Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on May 31st 2010 11:05AM by Jason Cohen
"Pretend like you're in Spain and it's really fun and you're really drunk," frontman Stephen Malkmus told his bandmates before playing Sasquatch! at the Gorge in Washington on Sunday, referring to the fact that the jet-lagged group had flown straight in from playing at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona.
For 20 minutes, nothing could go right despite it being Malkmus' birthday with his family from Portland in attendance. "My f---ing kids are here. Let's play," he lamented after several failed attempts to perform 'Rattled by the Rush.' Drummer/vocalist Bob Nastanovich stalled with comic relief, shouting random Spanish words ("fantastica!" "morena!") and recalling the band's 1995 Lollapalooza appearance at the Gorge between Sinead O'Connor and Cypress Hill.
"It's f---ing pathetic. I'm sorry," Malkmus continued.
"We forgive you! You're' Pavement!" a fan yelled back.
Things finally took a turn for the better when Scott Kannberg stepped up for his first lead number, 'Kennel District.' Compared to Malkmus, the artist formerly known as Spiral Stairs seemed more enthusiastic about this whole reunion business, and it looked as though his song's tuneful sincerity gave the band an attitude adjustment.
Malkmus followed that with a woozy, gorgeous guitar intro to 'Grounded,' which the band delivered so well that even the guitar tech seemed to mention it when handing off another instrument -- and Malkmus knew it too. "I don't even remember the start of the set anymore," he said.
"I remember 'Rattled by the Rush,'" Nastanovich retorted.
From there, the greatest hits included 'Silence Kit,' 'Gold Soundz,' 'Stereo,' 'Summer Babe' ("check out this imitation grunge," Malkmus deadpanned) and the always show-stopping 'Unfair,' in which Nastanovich took over as co-lead vocalist, part Henry Rollins, part Flavor Flav.
Of course, they also played 'Range Life,' updated to include a reference to a band Pavement just played with at their All Tomorrow's Parties show in England: "Out on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins, they're just like the Walkmen, they ain't got no function."
Kannberg stepped back to the foreground not only for 'A Date With Ikea' but also his early classic 'Two States' before the show closed on a huge high note with 'Stop Breathing,' which featured Malkmus, drummer Steven West and bassist Marc Ibold jamming much like Malkmus' solo band the Jicks. Meanwhile, Kannberg went into the pit, Bono-style, soaking up a bit of the big-time rock 'n' roll experience that Pavement never had during its heyday.