Concert Review: Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

Beauty Bar, April 2

Photo by Myron Hensel

Photo by Myron Hensel

The threat of rain moved this show from the back patio to inside the Beauty Bar, creating a much more intimate vibe for the 100 or so people who could actually stay out for a midnight performance on a Wednesday night. Adding to the casual atmosphere was Malkmus himself, dressed more appropriately for an afternoon of yard work than a late-night concert with his Missou baseball cap and loose-fitting T-shirt. The close-knit setting seemed to bring out a playful side of the former Pavement frontman, who early on led the Jicks in a tongue-in-cheek take on Alice in Chain’s “Man in the Box,” a nod to the band’s boxed-in stage setup. The 90-minute set consisted heavily of songs from this year’s release Wig Out at Jagbags along with 2011’s Mirror Traffic, with Malkmus showing off his underrated guitar skills on the Pixies-esque “Shibboleth,” the danceable “Stick Figures in Love” and “Cinnamon and Lesbians,” which borrows shamelessly from the Grateful Dead’s “St. Stephen.” For those keeping score, yes, there was a Pavement cover, the show-closing “Box Elder” from his former band’s 1989 debut EP. Now 47, Malkmus has become one of indie rock’s elder statemen, yet he still seems more likely to score with your girlfriend than your mom. With a sound that refuses to grow up, the same can be said for his musical enticements, as well. ★★★✩✩

Tigers (followed by “Man in the Box” tease)
Houston Hades
Asking Price
Stick Figures in Love
Out of Reaches
The Janitor Revealed
Jo Jo’s Jacket
Brain Gallop
J Smoov
Cinnamon and Lesbians
Church on White
Baby C’mon

(Do Not Feed the) Oyster
Box Elder (Pavement cover)

Photos by Myron Hensel

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