Posted in music | pictures on September 22, 2010

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo, words by Bill Pearis

Pavement

"Welcome," Stephen Malkmus greeted the crowd at Summerstage. "So, these are the real shows. The first shows. The others were just warm-ups."

The two-hour, 27-song set Pavement played did nothing to dispute that statement. It's true what everybody's said about this reunion tour. They were never this good, never this fun during their original '90s incarnation. At least the three times I saw them. The last time -- Irving Plaza, 1999 -- the band were clearly sick of each other and only percussionist Bob Nastanovich, ever the cheerleader, seemed to be carrying the torch.

Not so tonight though, at the first of four consecutive Pavement shows at Summerstage (aka Central Park's Rumsey Playfield). Malkmus, Nastanovich, Scott Kannberg, Mark Ibold and Steve West seemed to be genuinely having a blast. After "Range Life," Malkmus quipped, "That was a really good version of that one, and I've heard them all."

Opening with "Shady Lane," the set ran through most all the hits, with a few surprises like "Infinite Spark" and "Perfect Depth"  -- the latter wasn't on the setlist. (They also swapped out the setlist's "Spizzle Trunk" for "Heaven is a Truck.") "Summer Babe," "Here"  and "Spit on a Stranger" (we got nothing from Terror Twilight) were the only songs notably absent but we got "Shoot the Singer" (one of my favorites), plus "Debris Slide" and "Conduit for Sale" both of which featured Nastanovich on the mic, pacing the stage and working the crowd like one of the Beastie Boys.

You get the feeling that Nastanovich, who comes up with the setlists every night, is probably Pavement's #1 Fan. When he wasn't playing tambourine, keyboards, or the drums, he had the crowd cracking up with a stream of non sequiturs ("Did I ever tell you about the time Sun Ra fixed my car in Lexington, Virginia?"). A giant smile was on his face the entire time.

Mine too. For me at least, tonight's show transcended nostalgia. Ten years is a while to be away, but not too long. The guys somewhat shockingly all still look pretty much the same -- yet are playing better than ever. It's enough time to mellow egos, iron out differences and, you know, get better as musicians.. And make us to realize how much we missed them.

If you've been on the fence about trying to get tickets -- there were no shortage of people selling tickets outside the venue -- you should just go. One of the best times I've had at a show this year.

Thee Oh Sees

Thee Oh Sees

Openers Thee Oh Sees aren't really suited to such a big stage but made the most of it by packing into a ten foot square of the stage and treating it like it was Death by Audio. They sounded great for their ripping 30-minute set. "I could tell you a million stories about listening to Pavement," frontman John Dwyer said. "But you've all got 'em. They did save me one time on acid, so thanks for that."

There was lots of good between-song banter. Some highlights:

"Thanks for not losing your tickets over the last year." -- Kannberg

"I hear tickets weren't so hard to get this week, anyway. Face value...that's what we like to hear. Less than that...that's not good." -- Malkmus

"That song always reminds me of fondue." -- Nastanovich on "In the Mouth a Desert."

"'Grounded' is my Dad's favorite song. Couldn't you have picked one of mine?" -- Kannberg, who's dad was in the audience.

"I didn't realize they had such good weed on the Upper East Side" -- Nastanovich

"That was the Superchunk version of 'Gold Soundz.' In a good way, obviously." - Malkmus

"The real truth is 'Babtist Blacktick' is too fast for this age group." -- Nastanovich

Pictures continue, with the full setlist, below...

Thee Oh Sees

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Actual Setlist:
Shady Lane
Frontwards
Elevate Me Later
Starlings of the Slipstream
Stereo
Kennel DIstrict
Grounded...spiral's dad's fave
Rattled by the Rush
We Dance
In the Mouth a Desert
Perfume-V
Unfair Song
Infinite Spark
Gold Soundz
Debris Slide
Range Life
Trigger Cut
Cut Your hair
Perfect Depth
Fight This Generation
Box Elder

--Encore--
Date with IKEA
Shoot the Singer
Conduit for Sale
Silence Kit
Heaven is a Truck
Stop Breathin'

---

      

Comments (82)

Thanks for posting. I'm going tonight! What time did the Oh Sees go on? What time Pavement?

