Coachella Music Festival

May 01, 2004


The Pixies ended their fourteen gig warm-up tour by playing to their largest crowd since they broke up eleven years ago. The sets were longer and the setting more intimate for their preparatory shows, but their concert at Coachella on Saturday night was their shining return, the concert to herald the re-birth of The Pixies.

The Pixies played bass-driven rock music that was soft, menacing, playful, sad, and mysterious. The concert was out of this world. The band was in tip-top shape, and the crowd's expectant energy just made the music seem more special. The band drove through a 21 song set in a little over an hour. I'm glad there wasn't a lot of jibber-jabber onstage. They efficiently gave the songs, the crowd showered them with applause, and the deal was done. Bassist/vocalist Kim Deal said thanks every once and while, though.

Before the show started, vocalist/guitarist Frank Black asked the crowd to please not push and be safe up front. Then, they launched into "Bone Machine." I've seen Frank Black do Pixies covers at his shows, and that was great, but to see all four of them up there playing songs I've probably heard a hundred times each was surreal.

Guitarist Joey Santiago's solos rocked, and he made an argument why he should be put alongside rock's best guitarists. Deal, in a black suit, gave her beautiful voice sultry and mischevious undertones, and she smiled while smoking a cigarette. Drummer David Lovering played his complicated beats with flair. Black and Deal created a great harmony together, and Black's vocal delivery was spot-on with the albums. His screams were just as raw, which was surprising considering how his solo music has mellowed.

The band gave us the hitsó"Monkey Gone To Heaven," "Here Comes Your Man," "Where Is My Mind"óbut they didn't not shy away from playing their more ferocious songs, such as "Tame" and "Broken Face." The highlight of the show was when everybody filled the night sky with harmonious and loud "woo-hoo"'s during "Where Is My Mind." The band played a long, haunting version of "Into the White" to end the show, and they all bowed together onstage.

The Pixies are coming to The Voodoo Festival in New Orleans this October, so see them then. After that, hope they give us a new album.

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