Sep 23, 2009

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks @ Metro Theatre

Rule Number One at a Malkmus concert: Don't requests Pavement songs. Rule Number Two at a Malkmus concert: Don't stand next to idiots yelling out said requests. This happened Tuesday night at the Metro for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. Thankfully the band ignored the two fools in the audience and gave the attentive (although reasonably quiet) crowd a solid and totally enjoyable set of Malkmus creations.

If the band that started with P was pure gold, then Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks are solid silver. Their songs range from total guitar jams to small melodic moments and I had forgot that most of them are pretty damn good. Well after all he is Stephen Malkmus! The man has hardly aged at all and is still that shambolic concotion of disdain, sarcasm, good humour and huge streaks of genius. At times he seemed indifferent to what he was playing, but that his definitely his way. He surely cares about the music, but it is his want to seem slightly bemused by the goings on, often playing with a wry smile on his face. They played a good range of material from all four albums, opening with an oldie in "Jenny & The Ess-Dog" which was a good way to start. The melodic "Gardenia" was also a good entree to the evening. We also heard some new material (not sure about song titles, but have tried my best) and they seemed to go down a treat. I especially enjoyed the 'Senator' song. "Water And A Seat" was also a highlight with its crazy time signatures. It must be a difficult song to play live, but the band did OK despite a few small stumbles. Their last album "Real Emotional Trash" was clearly the record that was leant on the most. I loved "Cold Son" and "Baltimore" was definitely the highlight of the night, with its awesome guitar shredding giving us a reminder of how great a guitar player Malkmus is. He really attacks his instrument fiercely and his signature jangly sounds are still alive and kicking. His voice is still superior too. He has lost nothing in range or scope. He even chatted a bit towards the end of the set. He has a very dry sense of humour and I would have been keen to to hear him open up a bit more. The Jicks did their part too, ably giving robust support all through the night. After an hour of guitar heroics the band departed before returning for an half hour encore that was long and jammy (perhaps too long) and consisted of three more RET numbers. As I left the venue in the early hours of Wednesday morning I was surely pleased by the night's events. The man who shaped my 90s still has it in spades and it was a pleasure to enjoy his company once again. Now about that reunion...

Set List
Jenny & The Ess-Dog
Baby C'mon
Vanessa From Queens
Fading Fading Fast (Senator)
Pub Rock
Water And A Seat
Dark Wave
Cold Son
Bill Fay
Elmo Delmo
Pencil Rot

Hopscotch Willie
Out Of Reaches
Real Emotional Trash

Support act Bridezilla ably demonstrated yet again that they are a growing force to be reckoned with on the Australian scene. Armed with new material from their forthcoming debut album "The First Dance", they stormed through a wonderful 45 minute set, with the new songs going down a treat. All the new songs made an impression, with their sound certainly maturing and adding various new elements to the mix. Make sure you look out for the new album coming soon and if you see them advertised live anywhere, run to see them.


  • At September 24, 2009 , Anonymous Bill said...

    I love Jenny & the Ess-Dog. Great opener. And just think, you'll get to see him play Pavement songs next year at this time now.


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