I remember one time a years ago, during a rare visit to #malvu on EfNET, I voiced my love for the now dismantled band, Pavement. My comment was met with mockery, I was called a snob and told what to listen to instead. This mockery of Pavement seemed to have sustained longer than the band's short lived final tour, a simple visit to the discussion forum on Matador Records' webpage will prove just this.
Well despite everyone amusing themselves over ex-Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus' ever so consistent postmodern California slacker aesthetic, his new band ROCKS.
I discovered Pavement in grade 9, during the nice year of 1997, when their album Brighten the Corners came out. Immediately I was drawn to Malkmus' clever lyrics and ironic guitar playing. I suddenly was in a frenzy to hear everything they have ever released resulting in me now owning 12 Pavements CDs/LPs, a few singles, and some compilations. When I heard that Pavement was coming to Montreal in support of their latest CD, I ran to buy tickets. I ended up skipping my school's science program's mandatory science fair resulting in a failing grade, but who cares, the show was amazing and has left quite the impression on me to this date.
A few years later, out came another album, Terror Twilight. Juxtaposed to this new record, were rumors of a band breakup and a depressed looking Stephen Malkmus. Of course they hit the road, skipping out on Montreal this time around which of course, saddened me. Then when the official news of Pavement's breakup came, I was heart broken...
I didn't know what to think when Stephen Malkmus' solo album came out. It wasn't quite Pavement, it had a different tone, it was indeed good but it wasn't my high school idols. Still, Malkmus is GOD.
Anyways enough of the chatter and lets get down to business...
We got to Montreal's new Club Soda 45 minutes after the doors opened, 8:45pm. The show was set to begin at 9:00pm, and so it did. I had never heard of the opening band, Lapse, but they were amazing. To me, they sound a bit like Jesus Lizard and they are definitely worth a glance. Their bassist is one of the best I have ever seen. They played what seemed to be a short set, I didn't check my watch at all so I am not too sure, I do tend to get carried away by the music...
Beautiful flowers and plants were placed all over the stage, it was quite a lovely atmosphere for a show. After a short wait some guy Malkmus brought a long to sell t-shirts hit the stage and started with some horrible stand up comedy routine. It was how ever funny to heckle him, heckling which soon became a theme for the concert... He t-shirt man introduced Malkmus and company as they hit the stage... Malkmus began by requesting, to our surprise that ex-Pavementer Bob Nastanovich hit the stage.
They opened with a b-side that is found on the Discretion Grove single with Bob playing a morroca. They then went on to play most of their full length album. Songs of note were Church on White, Phantasies, and Troubbble. Malkmus played some incredible guitar solos and was super energized. He did his classic little hopping dances, his woman voice and some wild ninja moves. It was certainly a step up from depressed Malkmus of only a few years ago. It was GREAT seeing him with so much energy and enthusiasm. He took a lot of heckling for Pavement songs lightheartedly often making jokes. After fellow concert goer, Verushka screamed for Pavement's Silent Kit, he thanked her for being the only female heckler. He even made a joke about being TOO IRONIC which was super good.
It was about 11:00pm when the band left stage to prepare for the only encore. They promptly came back and played Jennifer and the Ess-Dog. The next song, Malkmus hit the drums and the drummer took over on guitar and vocals for only that song. They fini shed the show with a SUPER medley of Radiohead's High and Dry and Sheryl Crows' If it Makes You Happy.
After the show, Verushka and I decided that we will go meet Malkmus. We proceeded to go backstage, when we were stopped by a roadie who told us we cannot go any further, but he did tell us where we could wait for him to come outside. We kindly asked the roadie if he would get us an autograph, and luckily he was nice enough and did just that. We then proceeded to wait in back outside of the club with one other person in the pouring rain. After about 20 minutes, out in the rain came Stephen Malkmus, appologizing for making us stand in the rain. We spent some time talking to him about all sorts of things, bid him farewell and thus ended the evening.
It was indeed an amazing show, and terribly exciting to see Stephen Malkmus in the flesh again. He is a super nice man and INCREDIBLY talented. People may mock him, but when it comes down to it, he's a great person, he is much more energetic and fun than most of these obscur art fag indie band and his music is absolutely fantastic.