Leah Nash Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks enlisted the help of Beck to produce…
- Posted on Aug 1st 2010 11:30AM by Richard Trapunski
Jordi Vidal, Redferns / Getty Images
It was a set loaded with hits (if Pavement tracks can properly be categorized as "hits"), but they were performed with the same detached looseness that we've come to associate with the band. Shrugging off a beer to the head from one disruptive fan ("good shot," he said, unfazed), Malkmus' unaffected vocal delivery competed with his instrumental laxity, playing his guitar behind his head on 'Gold Sounds' and improvising new arrangements on 'Two States.'
Playing before the National and Arcade Fire, "Pavement 2.0" seemed aware of its godfather status, but unafraid to mess with their legacy. Malkmus altered the lyrics to 'Range Life,' softening the original insult to Smashing Pumpkins, and adopted a falsetto for the "voice of Geddy Lee" in 'Stereo.'
But even despite their aloofness, the band displayed some serious guitar heroics, letting tracks like 'Stop Breathing' and 'Grounded' benefit from Malkmus and Spiral Stairs' natural chemistry, and the crowd was more than happy to treat 'Grounded' and 'Cut Your Hair' as genuine sing-along anthems. Malkmus even smiled a couple of times.
They have a weird relationship to nostalgia, but on this occasion it really did feel like a trip down memory lane. Or, as Malkmus said, 1996 all over again.
Watch a medley of performances by the National and Pavement at last night's gig, captured by the Montreal Gazette: