Thursday, September 9, 2010

Range Life (Concert Review)

Pavement w/ Jenny & Johnny @ the Ogden Theater C

I will admit that I have a pet peeve about bands who "goof off" too much on stage and it overshadows the music. I'm not trying to be a buzz kill, I love witty rock star banter between songs and interaction with audience. But when it comes to the music it's serious business. I've spent hours upon hours marinating in these songs and losing myself in the lyrics so at a live show I want to soak it all in.

I was stoked about seeing Pavement tonight, one of the seminal alt-rock bands of the 90's. For the past week I'd been listening to Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain and Slanted and Enchanted, albums that sound just as good today as they did 18 and 16 years ago. But maybe my expectations were too high or maybe I just missed the boat (both the Westword and the Denver Post raved about the show).

This stop on their highly touted reunion tour was light-hearted and fun, yet it felt uninspired and forgettable. There were moments of brilliance and moments when I thought that euphoric feeling was about to kick in... but no, instead my feet started to ache from standing and I grew less and less enthusiastic. It made me wish I'd seen them in the early 90's when they still had something to prove.

It wasn't that Malkmus and Co. were being goof balls all night, it was more that the songs didn't resonate. I didn't feel that rhythm in my soul when they played my favorite songs. At times it seemed like the band was rockin their balls off but songs were sung half-heartedly, other times it seemed like Malkmus didn't care about singing at all while Bob Nastanovich did his best Flava Flav impression.

It pains me to sound so negative about a band who has provided me with so much pleasure but I guess you can't win them all. For a more positive spin check out the reviews below.

Denver Post

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