Pavement at Pomona


Venue: Fox Theater

Drinks: Two Newcastles before the show and two Stella Artois at the show.

Song I Most Wanted to Hear: "Range Life" which they played towards the middle of the set. I was curious if they were going to keep the dated lyrical references to Smashing Pumpkins and Stone Temple Pilots in the song and indeed they did. Malkmus did change the wording of the lyrics slightly in other parts of the song: "I/they don't have a function" became "they don't have a function."

Musical Disappointments: During the set there was some debate between songs about what to play next and finally Bob Nastanovich said "Darlings" before going into "Starlings In The Slipstream." After the show I joined the other nerds at the front of the stage and put my hand out hoping the roadie clearing the stage would hand me the set-list and luckily he did just that. Upon closer inspection of the set-list, I noticed that the debate onstage lead to Pavement skipping over "Stop Breathing," which is one of my favorite Pavement songs. This is a slight disappointment in a night where the show otherwise lived up to my very high expectations. The set-list:

Pavement Set-List for Pomona, CA 2010

How Was the Crowd: I saw splashes of gray hair in the audience and heard some bitching about sore backs and knees and so I can conclude that this was a slightly older audience than I am accustomed to. However, they reacted to the songs enthusiastically and danced/nodded along with the songs with a lot of energy. Around the corner from The Fox was The Glass House with She & Him, apparently all the kids were at that show.

Superficial/General Impression on Singer's Appearance: Stephen Malkmus appears to have barely aged in the 25 years since Pavement formed. He is skinny, boyish and attractive enough to make you wonder why Pavement never captured the MTV audiences the same way Nirvana did in the 90s.

Merch Table: Pavement had five different T-Shirts and two limited edition concert posters. Unfortunately, I was not really thrilled with the designs of the posters (which I am usually a complete sucker for) or the T-Shirts. I brought a lot of money to the show hoping that they would have cool merch but instead I just got one Pavement shirt which has been around for a long time with a Wizard saying "Pavement ist Rad." Everything was priced at $25 which is slightly less than the merch at Pixies show last year but is still pretty damn pricey, these reunited bands need to calm the fuck down with their merch prices.

Run-in's With the Bands: When I was waiting for the merch, I saw Bob Nastanovich and sort've recognized him and gave him a head nod, he said "What's up, man."

Best Onstage Moment, Non-Musical: Malkmus has mastered many forms of manhandling the guitar and waved it around like a samurai sword, swung it like a baseball bat and during the encore he threw it up in the air and caught it twice. Luckily, he did not hit himself in the head Krist Novoselic-style and stop the show.

Best Onstage Chatter: Malkmus said "I need a haircut" early in the show which got a loud reaction from the audience expecting them to go into "Cut Your Hair" but they didn't (at that point) and later he said hello to his wife and her best friend in the audience. Other than that, Malkmus was not really big on chatter with the audience. He did seem a little irritated with the band when they fucked up the timing of "Trigger Cut" and they had to stop and restart, he counted out the beat (condescendingly). Bob Nastanovich is the hype man and he would chatter with the audience between songs but most of the time I couldn't really make out what he was saying. At one point he said, "I would say it's great to be back but we've never played here before. So it's just great to be here." Guitarist Scott Kannberg also had a few similar words to the audience and even asked how many people had seen them before, after the mixed answers he said "Well, we're kind of a new band."

Did the Bass Player Look Bored?: Yep.

Overall Scientific Rating of Show (out of ten): 8.7

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