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(Credit: Masao Nakagami)

Music

Stephen Malkmus debuts two new songs at first gig since 2019

Singer-songwriter Stephen Malkmus, known best as the frontman of California indie-rock band Pavement, has returned with a bang after just over two years without any live performances.

The welcomed return to the stage comes after a couple of years strangled by the pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic. Pavement had announced back in June 2019 that they would be reuniting to perform two special 30th-anniversary performances at the 2020 Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona and Porto. 

Unfortunately, due to logistical issues resulting from the pandemic, the festival was cancelled, and the performances were rescheduled for the 2021 lineup. Once again the festival was cancelled last year and rescheduled for the summer of this year. Pavement also announced a European tour set to lick off in autumn 2022, it will be the first in 12 years. Later, the band also added dates across North America. 

Malkmus’ triumphant return gig took place on Sunday, January 16th, at The Alberta Abbey, and he seemed as energetic as ever backed by his live group made up of The Decemberists’ Chris Funk, Brad Traux and Jake Morris. 

The set included the Pavement classic, ‘Father To A Sister Of Thought’ as well as covers of Wilco’s ‘Box Full Of Letters’ and ‘Blue Arrangements’ by Silver Jews, Malkmus’ old band he formed in 1989 with Bob Nastanovich and the late David Berman.

As well as a spattering of covers, he debuted two new songs, ‘MTV’ and ‘Making Friends’. The songs are still yet to be released, but footage from the audience has emerged online.

Watch the performance below.