Posted by Nick | September 22, 2010 10:13 AM

I wholeheartedly agree about them being somehow better then they were some 12+ years ago when I saw them. I got tickets last minute (after being a bit off put by the whole reunion idea last year) and I am so glad I did.

One of the best stage lines though was the apology for the Fight This Generation jam. "Sorry Guys...that kinda just went on and on"

I could whine about nothing from Terror (I love that album, so what), or wanting to hear Two States really bad, but fuck, I can't really complain about anything after last night.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 10:17 AM

I sold two extras for $25 each and consider myself lucky

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 10:20 AM

What was the set list for the god-damned Oh Sees!

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 10:25 AM

That definitely was a good show and alot of fun, but if the person who wrote that had seen the band at their prime they would not have said that last night's show was better than the first time around. I saw them at a small club in Texas around the time Crooked Rain came out, and I still consider it one my all-time favorite shows. But I do agree, they did lose steam toward the end. BTW, the Oh Sees were awesome. Great Band!

Posted by Howard F | September 22, 2010 10:26 AM

What time did the sets start?

Posted by Nick | September 22, 2010 10:26 AM

Nitrous mafia

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 10:27 AM

Solid jams!

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 10:27 AM

Thee Oh Sees played from about 7-7:35

Pavement 8:05-9:55

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 10:28 AM

thanks!

Posted by Nick | September 22, 2010 10:31 AM

One of the most fun times I've had at a show in ages.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 10:32 AM

for the record, grounded is spiral stairs' father-in-law's favorite song, not his dad's.

Posted by jh | September 22, 2010 10:40 AM

thee oh sees were fucking great.

don't miss times new viking tonight either...last of the good pavement openers this week.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 10:41 AM

wow, great crowd. Wait did I actually say that in NYC....yes. Thanks to the people around me. That was better than I could have hoped for, what a perfect night

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 10:47 AM

But The Oh Sees were really boring. Pavement fucking ruled.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 10:52 AM

how about the comment from malkmus about tripping on mescaline in central park on earth day?

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 10:53 AM

Looks like someone got their flannel at Urban Outfitters!!!

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/img/music/theeohsees/summerstage/4.jpg

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 10:59 AM

"'Grounded' is my father in law's favorite song... and he's here"

then Malkmus: "Bob Bingham liked that song too"

Nastonovic: "He's here too"

shout out to a dead friend kind of set the tone for me...

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 11:05 AM

Am I the only one who will state that the emperors have no clothes? Last night's was one of the most boring shows I have ever seen, not only by Pavement but by anyone. Thankfully, help is on the way and my concert soul will be cleansed by The Clean next week (now that's a band that knows how to reform and put on a show).

Posted by Scott's Hipster Hat | September 22, 2010 11:05 AM

hah, I thought the "too fast" comment was about Serpentine Pad.

Great show, had a blast. I guess my expectation had been properly killed by enough disappointed friends who saw them at Pitchfork. I expected very little and when they were great, it made it all the better.

Posted by noamjamski | September 22, 2010 11:06 AM

Such a great show, particularly the first half. And agreed that the crowd was phenomenal. Mostly polite people, a lot of real fans, and everyone just sort of really stoked to finally be seeing Pavement in this millennium.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 11:16 AM

Never seen Pavement before, and wasn't really familiar with the music, but thought the show was pretty awesome, and Summerstage is now one of my favorite venues (is there anywhere else you can buy unlimited beer in closed cans? smart move)

Gotta TOTALLY disagree with the comment about them "having fun together on stage" or whatever. Those doods visibly dislike each other, and there were moments when it was so painfully obvious that this reunion is strictly professional and not something they're doing for fun. I thought Malkmus was gonna put his guitar down at one point and go punch Nastanovich (sidenote: my favorite member of the band) when he kept talking about Sun Ra.

