“Hey, don’t boo Steve West!” Bob Nastanovich was defending his partner in Pavement percussion, who made the mistake of telling Saturday’s Kings Theatre crowd that normally he had ping pong balls to throw into the crowd but he forgot them. “Never admit you did anything wrong,” Stephen Malkmus advised.
Pavement seemed to be in an especially good mood at their second of four shows at Brooklyn’s Kings Theater. Malkmus was chatty and cracking jokes with the crowd, jumping around on the band’s more spirited songs and blissing out on guitar on their dreamier numbers. There were a lot of both on Saturday for a show that favored Brighten the Corners and Wowee Zowee which each got seven songs played. Malkmus has gotten jammier over the last 20 years of his solo career, and he’s brought that to this tour as well, allowing tracks like “Type Slowly,” “Starlings of the Slipstream,” “Grounded,” and their cover of Jim Pepper’s “Witchi Tai To” — which closed out the night — to stretch out and get nicely weird and sounded great in Kings Theatre’s massive space. They are still messy, but elegantly so and in all the right ways.
There were also plenty of hits, including “Stereo,” an especially good “Gold Soundz,” “Shady Lane,” “Silence Kid,” “Spit on a Stranger,” main set-ender “Harness Your Hopes,” and “Cut Your Hair,” which was a last-minute encore substitution (“Serpentine Pad” was on the printed setlist). After playing “Summer Babe,” Nastanovich joked “That’s off our new album 30 years ago,” noting the new vinyl reissue of their classic Slanted and Enchanted. Malkmus then chimed in saying 30 doesn’t seem like a big deal anymore and that 40’s where it’s at. “When your parents turned 40 that was a big deal back then.”
Speaking of “Summer Babe,” the packed house was in a very sing-a-long mood Saturday night which, given Malkmus’ often serpentine wordplay, can be a trip. Hearing 3000 people shout “ICE DEPOSITS!” is surreal.
Spiral Stairs got two songs Saturday night: the Tom Petty-equse “Date with IKEA” from Brighten the Corners — which Malkmus really seemed to enjoy jamming out on — and “Painted Soldiers” from the Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy soundtrack. Nastanovich, meanwhile, remains the heart of the band, equal parts percussionist and hype man, running around the stage, clapping and playing tambourine and generally keeping spirits high. Not that the mood really needed elevating, this was a happy band and a happy crowd having a great Saturday night.
Check out Pavement’s Kings Theatre Night 2 setlist, and a few videos from the show, below. And you can check out our Night 1 photos and recap here.
A few other notes:
- Rebecca Cole (Wild Flag, The Minders) is a welcome presence on this tour. Not only are her keyboard parts crucial to songs like “Type Slowly” and “Shady Lane,” but she also danced the entire show and feels like a positive force at these performances.
- You don’t normally talk about “the light show” with traditional, ’90s style indie rock, but Pavement brought their visual a-game on this tour, a mix of projections and well-executed mood lighting that really accentuated the songs.
- Saturday’s opener was 75 Dollar Bill who were in an unusual configuration. Rick Brown couldn’t make the show, so Yo La Tengo‘s Georgia Hubley and James McNew joinined on percussion. They play Brooklyn again tonight, opening for Tortoise at Elsewhere.
- There’s a lot of good merch on this tour, including some excellent t-shirts and sweatshirts, an Activity book, and a Baggu bags, and a sports pendant for each show (check out photos here).
Today’s the last day to check out the Pavements 1933-2022: A Pavement Museum at 475 Greenwich St in Manhattan where on Saturday, Snail Mail, Soccer Mommy, Bully and Speedy Ortiz played Pavement covers sets.
SETLIST: Pavement @ Kings Theatre 10/1/2022
Transport Is Arranged
Zurich Is Stained
Date w/ IKEA
Starlings of the Slipstream
Feed ’em to the (Linden) Lions
Harness Your Hopes
Half a Canyon
Spit on a Stranger
Cut Your Hair
Witchi Tai To
Check out photos from Night 1: