The Music Box
November 20, 2011
It was a rough start for the Pixies on Saturday.
They opened with "Bone Machine." Kind of. At the first break--"Your bone's got a little machine"--the band stopped abruptly. Someone(s?) had missed their cue.
Frank Black: "Is it already time for an intermission?"
The band shrugged it off and decided to not continue with the song.
Before you freak out about not knowing the Pixies were playing as intimate of a venue as the Music Box, it's okay: The (really, really sold-out) show was announced only to Pixies fans who subscribe to their mailing list.
Now: It's tough to critique the Pixies, like, uh, ever, believe me--but there were a few stumbles here and there, with Deal chiming in sometimes a half-beat late with her back-up vocals or slowing down a bass solo here or there (see: "Hey"), but it only added to the charm of the informal, real-fans-only feel of the evening.
During the second song, "U-Mass," guitarist Joey Santiago indulged in an impromptu slide guitar solo on his Les Paul with a white iPhone--the future is here!--followed by a Thurston Moore-style solo with one of David Lovering's drumsticks.
The 32-song setlist itself was flawless, which included every track off Doolittle. The Pixies also sprinkled a few rarities in between the tried-and-trues, performing B-sides "Bailey's Walk" and "Into the White," along with a cover of Neil Young's "Winterlong," which the Pixies had previously recorded for The Bridge: A Tribute to Neil Young benefit album.
They closed the night with "Gigantic," which included Deal's seriously adorable Waltons-style good night wishes to each of her band mates: As the music softened into a diminuendo, Deal smiled and said into the mic, "We're breaking it down! Let's break it down. It took us 20 years to learn how to break it down, we can't bring it back up again."
"I just wanted to say good night to Joe. You know, the bus is leaving and I'm going to go right to sleep, Joe."
And then each member, Santiago, Lovering, Black (or Charles, as Kim called him), chirped back with their own cute quips.
Deal then looked back to the audience, "Well, thanks for coming out this evening," and the band surged back into the closing riffs of "Gigantic" to cheers.
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Critic's Bias: Coming from someone who thought they'd never be able to see the Pixies live, I'm still grateful for each chance I get.
The Crowd: Middle-aged pogoers. I say that with love.
Overheard: "I'm glad Kim Deal showed up for the last song."
Random Notebook Dump: Is there even such a thing as a B-side anymore?
Wave of Mutilation
Isla de Encanta
Ed is Dead
There Goes My Gun
Winter Long (Neil Young cover)
The Holiday Song
Dig For Fire
Here Comes Your Man
No. 13 Baby
Monkey Gone to Heaven
La La Love You
Into the White
Where is My Mind?