Pavement wrapped up their ‘reunion of a reunion’ tour with the first of two sold out shows at Vicar Street, their first visit to Dublin in 12 years. First up was Stevie Appleby, formerly of Little Green Cars, who played a series of songs based around his intricate guitar picking. Songs like Fires, Rusty and Soon got a good reception from the audience.
For a band like Pavement who always seemed to avoid the conventional back in the nineties, embarking on this, their second reunion tour seems a very ‘normal’ move on their part. The band looked, it has to be said, ridiculously happy to be there. The manic, tambourine-bashing figure of Bob Nastanovich contrasted with the louche, laconic Stephen Malkmus at stage left as they played songs from right across their catalogue, with Trigger Cut ‘triggering’ the first mass singalong of the night. On the one hand, they played calmer material such as Major Leagues, featuring keyboardist/percussionist Rebecca Cole on backing vocals and a moody version of The Hexx. But just when you thought they had relaxed into a groove, Nastanovich ripped it up like a Stateside Bez, roaring along to Unfair and Serpentine Pad, while Scott Kannberg (Spiral Stairs) took a turn on vocals for Painted Soldiers. Musically the band were note-perfect. Perfume-V was one of the stronger songs of the night, and Transport Is Arranged featured impressive guitar interplay from Malkmus and Scott Kannberg. Folk Jam was indeed a long jam, allowing the band to stretch out while Nastanovich careered around the stage, occasionally playing flute.
Many of the songs were positively euphoric, such as a rocky Stereo, and classics like Gold Soundz, Summer Babe and Here had the audience singing lustily along. They finished off with Harness Your Hopes before a lengthy encore where they unleashed Cut Your Hair, Two States and Range Life before finishing off with Stop Breathin. It was clear many in the packed-out venue were massive fans of the band, roaring along to each and every line for even the more obscure numbers. As an exercise in nostalgia, it was hard to beat it, and for many possibly the last chance to see this band.
Angel Carver Blues / Mellow Jazz Docent
In the Mouth a Desert
Transport Is Arranged
Spit on a Stranger
Harness Your Hopes
Cut Your Hair