In addition to learning the fundamentals of becoming an adult in college, you should also learn about all the great bands that no one told you about during the group-think days of high school. Though different people have different tastes, there are some bands that are almost impossible not to fall in love with-chief among them being The Pixies.
The Boston foursome, which broke up a decade ago, had a five-year run that yielded five records and influenced many later bands, most notably Nirvana.
Even with their status as college-radio favorites long since cemented, there is no better time to delve into the world of The Pixies than right now, as the band has reunited for a nationwide tour after what was widely reported as a less than amicable split.
The band rolled into Camden’s Tweeter Center for two nights this past weekend. The masses of 20 and 30-somethings that packed in tight were the ultimate testament to good music finding its place in the world, even without strong label support. Simply put, the pair of shows was a triumphant moment for those who strayed from the beaten path to find the more obscure pleasures in life.
Taking the stage in the country’s most dangerous city, The Pixies appeared nothing short of tame, with three male members of the group decked out in dress shirts and slacks, while the lone woman, bassist Kim Deal, looked more like your seventh grade home-ec teacher than the long-haired, hard-partying image that most fans remember. It was the simplicity of the proceedings that makes the Pixies reunion one of the few rock reunions that has ever actually worked.
The group’s set list ran through some 20-odd classic cuts, including almost all of their watershed mark, Doolittle and its close second, Surfer Rosa.
While the fatal flaw of most reunions is the band’s lack of enthusiasm or ability to breathe life back into the original material, The Pixies were as good as anyone could have expected them to be. While singer/guitarist Frank Black is certainly not the wiry young man with a head of hair and flannel shirt anymore, he can still shriek with an authority that humbles his imitators and engage the crowd with a simple smile and quick laugh at an inaudible joke.
Again, by leaving the pomp and circumstance to bands like Kiss and Guns N’ Roses and striving to sound as good as the fans remembered them, The Pixies made this reunion show less of contrived rehashing and more of an inspired revival of their beloved catalogue. Now, if only we could get some progress made on that Smiths reunion.
Slade Bracey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.