Pixies--Part 5

Hammerstein Ballroom--NYC

December 18, 2004

BY JASON SONGE


This was the best rock show I've attended. I walked out winded, my mind blown. My eyes were raw from the sweat falling into them. The heat generated from the packed floor was intense but not threatening. The music was worth the stepped-on-toes and humid smell. In fact, the communal feeling would have been cooler if so many uptight, well-educated 25 to 35 year-olds weren't standing still. The aggressive, disorderly bunch was up front, about twenty feet from me.

This was the evening's early show, the last of a seven night run in New York City that drew celebrities like David Byrne, David Bowie, and Laura Bush(huh?), along with many brazen ticket-scalpers. This was also the second-to-last concert of the Pixies' 2004 sold-out comeback tour. The Pixies was the late '80's to early '90's rock band from Boston that introduced the quiet verse/loud chorus combination to the world, influencing every rock musician that came after them, most notably Nirvana. Their four album canon of soft, menacing, playful, sad, and mysterious music ended with 1993's "Trompe Le Monde," the year they broke up. After eleven years of solo projects from guitarist/lead singer/songwriter Frank Black and bassist Kim Deal, there they were Saturday night--a band who triumphantly conquered North America since May with tight, no-nonsense live shows that the press gushed over.

Black's scream was chilling, and they ran me over with great song after great song. They set it up so that I didn't have time to catch my breath. A wonderful sing-along surrounded classic "Where is My Mind," while other highlights were "Dead," "Debaser," and "La La Love You."

Black asked Deal who was gonna break up the band after the show during their last song, "Gigantic." She said, "I will!"



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