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.