1.We're back!

1/13

Pavement's reunion tour is on a roll. Thursday night -- just one month after opening their worldwide trek in New Zealand -- the reunited alt-rock pioneers capped a two-night stand at Tokyo's 2,400-capacity Studio Coast venue. Led by guitarist/vocalist Stephen Malkmus (above), the boys opened their one-hour, 40-minute set with "In The Mouth A Desert," one of the best tracks from their revered 1992 debut Slanted And Enchanted, and then dove into a set list heavy on their earliest material. In fact, most of the 25 songs the band played drew from their first three records, resulting in a nostalgic but fun show. -- DANIEL ROBSON

2.We're back!

2/13

Pavement's reunion tour is on a roll. Thursday night -- just one month after opening their worldwide trek in New Zealand -- the reunited alt-rock pioneers capped a two-night stand at Tokyo's 2,400-capacity Studio Coast venue. Led by guitarist/vocalist Stephen Malkmus (above), the boys opened their one-hour, 40-minute set with "In The Mouth A Desert," one of the best tracks from their revered 1992 debut Slanted And Enchanted, and then dove into a set list heavy on their earliest material. In fact, most of the 25 songs the band played drew from their first three records, resulting in a nostalgic but fun show. -- DANIEL ROBSON

3.Blast from the past

3/13

Guitarist Scott "Spiral Stairs" Kannberg (right) took the stage wearing a baseball cap (which he quickly shed) that read “Early ‘90s,” which is when most of show's material was released. Throughout the set, he teased controlled, subtle feedback from his guitar, taking lead vocal duty for only "Kennel District" and "Date With Ikea." “Thank you very much for coming,” he said pensively toward the end of the gig. “Hopefully it won’t be another [decade]... who knows?”

4.Song and dance

4/13

During the guitar hook in the ponderous "Grounded," Malkmus (left), bassist Mark Ibold, and Kannberg (right) pulled off a choreographed dance, whereby they swung the necks of their guitars in unison to one side and then the other, all with a totally straight face. The chiming guitar build-up near the end of the song was especially dramatic.

5.Get this man a lozenge

5/13

Only a month into their reunion tour, Malkmus’ voice already sounded ragged, and he struggled with the high notes on "Shady Lane." But he seemed to enjoy the show, playing guitar behind his head on "Debris Slide" and hopping from foot to foot during "Kennel District." He welcomed the crowd with an “Arigatou” (Japanese for “Thank you”), and even signed a fan’s CD booklet mid-gig.

6.A slacker's tribute Lou Reed

6/13

When Kannberg (right) thanked some guests who’d flown in from Seattle for the show, multi-instrumentalist Bob Nastanovich (left) launched in to a spontaneous homage to fans via Velvet Underground's "I'm Sticking with You," singing, “I’m sticking with you /?’Cos I’m made out of glue?/ Anything that you might do ... Let’s play a fucking Pavement song.” And that they did, crashing into the explosive intro to "Stereo" and inciting a huge moshpit.

7.Hyperactive heavy-hitter

7/13

Nastanovich switched instruments throughout the show, from drums to maracas, cowbell, harmonica, keyboard, and slide whistle, and even handled lead vocals on "Unfair" and "Conduit For Sale!"

8.Charmingly ramshackle

8/13

The band seemed a little tighter than they ever did in the ’90s (though admittedly that’s not saying much), especially on "Father To A Sister Of Thought" and "Loretta’s Scars," during which Ibold and Kannberg huddled tight around the drum kit to rock out. But Malkmus (left) seemed to lose it on "Starlings Of The Slipstream," singing way behind the rhythm and screeching the high notes.

9."Cut Your Hair"

9/13

Though the majority of the audience were surprisingly young – largely in their 20s – there were plenty of balding oldies in attendance, not least Kannberg himself, whose curtain haircut and slender waistline are a distant memory. At one point, drummer Steve West quipped, “We didn’t exactly make it to the fountain of youth.”

10.Ace of bass

10/13

These days, Ibold is a full-time member of Sonic Youth, who played at Japan’s Summer Sonic festival last August. With his boyish good looks and permanent grin, he’s barely changed in the 11 years Pavement have been away.

11.Homeward bound

11/13

For the short but sweet "Zurich Is Stained," Kannberg swapped his guitar for one of Nastanovich’s shakers, and the crowd went nuts for "Perfume-V," "Two States," and "Stereo." But the otherwise reserved and respectful Tokyo fans didn’t drum up the frenzied reaction we expect when Pavement’s tour hits home soil for Coachella, April 16-18 in Indio, CA.

12.Class clowns

12/13

The band members seemed to be having a blast, with smiles all round. West (above) and Nastanovich led much of the comic relief: When Nastanovich fluffed his keyboard intro to "Spit On A Stranger," he apologized with, “I thought we were playing a different song.” West replied, “I do that all the time!”

13.Sayonara!

13/13

The only song from Terror Twilight was "Spit On A Stranger," with its distinctive keyboard pre-intro giving way to a fluid tempo. Pavement ended their second and final encore with "Conduit For Sale!," with Nastanovich and Kannberg barking “I’m tryin’! I’m tryin’!” as the punkish tune blew up around them. As they left the stage -- possibly for the last time ever in Japan -- Nastanovich commented, “Thank you, Tokyo, we’re very fond of you.” Right back at ya!