Friday, September 24, 2010

Lights That Flash in the Evening: Pavement @ Central Park Summerstage (9-22-2010)

Yes, I was one of those damn fools who bought tickets for the Pavement shows at the Central Park Summerstage a year ago. Thought about selling them over the course of the year because it was a Wednesday and required a Bolt Bus ride mid-work week, but in the end, after seeing a few setlists, my friend and I decided there was no way we could miss this.

I tried hard to tweet the setlist but it proved difficult for two reasons: one, I have a hard time remembering Pavement's song titles, primarily because they're usually so far removed from the song's words, and two, it started to sprinkle early on, then pour rain about seven songs in. Pour hard. Like pour a bucket of water/soak through to your bones pouring rain. Shortly thereafter the thunder and streak-lighting started. Nothing like being outside in the middle of a huge open park like Central Park in the middle of a thunder and lightning storm. But it just didn't matter to anyone; we'd waited a year for this and no one was going anywhere.

The show was typically live Pavement: flubbed intros, starting songs over and such. But they sounded strong and solid, and appeared to be having as much fun onstage as we were having in the audience. Bassist Mark Ibold watched the crowd get pelted by rain and not even caring almost in awe, and the band repeatedly said how grateful they were to everyone for sticking it out. The show was stopped about half way through for a good 20 minutes because of the lightning, but upon the return, they ran through the rest pretty rapidly. It really didn't seem that way, but they must have because based on the setlist above, we only missed a couple songs.

The song that had the entire audience pogoing in unison during the chorus and generally losing its collective mind? "Stereo" from Brighten the Corners. It was a white hot version too. Lead singer Stephen Malkmus literally ripped into it; I saw him look up, see the lightning streak across the sky and literally, with his entire body, rip that opening piece with a definite ferocity which kept up the whole song. Almost as if to say, "If this is the last song, it's gonna be badass." And though it took a good 24 hours for my clothing to dry, Wednesday's Pavement show in Central Park most definitely was.

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