half asses reunions, to note that they were probably sharper now than in their prime, and certainly playing to a lot more people. Credit must be given to Matador, who's done an amazing job of keeping the flame flickering for years with reverent treatment of their back catalogue.

The night was opened up by The Middle East, a young Australian band that turned in a slow burning set. They also had an early afternoon slot on Coachella sunday.

Pavement will be working it's way through a victory leg across the USA this summer, culminating in 4 way sold out Central Park Summerstage dates, and a final West Coast appearance at the end of September, with Sonic Youth and No Age at the Hollywood Bowl.

Below are some YouTube links of more of the show...(big shout to Hillelaron for the vids)
'Summer Babe'
'Conduit For Sale'
'Starlings Of The Slipstream'
'Range Life'
show opener 'Silence Kit'

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