But, Malkmus's tone rules, and Pavement put on a great show.

NOT AS GOOD AS WEEN THOUGH!

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 11:17 AM

Excellent show.

while not enough Slanted (Summer Babe? Loretta's Scars? Zurich is Stained? Here? Two States? Fame Throwa?? NONE of those. Thankfully Conduit made it in), it was a super solid set.

The revelation live was how totally UNpretentious this band is - contrary to what a lot of people used to think in the 90's listening to some of the albums. Slanted and Wowee have aged beautifully, though in my opinion Crooked Rain does sound a bit more of it's time, despite being a good album. Wowee is timeless it seems, and it was good to hear so much of it at the show. But live this band is straight up no bullshit good rock, compelling, and intelligent pop music.
How many folks realize just how influential these guys were/are on not only tons of indie bands from their time to now musically, but also on how bands look and feel on stage.
It started with them.

great show and really friendly crowd - no posers.

so happy to have seen it in Central Park and not in Williamsburgh.

manhattan is the new brooklyn indeed....

"master card!"

(Oh Sees were good.)

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 11:18 AM

oh man i can't effin wait for tonight... apologies in advance if my head explodes all over your beautiful people

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 11:20 AM

Made me realize how many incredible songs they had that only after then ended we started naming off everything else they could have played. Good for them. Glad they're cherry picking out of the entire catalog rather than playing the "greatest hits." It was the perfect mix of nostalgia (how many morning lights was I up late holding my ashtray tight?) and celebration of an awesome band. Glad I went and wish I was going every night this week.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 11:37 AM

Hey, did anyone write down bob's address?

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 11:46 AM

@11:17

NEVER speak of Ween and Pavement in the same sentence again. EVER.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 11:46 AM

i thought Nastonovic said the weed was good on the upper WEST side... lets get it straight people...

Posted by w | September 22, 2010 11:52 AM

IIRC, add Heckler Spray to the setlist right before Elevate Me Later.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 11:54 AM

asking what time a band went on after concert is over = troll . what a dumb fucking thing to ask, you probably thinks its funny or something

Posted by New York | September 22, 2010 12:16 PM

The only part of the show that I didn't like was when one of the members of The Oh Sees came behind me and continued to talk loudly while Pavement was playing...

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 12:17 PM

yeah, there were a lot of chatty cathys near the back too...

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 12:25 PM

considering thee oh-sees had another set downtown at santos last evening i doubt they stayed around long for pavement...

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 12:27 PM

w'burg show was good; last night was great; last night was FAR better than any show i saw in mid-90's

now that they're majorly mixing up the setlists, i have to seriously consider another go later this week... they were that stellar... cant believe they played heaven is a truck - first time since they reunited! i get the feeling they'll make similar moves the rest of this week

best friend's arm? half a canyon?

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 12:33 PM

Half a Canyon would make my year.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 12:42 PM

Let's not exagerate. Show was OK. A lot of misses, false starts and the band completely out-of-sync out of pitch. The good side however is that it wasn't too crowded like the insane Bowery Presents concerts, a lot of space in the back and the sides. Overall a pleasant night, not exceptional.

Now!!!!!!! wtf is going on with the low res pictures above? My 2mp cell camera can do a better job. This is BV not some amateur college blog.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 1:01 PM

Thanks to all the really nice people who were in the jetblue skybox. I had to run around all night serving you guys beer and you rewarded me nicely.

Hopefully the really drunk guy yelling for Pavement to STFU and just play wont be there tonight. At least everyone was really into the band and enjoying it. Made my night much more enjoyable - the cash didnt hurt!

Thankfully tonight I can enjoy Pavement!

