Another thing I went to in The Last While was Pavement, predictably enough. I would have been to see LCD Soundsystem too, but Iceland’s greatest PR disaster since the slave trade back in Viking rumspringa days managed to passive smoke that out of existence. I’m kind of glad I left it a while to write about it too, because the general consensus in my vicinity was something between “OMFG” and “that was, without a doubt, the greatest gig I have ever seen”. It wasn’t the greatest gig I have ever seen.
It was obviously brilliant though. It’s Pavement. 99% of bands in existence could play the most flowing, energetic, perfect gig possible and still not come close to Pavement because they’re not painting with a palette that has Grounded and Trigger Cut on it.
They walked out. Everyone looks pretty much delighted except for Malkmus, who is dressed as a teenager and looks about as excited as the kid who has discovered Nirvana but still managed to get hoodwinked into playing guitar for the school choir. But that’s fine. That’s what he’s always looked like. It’s not like he wrote literally 100% of the band’s good songs or anything. Not like it should be his victory lap.
Things ranged from fun to coronary-inducingly brilliant, with my particular favourites being Summer Babe and Grounded. Sometimes they weren’t that tight, but if they were tight, they wouldn’t be Pavement. Sometimes they played songs that were just Bob Nastanovich shouting, but if they didn’t do that, they wouldn’t Pavement.
They picked the right amount of time to stay away, they came back, and by the looks of Malkmus (who does a good impression of a sloppy guitar player even after ten years in which he was publicly doing proper musicianliness with the Jicks) they probably won’t be doing more music. The Pixies method. If I could see them again before they slumped to the Grey Havens, I’d be delighted.