The Pixies ate my homework!!!
That’s a how I felt at the start of last night’s show – Day 2 of the Pixies stay at the Palace Theatre. I was supposed to have a writer who knew a lot more about them that I did write the review and I would just focus on taking pretty pictures. Well, turns out she got hit by a massive cold and was pretty much in Zombie status (or preparing for this Saturday’s Zombie Pub Crawl) and in no shape for the drive or a show. So there I was, a bit unprepared……….
Starting the night was Mitski who we last saw at the Entry. Going from there to a sold out Palace Theatre is quite the jump. Her 30 minute set evolved from the slow, haunting “Francis Forever” and got faster and heavier in time bringing it to a perfect handoff for the headliner.
I like Pixies’ songs, but have been a casual listener at best and never gone on a deep dive of their albums. So i was getting pushed in the deep end of the pool as they hit the stage with a short intro (and a bow to to their guitar tech). The first 3 songs went by furiously fast (and then photographers got to push their way through the crowd as we got escorted out of the pit) and I settled towards the back of the venue. I expected them to slow down a bit but was delightfully disappointed. The songs kept coming a breakneck pace the singer Black Francis’ voice and energy level belied his age and appearance – he may be confused with someone’s dad, but he can keep up with the best of the younger musicians out there.
There was no visible setlist on stage and I’m not sure I can trust the one on the setlist.fm – I thought “Um Chagga Lagga” came much earlier in their set – so forgive me if I don’t dive into more details on songs. I found out after the show – there NEVER is a setlist. If you notice, after each song, Black Francis sort or thinks for a second, with the rest of the band paying close attention, then he quietly calls out what they are going to play next – for each song, he decides right then. My respect for the band as live musicians just went up several notches right then and there.
I guess it took seeing the Pixies live, for me to understand their place as legends in the alt-rock universe and to appreciate them for what they are, a no holds barred, zero BS rock band.
Set List (best guess from the internet – take it with a grain of salt): Hey / Isla de Encanta / Cactus / Caribou / Gouge Away / Into the White / Bone Machine / Something Against You /
Where Is My Mind? / Debaser / Rock Music / Head On (The Jesus and Mary Chain cover) / Planet of Sound / The Holiday Song / Crackity Jones / Vamos / U-Mass / Um Chagga Lagga /
Debaser / Number 13 / Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)