The coolest rock band in California meets in San Francisco

In the midst of three nights of running Freemasonry in the middle of the city San Francisco Last night, Pavement became the band they were meant to be.

They were no longer satisfied with making the most noise on stage, choosing instead to turn their instruments down so that their vocal coherence could flourish. (Guitarist Scott Kahenberg) thanks to him Wilco for this edit.) A surprise sixth member, keyboardist and percussionist, Rebecca Clay Cole, was added to the tour, and her texture additions allowed the band to make certain cuts that couldn’t stay out of the studio.

Perhaps for the first time in all of his tenure as a striker on Pavement, Stephen Malcus was visibly having fun on stage. His remarkable presence coincided with his explosive and subtle virtuosity that confirms he is one of the best guitarists alive.

It only took their reunion tour, their second in two decades, and 23 years since their last album release for the elusive rock giants to finally hit the spot.

Pier, reunited, for their 2022 tour. From left: Mark Ebold, Stephen Malcus, Bob Nasstanovich, Steve West and Scott Kahenberg.

Pier, reunited, for their 2022 tour. From left: Mark Ebold, Stephen Malcus, Bob Nasstanovich, Steve West and Scott Kahenberg.

Courtesy of Moses Berkson

Dear Indies of the ’90s

As an indie rock band of the 1990s—which formed in Stockton in 1989 to release five albums, before disbanding in 1999—Pavement is still tangled up in a decade. The band is often called hackers for their carefree bragging, even earning the immortal criticism “they need to do more!” During “Beavis and Butthead” sofa gag.

After their amicable dissolution, Pavement members embraced their thirties by pursuing other music projects—most famously Stephen Malcus and Jakes—or by focusing on families, racehorses and, in the case of second drummer Steve West, a construction career.

The band’s greatest achievement was to become somewhat known and respected—their first three studio albums became among the 500 greatest albums of all time, according to Rolling Stone—without losing their advantage or being sold, which is the biggest fear of any indie music star. . The Music The solo video for their song “Cut Your Hair” got some MTV play in 1994, while underground zen culture immediately embraced raw punk and melody.

But their rejection of the Top 40 chase allowed the band to remain unequivocally cool.

“Meanings change,” Malcus said, after a raucous performance of their mid-tempo staple, “Summer Babe.”

“But some things never change – like how do you want we.”

Pier during their second night at the Freemasonry in San Francisco.

Pier during their second night at the Freemasonry in San Francisco.

Silas Valentino / SFGATE

Get the dock in Greek

The last time the band met in the Bay Area was the summer of 2010 at Berkeley, their 10th anniversary. Fans of the Greek theater performance had a surprise appearance, with the band’s original drummer Gary Young making an appearance.

The owner of the recording studio in Stockton that the band used for their initial releases, Young is older than the rest of the members by more than a decade. His volatile, but unreliable stage presence helped cement Pavement’s standing in the early years, but after the first album, he and the band went their separate ways.

He was replaced by drummer Steve West, and the lineup hasn’t changed since then. in Moment Captured at a Berkeley show, Gary asked, “Do you think I play the drum better than the other guy?”

(LR) Stephen Malcus, Steve West, Mark Ebold, Bob Nastanovich and Scott Kahenberg of Pavement perform during the third and final day of the Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park on July 18, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois.

(LR) Stephen Malcus, Steve West, Mark Ebold, Bob Nastanovich and Scott Kahenberg of Pavement perform during the third and final day of the Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park on July 18, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois.

Daniel Poczarski/Redferns

Speaking to SFGATE prior to Pavement’s second Masonic date, Young said he was not invited to perform during this tour. He said he was happy for the band, but moved on too much.

“They got prizes and stuff,” he said. “I’ve done other things better, but not as well.”

Young described what it was like when Pavement’s founding duo, Malkus and Kanburg, two locals in Stockton, approached him in the late 1980s to help record their first songs.

“The pier was a coincidence,” said Young, who continues to record Central Valley musicians in his studio louder than you think. “The way things went was that they came in and wanted a guitar. It took five hours to record, but it didn’t sound like music. I asked if they wanted me to play the drum, and so we did Slay Tracks. The “demolition plot” was the same. For “Slanted and Enchanted,” we really trained.”

Stephen Malmus and Gary Young, standing on their heads, performing on stage in the early 1990s.

Stephen Malmus and Gary Young, standing on their heads, performing on stage in the early 1990s.

David Curio/Redferns

The band does the bay

On the Tuesday before their show, Pavement members explored the Bay Area in their own unique ways.

Bob Nastanovich told SFGATE that everyone has their own interests.

“I visit for Kaya, my ferret racing the Golden Gate Fields,” he said. “I just picked up Stephen at the Goldman Precision Tennis Center, where he’s hitting with his friend Brian Duckett [Co-founder of Outside Lands and founder of Another Planet Management]. Westy and his wife Andra attacked a sightseeing agenda.

