Pixies--Part 6

Hammerstein Ballroom--NYC

December 19, 2004

BY JASON SONGE


After I walked through the same long line and passed the same scalpers, I walked inside to see my first celebrity: Travis Morrison, the former lead singer of DC's The Dismemberment Plan. He said his band should be coming through New Orleans in February. Decide about his music for yourself at his website.

Buzzzzzzzzz....big buzz around the midnight show at The Hammerstein Ballroom. This was it--the last show of the tour. My translation of their two shows in one night ploy was that they were trying to make their exit from the scene as big as their entrance onto it during the warm-up shows and Coachella. And, why not be the biggest band in the land if you can? This was the show to go crazy, go nuts, be the biggest fan you can. I'm not speaking of myself, of course. I'm objective(cough, cough).

I saw a few people from the early show, but there were a lot of new faces at the late show. I got about fifteen yards from the stage in the middle. And then people piled in behind me. It was somehow more crowded on the floor at the midnight show. So much so that it hindered my enjoyment of it. But I managed to create a little space for myself. I come from the early '90's school of concert etiquette. You wanna get close to the band, be in with the crazed fans, and as a consequence get moved around? Get on the floor. You wanna have a nice view and a safe seat? Get on the balcony.

The floor and the band were much more into the midnight show. More people were jumping and singing obscure lyrics. And Black sang with a more furious tone. He let out one shriek that was unhuman. Huh--cool.

The Pixies walked onstage to the same entrance music but with different clothes on. I'd imagined them being hauled away to some plush hotel to take quick showers. Lovering took a quick picture of the crowd from behind his set, and then they were into it. Time to capture moments.

The set started with "WOM--UK Surf" and "Radiator," same as the early show. Were they gonna be loving asses and play the exact same set? Nope. They pulled out a nice surprise. They played the Lovering-sung "La La Love You," which they've only played a few times the whole tour. It was great to see every member do their vocal parts, especially when Joey moseyed up to the mic to say, "I do." When do you ever hear his voice?

The show was great, but it was exhausting. It felt like I had arthritis in my right knee by the end of the show. My lack of energy for the second show was one of three reasons the first concert was better. The second reason was the band seemed to flow through the songs at a quicker pace during the first show. Still, there was no doubt the amout of emotion they put into the second show. They knew it was the last show. They weren't playin' around. The third reason was the squished crowd. It made me think of that Radiohead song--"Packt Like Sardines in a Tin Can."

I was excited and sad for the band. Excited that they could go home, but sad because I knew they wouldn't get to play together for a while. That was probably a good thing at that point, though.

Two other nice surprises from this show were "Dead" and "Subbacultcha(there was something about that song)."

There was less banter from the band during the last show, but during "Gigantic," once again the
encore selection, the band said goodnight to each other. "Goodnight Kim." "Goodnight, Charles." "Goodnight, Dave." "Goodnight, Joe." "Goodnight, Kim..." It was neat and a little hoaky. But hoaky was for the audience's benefit, not theirs.

Thanks, Pixies, and goodnight Pixies. Rest well, get up, and then record something, wouldja?

Unconfirmed Setlist(not in order):

wave of mutilation (uk surf)
in heaven
la la love you
here comes your man
nimrod's son
winterlong
mr grieves
dead
bone machine
cactus
i bleed
monkey gone to heaven
velouria
river euphrates
caribou
umass
crackity jones
something against you
isla de encanta
broken face
hey
debaser
gouge away
tame
wave of mutilation
where is my mind
subbacultcha
vamos
gigantic


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