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 1:01 PM

a couple girls sitting in the bleachers near us starting talking about how pretty the trees were this time of year with their ear-piercing high-pitched voices during fucking "cut your hair"... and then kept talking during every song after that. we moved from the bleachers into the crowd only to find that everyone in the back was talking about their inane bullshit, too. why do these people go to shows to talk to their friends instead of getting a couple beers at a bar? you're at a show to watch a band play music! i've experienced more crowds that won't shut the fuck up at summerstage than any other venue in the city that isn't named "terminal 5".

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 1:14 PM

the show was better than "ok." pavement wouldn't be pavement unless it was out of sync and out of pitch. they were all in a good mood, the crowd was enthusiastic and respectful, they played a great setlist and the jams were epic. fantastic night.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 1:15 PM

seemed like a lot of fake tickets out there - be careful on CL people...

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 1:31 PM

1:01pm - it appears as though the vertical images were resized incorrectly for 480 pixel width, and I doubt the original images look that low-res.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 1:38 PM

Does anyone have any audio from the show last night?

Fight This Generation, and Conduit for Sale were by far the highlights for me.

Posted by Boy in need of a new haircut | September 22, 2010 1:38 PM

@11:46

I actually didn't talk about Ween and Pavement in the same sentence.... but you did.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 1:39 PM

Why do people have problems with talking during a rock concert? This isn't some cheesy avante-garde jazz performance where you rub your goatee in silence. I have a right to discuss hummus recipes with my pals during the encore if I want to.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 1:44 PM

did security pat you down going in? would it be a problem to bring in a flask?

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 1:55 PM

can anyone speak upon the security pat-down at the door? ive heard they're Dbags. was folks blazin at show or just all over park?
hopefully these shows are more fun than Pavement at BU's hockey arena last week. brutal. boston blows. see u friday

Posted by smoky | September 22, 2010 1:55 PM

ugh. enough with the hummus comments. not funny, dude.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 1:59 PM

@ 1:39

seriously dude, if i were you and just publicly embarrassed myself by comparing pavement to fucking ween, i would stfu, go back to the corner and put my dunce cap back on.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 2:00 PM

I raided a copy of the setlist for tonight. They're gonna play "Serpentine Pad" and then break up again.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 2:04 PM

no pat-downs. ppl toked but i wouldn't say everywhere.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 2:04 PM

To the guy that blew a gasket over somebody asking what time the bands went on stage...your response was much more stupid and very mean spirited than the original post on the subject. Ever thought for one second that the person might be trying to figure out when they will go on the following nights so as not to miss part of the show? What a douchebag...

Besides, if the question was so stupid, why did someone answer it?

Can't wait for Pavement in Austin next week! GBV too!

Posted by Piehole | September 22, 2010 2:06 PM

i'm sorry, but if i bought tickets to this show a YEAR ago, and they didn't play 'Summer Babe' i'd be hella pissed!!!

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 2:10 PM

what kind of merchandise was for sale?

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 2:14 PM

someone i know was at the show last night and said that right at the beginning of "grounded" someone ripped a huge fart in the pit. can someone please confirm this?

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 2:18 PM

@2:00

RELAX

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 2:20 PM

@1:55

Security was hit or miss. Depending on which side you went down --- the guys on the far left seemed far more chill, but I did see plenty of people who were told to pour out their flasks.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 2:25 PM

Piehole - Shut. the. fuck. up.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 2:32 PM

for the quotes...who else heard "Space Ghost Song"?? hahaha so good! i only wish they played it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJplZscUO-4

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 2:34 PM

The security didn't mind my smoking the boom, but they did take my hummus at the gate. Perhaps those security guards were hungry. They were certainly large men and probably worked up an appetite. I hope they enjoyed it. I used organic tahini too!

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 2:54 PM

the quote was about there being good weed on the upper west side, not upper east side...since the show was on the west side...

come on bv

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 3:12 PM

As long as no one tells me they bring out Gary Young and crush a mini setlist of Westing by sextant or wtf ever that collection was called, I will be content with seeing them at the w'burg show.

