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Live Review: Pavement Brisbane 2023


Over a decade since their last AU trip, and recently celebrating the 30th anniversary of  1992’s “Slanted and Enchanted” – Pavement fans pilled through the fortitude hall doors at  7:30pm sharp this Tuesday night, with opening act “Rolling blackout coastal fever” setting  the tone – a perfectly paired opener, akin to that of a perfect wine + cheese combo. The  indie to the rock. The post to the punk.  

RBCF swooned the devoted indie – rock crowd tonight, warming the stage up nicely for our  US visitors. Their unique three for three; (3 singers and 3 guitarists) make for an innately  diverse and engaging show. The concept of 3 front men may sounds like a route for disaster,  quite oppositely manifests into the reverse. RBCF’s dynamic stage presence spoke like true  indie rock. A grounded confidence and taste for craftmanship, the band executed their set  well, proving exactly why they were the pick for Pavement.  

13 years have passed since Pavement last paid Brisbane a visit…13 years too long. Breaking  out the night with ‘Spit on a Stranger’ Pavement fans congregated over both tiers of the venue, their starry eyes staring down and up, sentimental gazes being thrown every which  way – but mostly at front man Steven Malkmus. The energy was palpable as Pavement made  their first few strums and their iconic rock textures filled our ear drums.  

It was clear that their passion for touring and playing together is still very much alive, with  their shared looks, smiles and comfortable nature shining through their lively, and  passionate set. Seasoned professionals and seemingly down to earth guys, Pavement  shouted out ‘Sonic Sherpa’ records, an indie Brisbane record store located in Stones Corner,  where the band and store share a history of shared support. If you missed out on picking up  a Pavement record last night, and the post show blues are starting to kick in – Sonic Sherpa  can help you out there.  

Taking the sizable venue in, my eyes darting around the various audience members, I was  drawn to the uncontainable energy of long-time Pavement ‘super fan’ Mish, and knew I  somehow needed to find her after the show. Her energy was an absolute joy to whiteness  and completely encompassed the wonder of live music, and Pavement’s influential position  the rock genre. Dad – broken Mish went on to say that it was ‘one of my favourite shows  and worth the wait – I never thought I’d get to see them, and I was overwhelmed by the fact  it was finally happening! It was the best night of my life.’ Her standout moment was  Pavement’s track ‘Starlings of the Slipstream’ off 2015’s well loved “Brighten the Corners’.  Mish is set to catch Pavement during their Melbourne leg of the festival on March 3rd, and  you can too! There are a string of upcoming AUS show’s including a festival appearance at  ‘Tentpole’ on Geelong 4th.  

Closing out their electric set with a 4-song encore, it’s safe to assume this Pavement tour  was a long-awaited journey for some, and a reunion for most. There’s nothing quite like the 

meshing of these two types of patrons, but you can feel the distinctive + unique vigor pour  out over the sea of heads, a united feeling of hopefulness. It was a great pleasure,  attempting to harness the energy of this show via my lens, thank you Hear 2 Zen for the  opportunity.  


Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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