This was an average show at best. Stephen Malkmus is often derided for his concert performances, but it hasn’t stopped me from seeing him play solo or with the Jicks each time he/they come through Chicago. After the first song of the night bassist Joanna Bolme made a comment about remembering Metro being louder. Her teasing tone may not have been the shrewdest way to set the momentum for the evening. This was, after all, a show originally booked for the larger Vic Theatre and was now taking place in a less than full Metro.
The show confirmed that Malkmus’ best work is done in the studio, and with a setlist pulled largely from the superb-sounding Mirror Traffic, the live execution was lackluster. Also missing from the mix were the drumming skills and backing vocals of Janet Weiss (she left the Jicks after recording Mirror Traffic) who will be in Chicago this weekend for two shows with Wild Flag.
I thought that Thursday’s gig was maybe a B- on the grading scale, but the boneheaded covers closing the encore pushed my rating to a C at best. Do yourself a favor, buy Mirror Traffic and skip the live show.
1. All Over Gently
2. Brain Gallop
4. Discretion Grove
5. ? victims sacred ? ***unknown new song
6. Long Hard Book
8. No One Is (As I Are Be)
9. Stick Figures In Love
10. Church On White
12. Independence Street
13. Baby C’mon
15. Real Emotional Trash
16. Forever 28
17. Share The Red
18. Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) [Looking Glass cover]
19. Bennie And The Jets [Elton John cover]
Follow this link to hear a studio version of “Polvo,” a song exclusive to the Japanese version of Mirror Traffic that was played at Metro on 10/06/11.