Or maybe he's dead. wouldn't surprise me. Dood was a goofball.

Posted by Matt | September 22, 2010 3:17 PM

the quote was about there being good weed on the upper west side, not upper east side...since the show was on the west side...

come on bv

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 3:12 PM


Really? Really? REALLY? The park splits UES and UWS. Venue is closest to east side sucka.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 3:36 PM

1) "Kannberg, who's dad was in the audience." That should read "whose."

2) I'm already sick of the Oh Sees dude with his guitar way up by his chin.

3) Bob Nostanovich is a nuisance.

4) NYC got way better gig posters than Chicago.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 3:59 PM

brooklynnn hipsters
they're talkin bout hummus
are they meh to you?
they're meh to me
i don't understand what they mean and i could really give a...

Posted by stephen mehlkmus | September 22, 2010 4:03 PM

i love their song 'Game of Pricks' and 'woo hoo hoooo hoooo hoooo hooo, wooo hooo hooo hoo woo hooo whooo whooooo!'

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 4:04 PM

3:17 In Chicago they did a whole Drag City set.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 4:04 PM

3:17 Dude, they played with Gary Young in Stockton this summer. Use Google.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 4:04 PM

I like their Jock Jams song, how does it go, "WHOO HOO!!!! WHOO HOO!!!!" That is an awesome Pavement song.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 4:05 PM

oh my god these hummus posts HAVE TO END

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 4:12 PM

I have found many great hummus recipes while reading Brooklyn Vegan. It's added a nice dimension to my life, and dint know why you find them to be so disturbing.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 4:30 PM

Funny that there's an ad on here for Bored to Death. A couple dozen guys were sporting the Zach Galifianakis beard last night. I didn't realize it was that popular.

Posted by Sport | September 22, 2010 4:38 PM

Your girlfriend does good hummus

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 4:41 PM

i bought my ticket from ticketmaster last year... i support the band and the venue... i buy their cds... i'll be very happy to stand in front of the stage and enjoy a little rock and roll... i might even buy a shirt... i'm a fan... i won't be talking during the set... i came to listen to music... i enjoy hummus, but they don't sell falafels at the summer stage... i just wanna have a good time...

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 4:42 PM

never call bob nastanovich a nuisance. that's nonsense. he is a stand up guy. as honest and humble as they come. he just has a whiplash wit that can get him in lots of trouble.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 4:56 PM

LAST NIGHT SUCKED. Malkmus can't hit the high notes anymore and they sound super slow and lazy.

SUCKED!

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 5:14 PM

they also left out no life singed her. good show, but truly skimpy on the Slant.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 6:30 PM

the hummus comments are here to stay. Forever! so get used to it. In fact i've made it my personal goal in life to make at least two hummus related postings on BV for at least the next 5 years....unless I choke on a piece of pita first.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 11:17 PM

baba ganoush > hummus

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2010 11:51 PM

focus button

Posted by Anonymous | September 23, 2010 8:11 AM

i'm happy to hear that they were good, but i didn't bother getting tickets because even though i really love them, every time i'd seen them in the nineties, they disappointed.

guess i missed out. wahhhh.

Posted by Anonymous | September 23, 2010 11:48 AM

Ahhh, the yin and yang of innernet boards.

3:17 In Chicago they did a whole Drag City set.

(Neat-o! Saw them at the Drag City Invitational back innaday. Fun show)

3:17 Dude, they played with Gary Young in Stockton this summer. Use Google.

(thanks, good to hear he's not 6 feet under)

A simple and interesting fact. Then another interesting fact with a snot nosed 'use google' comment attached cuz douche just had to douche it.

Posted by Matt | September 23, 2010 3:27 PM

Stephen Malkmus > Hummus

Posted by GrilledCheeseSandwich | September 24, 2010 11:18 AM

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