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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pixies at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Tues Feb 19

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Isnt this photo amazing?! I took it myself. Yeah, Im pretty proud of it. COPYRIGHT COURTNEY FERGUSON
  • Isn't this photo amazing?! I took it myself. Yeah, I'm pretty proud of it. COPYRIGHT COURTNEY FERGUSON
Frankly (Mr. Blackly), I never thought I’d ever see Pixies play live. So last night at the Schnitz would’ve been a revelation to college-aged me, but now as the years have ticked on for the band (and for me), it was… just okay. Fine. It was fine. God, that’s depressing, and I feel guilty even saying it. Watching that seminal band play should make a gal want to kick life in the facehole, kicks of joy—but by the encore, I was sufficiently impressed with their chops as musicians and tired of standing around listening to their new stuff. Also my back hurt, like a raging old person’s back might hurt.

HOLD UP! I’m not pooh-poohing the complete Pixies experience. There were moments that transcended the overarching meh, like during crowd-favorite “Where Is My Mind?” Or, when Black Francis handed singing duties over to the band for the adorable round-robin version of “La La Love You.” I’m a sucker for a singing drummer and David Lovering was having a blast with it. Although I sorely missed Kim Deal and her wily onstage presence, touring bassist Paz Lenchantin was fun to watch and a talented musician—she seemed to get a kick out of being in Pixies. Francis Black was dour and silent. Joey Santiago raged on the guitar. But for the most part, it was a wordless, unemotional, workmanlike performance that lacked spark. At times, the light show was the most entertaining bit of the performance. The crowd wasn’t much in the spirit either, visibly uninterested whenever the band delved into the new junk. I can’t help but think Kim would’ve livened up the whole affair. She’s got a way about her.

The band’s setlist had the must-haves: “Bone Machine,” “Wave of Mutilation,” “Gouge Away,” “Monkey Gone to Heaven,” “Where Is My Mind,” “Caribou,” “Velouria,” “U-Mass,” and “Hey.” There was a magical bonus when they did a cover of “In Heaven” from Eraserhead (!!!), which offset my twinge of personal disappointment about the lack of “Is She Weird.”

So, yeah. Saw (three-quarters of) Pixies play, finally! But maybe I should’ve lowered those expectations a trifle.

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