Reposted from Antiquiet
The last time I saw The Pixies‘ Doolittle tour, I was too young. As in: too young to get into the venue. My teen guy friends, Dan, Mike, and I snuck out of our houses and drove an hour south of Boston to sneak into a dive in Rhode Island called The Living Room. Whatever the consequences were going to be, it was worth it to see our very favorite band, one that most idiots in our school seemed to forgo for Guns N’ Roses and Vanilla Ice.
Sorry, but I didn’t want to collaborate and listen. I wanted to scream, stomp and gouge away to the man named Black’s surfy guitar riffs and Kim’s thudding bass lines. I wanted to slice up eyeballs and get rocked by Joe. Back then, when every one else wanted to bust a move, David’s La La Love You was my answering machine message and I could give a fuck about November Rain.
Our renegade trip to Rhode Island landed us right in the middle of the Pixies mosh pit action and we joyfully came out with a twisted ankle, a broken arm and a black eye, which we wore for weeks to come like underage badges of courage. After the show, Frank Black saw the shredded state I was in and bought me a coke. I got to have a soda with Black Francis. Can you say: BEST SHOW EVER?
It’s now twenty years later and everybody is all growed up, or at least we should be. Dan, who is now an anchor for ABC World News, faces many dangers on assignment in the Middle East, but I still think his most heroic moment was diving face first into that mosh pit. I should have moved on from music by now, but it’s part of my life. Now I talk to Frank/Charles via Twitter and Facebook, and I see him in Los Angeles quite often. The wide eyed teen getting her ass kicked in that mosh pit would want to be me, like, so much.
At San Diego’s Rimac Arena on Sunday (Sept. 26), the last stop of the U.S. Doolittle tour, I was hooked again from the very first plunk of Deal’s bass line. I was overwhelmed by how much I love this album, this particular piece of music. Is it possible for a piece of music to mean so much to one in their life? Time has marched on, but my love for Doolittle has not wavered one bit. Luckily, they played each song on the album, one by one.
As the twangy discordant strum of Here Comes Your Man began, a black and white film of the band started rolling, with the fabulous foursome in separate boxes, like a Pixies version of Help! It occurred to me, The Pixies could very well be my Beatles. My generation’s Beatles. Okay, they may not be as well known to the masses. They aren’t sold at Starbucks. They don’t have action figures and lunch boxes. They haven’t been knighted…yet. However, the Pixies are certainly as revered and respected, copied and influential to what has come next. Without the Pixies there would be no Nirvana. And without Nirvana, well most everyone I know would probably be out of a job. Just imagine, Ray Bradbury style, the imprint they’ve left on rock, grunge and indie rock. Now try to picture a world where they were never here at all.
Frank and the gang slid from track to track easily like they were hanging out with old friends. Kim teased the crowd, testing them, by shouting out at one point:
“This is Side Two, towards the end…where people get buried a little bit.”
She didn’t need to worry. The older crowd knew every word, as did the young punks wearing spirit hoodies and freshly bought Pixies tees. Everyone en masse insisted on two encores and they were treated to songs from Come On Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa. Standouts were Vamos and Gigantic and a hazy version of Into The White when a seemingly malfunctioning smoke machine made the arena visibility white out conditions.
The huge crowd sighed along with Kim’s ‘ahhhooooo’ as the band rounded out Where Is My Mind. The room lit up with stars and cell phone camera flashes and the backdrop played a video of warp speed galaxies, like some Lucas film – another great staple of our generation. Sure, there may have been improvements to the technology, equipment and special effects since then. But not the movies themselves. Same thing could be said for the music.
Long live the Pixies.