A guitar god, the sultan of slack, front man of one of the best bands of all time. Stephen Malkmus has won many accolades, and rightly so. On Tuesday night, the tour promoting his critically acclaimed Sparkle Hard LP released last summer finally made its way to Oslo.
VurderingStephen Malkmus & The Jicks at Parkteateret 11.6.19
A great sound after a bad start
The sound is great, and when they really get going the band is as captivating as any.
The sound is great, and when they really get going the band is as captivating as any. A great example comes from the excellent «Witch Mountain Bridge» from 2003 album Pig Lib with an extended mid-song jam that shows off Malkmus’s entertaining and playful guitar work. Other parts are more subdued, often in a good way like the lovely «Middle America» from Sparkle Hard. With little audience interaction some parts are maybe a little underwhelming for those who aren’t die hard fans of the entire Malkmus back catalogue.
Best saved for last
Tonight’s show might not have done much to win over the non-converted, but devoted fans will leave as happy as always.
After just over an hour the band leave the stage. Leaving with pre-warning the crowd not to leave too soon: “We always do an encore. You don’t even have to clap. In fact you don’t even have to stay”. The best is left for last. The encore begins with a great stripped-back keyboard version of «Freeze the Saints» from the early Malkmus solo album Face the Truth. It’s followed by one of Malkmus’s most radio-friendly tracks «Lariat», which was requested from the crowd and sees the biggest response of the night.
It will be interesting to see if the recently announced Pavement reformation for next year’s Prima Vera festivals will see a more slick show to please the much larger crowds that typically attends shows by The Jicks. Tonight’s show might not have done much to win over the non-converted, but devoted fans will leave as happy as always.