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Concert Wed Sep 15 2010

Review: Pavement @ Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, 9/13

Pavement's Stephen Malkmus (photos by Katie Hovland)

Pavement was never a sentimental band. Sarcastic, dry, and annoyed, but never sentimental. As the saying goes though "time heals all wounds," and maybe that was the case Monday night, as the band took the stage in front of a very nostalgic audience. The crowd was smaller than I expected, the seated area sparse in places and the lawn spread out. I'm guessing the curious Pavement fans got their fix at Pitchfork Festival. The kids that grew up listening to Pavement in the late 90s/early 00s, discovering them long after the breakup, paid respect at the festival as they headed out after catching some of Sleigh Bells, probably quipping "oh, so that's Pavement, this reunion is big, I guess I should stick around for a song or two." There was none of this sentiment Monday night, as the crowd sung along to a good portion of the 28 song set, the median age looked to be mostly people that were 20-somethings during the height of Pavement's fame. The familiar feeling of the crowd seemed to rub off on the band, who seemed fully relaxed, throwing jokes and jabs back and forth, and overall happy to be there.

Pavement's Steve West (by Katie Hovland)

"It's kind of a weird place to play, but I think it's good for us," Stephen Malkmus stated before opening the set with "Silence Kit," a slow burner that bloomed under the city lights and night sky. At times the set floated languidly along, such the case with the country twanged melancholy "Father to a Sister of Thought," only to have the band turn around and punch out raw intensity, in this case the visceral "Unfair," giving a push/pull feeling to parts of the set. The night covered a good mix of their catalog, including standout hits "Cut Your Hair," "Stereo," and "Box Elder." Before launching into "Rattled By the Rush" off the terse Wowee Zowee, they commented "this should have been a mega hit," and the tenacity the band gave their set Monday night made you realize they were spot on, furthering the fact that as difficult as the band was at times, Pavement was one of the most important acts in the 90s that created a defining sound.

Pavement's Mark Ibold (by Katie Hovland)

The night ended with the sardonic "Range Life" showcasing Malkmus's deadpan delivery, and given the lines of the song it's all very funny to a crowd that has pretty much settled down. The band they were is no longer around, the anger replaced, and they don't have to be Pavement anymore unless they decide they want to. As they exit the stage Malkmus promises "Cya in 10 years," a smirk of a comment, with Bob Nastanovich following up "Cya soon...maybe," and as snide as the comment may seem, its true. It might be 10 years, it maybe soon, but they've already paid their dues and now they will play only when they're having fun. And for a band coming back around again, that's not such a bad place to be.

Pavement's Scott Kannberg (by Katie Hovland)

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Paul / September 15, 2010 5:16 PM

I remember always getting angry when listening to 'Range Life' because they diss the Smashing Pumpkins in it! But still, it's such a great song.


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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
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Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
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Chicago Singles Club
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Theft Liable to Prosecution
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