Last Night: Pixies at Fillmore Auditorium

Categories: Last Night
For those with tickets to tonight's Pixies show, we just posted a bonus review from Adam Perry with another perspective, to give you a clear idea of exactly what to expect this evening.
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Aaron Thackeray


Pixies
Fillmore Auditorium
Monday, November 16, 2009

See more photos on the slideshow page.

Better than: having whores in your head.  

About six decades before the Pixies released their watershed album Doolittle in 1989, Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel teamed up to make a sixteen-minute black and white surrealist film, Un Chien Andalou. The film, which was shown for about five minutes before the Pixies too the stage, included the infamous scene in which a gal gets her eyeball sliced that frontman Black Francis refers to in "Debaser," the opening cut on Doolittle. It would have been fitting as hell to jump right into "Debaser" after showing the film, but the band eased into the set with a group of four Doolittle B-sides ("Dancing the Manta Ray," "Weird at My School," "Bailey's Walk" and "Manta Ray") before delving into the album in its entirety as the the band is celebrating Doolittle's 20th anniversary.

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Aaron Thackeray


On the surface, it sounds like a wonderful idea: having a band like Pixies play an entire album that's damn close to being a fucking masterpiece, right? They've already got great material to work with and they played them faithfully with Francis in fine form vocally and guitarist Joey Santiago sticking fairly closely to the album's riffs. But the thing was that the songs all seemed to come and go fairly fast. Within an hour, the band had played four B-sides and all of fifteen of Doolittle's tracks. 

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Aaron Thackeray


Since they knocked out the tunes one after another, there wasn't really time to soak in greatness of cuts like "Debaser," "Wave of Mutilation" or "Here Comes Your Man."  Or you'd get sucked into a tune like the visceral and energetic "Crackity Jones" and a few minutes later drummer David Lovering was singing "La La Love You," and "Hey" was pretty damn awesome, too, with Francis and bassist Kim Deal trading off vocals. But then it went right into the slow, dusty "Silver," while black and white footage of a desert played on the screen behind the stage (All of the Doolittle songs had their own brilliant visuals), and then the band closed with "Gouge Away."  

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Aaron Thackeray


The vibe seemed to completely change during the first encore as they played the relaxed "Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)" while the crowd sang along. That energy ramped up even more on "Into the White," with the band engulfed in fog, strobe lights flashing and Deal handling the lead vocals. 

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Aaron Thackeray


But the second encore packed enough wallop to pretty much blow Doolittle set in the water. Hell, coming back while the house lights were on, fog lingering over the crowd and then jumping into an insanely great take on "Where is My Mind?" followed by "Something Against You" and then into the fueled-up "Isla de Encanta," (each from 1988's Surfer Rosa)? Well, the energy in that sold-out Fillmore crowd felt like it spiked considerably. And that vigor carried over into "Nimrod's Son" and "Caribou," a pair of tunes from the band's 1987 debut, Come on Pilgrim. 

CRITIC"S NOTEBOOK

Personal Bias: While it was great to see the Pixies play all of Doolittle,  the band seemed a hell of a lot more energetic during the encores.  
Random Detail: Although Francis' played a Telecaster the whole night, it sounded like an acoustic guitar on some songs like "Where is My Mind?" and "Nimrod's Son." He coaxed similar sounds out of the Tele during his solo shows at the Walnut Room in July. My best guess is that it's a piezo pickup under the bridge.  
By the Way: Pixies play the Fillmore again tonight, November 17. The Fluid opens the show at 8 p.m. and tickets are $50. 

SET LIST

PIXIES
11/16/09 - Fillmore Auditorium
Denver, CO

1. Dancing the Manta Ray
2. Weird at My School
3. Bailey's Walk
4. Manta Ray
5. Debaser
6. Tame
7. Wave of Mutilation
8. I Bleed
9. Here Comes Your Man
10. Dead
11. Monkey Gone to Heaven
12. Mr. Grieves
13. Crackity Jones
14. La La Love You
15. No. 13 Baby
16. There Goes My Gun
17. Hey
18. Silver
19. Gouge Away

FIRST ENCORE
20. Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)
21. Into the White

SECOND ENCORE
22. Where is My Mind?
23. Something Against You 
24. Isla de Encanta
25. Nimrod's Son
26. Caribou

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