“Marker [Ibold] He meticulously searches for great food cities like San Francisco and selects carefully, then bikes to handpicked restaurants,” Nastanovich continued. [Ibold and other band members dined at Swan Oyster Depot.] Rebecca cheerfully roams the streets of this lovely neighborhood. I think Spiral is recovering from the previous night’s effort, especially if his buddy Parker Gibbs is in town.”

Bob Nastanovic performs on stage at the 2022 NOS Primavera Sound in Porto, Portugal.

Bob Nastanovic performs on stage at the 2022 NOS Primavera Sound in Porto, Portugal.

SOPA Images / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

Showtime in Freemasonry

By the time of the show, the band had regrouped on top of Nob Hill for a nearly sold out show. Editorial was Kelly Stoltz from San Francisco, who is a personal friend of Canberg and Dedicated Echo and Pupil of Bunnymen.

The audience swung noticeably from the males, by a five-to-one ratio compared to the women, who were mostly white. A man in a T-shirt for The Melvins waits for goods near a man in a Stockton hat from Bart Bridge, a clothing company that celebrate Even the smallest cities of California.

The pier appeared on time, opening with their song on the suburban Narrows “Forward”. While they were running, images of everyday scenes of the suburbs appeared on a huge screen. Flat bike tires, high school clappers, Colt 45 beer ads and bunches of jumbled words that don’t make sense, but sound good together. There are no visual elements that can better encapsulate Pavement’s music. (Later in the show, Malcus will refer to the screen as “R2-Fk You.”)

By the time the band released their summer single “Gold Soundz,” Malcus was basking in glee. He and Kahenberg tore up double Gibson SGs, while the band leader reimagined guitar solos with added glam. During one of the oldest songs, “Box Elder,” Malcus swings his guitar behind his head to play an honest distortion.

Stephen Malmus performs during the first day of the Primavera Sound Festival at the Parc del Forum on May 27, 2010 in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

Stephen Malmus performs during the first day of the Primavera Sound Festival at the Parc del Forum on May 27, 2010 in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

Jordi Vidal / Redferns

Nastanovich, who initially joined the band to help maintain Young’s drumbeat, is Pavement’s heart and soul. He struck the tambourine, howled into the microphone with uninterrupted rage, and at one point, during “In the Mouth a Desert,” he produced a small flute to give it more flare.

Cole, the newest member of the band, matched his free spirit and enhanced several songs, including “Grave Architecture” and “Blue Hawaiian,” with keyboards to provide sound material.

In an interview with AV . Club“Rebecca makes us better than ever before, letting us play many more songs better than ever, and also play 10-12 songs we’ve never played before. It makes us more diverse,” said Nastanovich.

The band’s five albums and various singles were well represented on the well-balanced track list. They sounded out loud while performing wildly “unfair” and rich melodies blending together for “starlings from the fan’s stream”.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 02: Rebecca Call of Pavement performs on stage during the 2022 Primavera Sound Festival on day one at the Parc del Forum on June 2, 2022 in Barcelona, ​​Spain.  (Photo by Jordi Vidal/Redfernce)

BARCELONA, SPAIN – JUNE 02: Rebecca Call of Pavement performs on stage during the 2022 Primavera Sound Festival on day one at the Parc del Forum on June 2, 2022 in Barcelona, ​​Spain. (Photo by Jordi Vidal/Redfernce)

Jordi Vidal / Redferns

In Praise of San Francisco Cemeteries

Between the songs, Malcos spoke of San Francisco—”beautiful cemeteries. With gold fever. Bitcoin fever! Pacman fever!”—and shared with the audience how he wrote “Zurich is Stained”:

“I passed out drunk near Linden [California]in an orchard after drinking a cheap rose, when I wrote this song.”

Growing up in Stockton, Malcus described himself as “a kid in the valley like the ‘Stranger Thing’ kids chosen by men with letters on their jackets.”

Towards the end of the show, he introduced his bandmates one by one, adding specific honors for each musician. He passionately praised bassist Ibold and praised Kannberg for his family life. Referring to West, Malcus said he is the best drummer in the band.

He said, “Old chiefs will talk about the other guy, but they!”

Goods schedule for the 2022 pier reunion tour.

Goods schedule for the 2022 pier reunion tour.

Silas Valentino / SFGATE

The band’s debut included a late-career song, “Harness Your Hopes,” which has seen a revival with recent tech trends. Or not, broadcasting services Like Spotify, it put the lovable random B side of the playlist, helping introduce the irregular song to a new audience. Then TikTok discovered “Hopes”. the words become a meme On social media, Pavement connected to an unborn generation when the band was recording music.

Tuesday’s screening concluded with a cover of Jim Pepper’s “Weichi Tia’sThe band honored the Native American saxophonist and vocalist of Kaw and Muscogee Creek with a faithful performance.

Bass Ibold installed the groove, the three percussionists lighted the corners and Malkmus sang with joy ancient peyote hymn. As a band notorious for struggling with their own limitations, Pavement’s performance last night proved otherwise as they played freely, unencumbered by their past.



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