Hitting the pavement
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Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks play at the Beauty Bar
It’s nearing 2 a.m. at the Beauty Bar.
Outside, college rock ringleader (and lead singer of ‘90s indie group Pavement) Stephen Malkmus is finishing up his set with The Jicks, a show that has drawn an impressive crowd of nostalgic 30-somethings who are surprisingly eager to shell out $25 at the door. For a Vegas show, that’s saying something — and still, all I can think about is a cheeseburger.
I saw Pavement last year at the Matador 21 festival. If you’re familiar with the band (they broke up in ‘99), you probably heard of Malkmus’ fussy antics and the all-around train wreck of a show.
I was hoping the best for Malkmus’ return, but like that Matador show, Saturday night’s set did nothing for me.
There was no temper tantrum from Malkmus — though that would have livened it up more — instead, the show was like being stuck at a Grateful Dead concert surrounded by Deadheads. And I’m no Deadhead.
They aren’t indie icons, but Portland indie trio Nurses (think Animal Collective meets Vampire Weekend) was more entertaining than an hour of Pavement-but not-Pavement songs. Last year’s lackluster reunion tour clearly hasn’t stopped Malkmus from carrying on the band under his own name.
Most of the show was filled with tracks from the 2011 album Mirror Traffic with a few interesting moments: a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe” and Malkmus playing guitar behind his back.
Meanwhle, over at The House of Blues, South African rap group Die Antwoord was performing — and after seeing pictures from the night, that’s obviously the show I should have gone to.
But hey, at least my burger was good.