The first time I heard Pavement was in late 2004, my senior year of high school and definitely what you would call a 'transition' year. It was all about trying different things, hanging around different people, and ruining bathrooms at Nichols College. Add to that that the Red Sox won the World Series for the first time in 86 years and you know that there was a new page being turned. Thanks to the internet and LimeWire, I had a whole new world of music at my disposal - checking out both new and old bands I had never heard or really 'gotten into.' To make a long story short, Pavement was one of them, and the song "Summer Babe [Winter Version]" sounded like nothing else that was going on on mainstream radio. The best part? Not one of my friends heard of them.
It's fair to say then, that I had been hoping for a reunion for quite some time. When I first heard the news that Stephen Malkmus and Co. would be playing this Boston show, I immediately ordered a ticket for my brother and me. That was back in March, and I had the presale code, so the tickets I ended up with were five rows back. Umm, yes, it looked like this -->
After pre-gaming at the Sunset Cantina across the street and drooling at the merch table, it was quite a thrill to walk down to seats like-a this. One minor mistake, however, was that we missed openers Jenny and Jonny, composed of none other than Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley/Awesome solo artist in her own right) and Jonathan Rice (Lewis' longtime guy pal who hasn't quite got there yet). Walking in I did hear "Next Messiah," so I guess it was kinda nice? I'll just say that if it was just Jenny or if she was with Pinski and the rest of Rilo Kiley, I would have been there when the doors opened. The merch table was drool-worthy as well, featuring the classic 'Sunny Side-Up!' shirts from their Crooked Rain days as well as new ones with Quarantine The Past inspired artwork. I got one of the latter and my brother got two of the former - one for him and one for his 15 month old/my nephew. Rock and roll... now enough of my rambling and on to the main attraction!
This is where I gush. They opened with 'Silent Kid' and never slowed down, honestly. We were lucky that night, because the band was tight, in synch, and decided that they would just play their greatest hits. Stephen Malkmus can be a snob, but he did have a few interactions with the crowd, and Bob Nastanovich keep things lively when SM didn't feel like yelling. My brother and I air-guitared and sang along a la I Love You, Man. The songs reverberated in me for the next week, and I felt privileged to see something that I honestly never thought I would. Now if the Descendents would just reunite...
The Set list:
Silent Kid / Starling Of The Slipstream / Two States / Trigger Cut / Heckler Spray / In The Mouth A Desert / Stereo / Date With IKEA / Stop Breathin’ / Gold Soundz / Conduit For Sale! / Loretta’s Scars / Grounded / Summer Babe / Frontwards / Unfair / Fight This Generation / Perfume-V / We Dance / Brinx Job / Fin / Cut Your Hair
ENCORE 1: Rattled By The Rush / Kennel District / Range Life
ENCORE 2: Spit On A Stranger / Shoot The Singer / Here