Pixies at Fillmore Auditorium, 2/13/14

Categories: Concert Reviews

Brandon Marshall

Like the Ramones, the Pixies took stage and had little in the way of breaks between songs. There was no banter, no awkward joking and no meandering dialogue while anyone tuned or tried to read a set list. The only interruptions came when the band teased a bit of "Wave of Mutilation" before dropping off into the ferocious "Something Against You." And then later, when there was a flub in the beginning of "Here Comes Your Man," the outfit had a quick laugh and then quickly figuring out where things broke down and started again.

See also: Joey Santiago of the Pixies: "We're all a bunch of screwballs without leather jackets and spandex"

Brandon Marshall

Otherwise the group played back to back songs, with one segueing perfectly and seamlessly into the next. And you didn't miss the chit chat, as every single song was performed with a nervy power with the sound expertly dialed in. The vocals weren't just effective, but they were discernible enough for the words to make their full impact.

Brandon Marshall

The set got going with "Bone Machine," and from that alone, it seemed as though many of these songs got a more visceral treatment than on the original recordings. Charles Thompson has clearly learned to channel his vocal power better over the years to truly project a powerful sound. On "Crackity Jones," it sounded like there were three or four vocalists, as Thompson's specific phrases varied so wildly in technique and tone and dynamics.

Brandon Marshall

The set was broken up and sequenced quite well. It wasn't weighted with all the newer songs in the beginning or clustered in the middle. Somewhere around midset, the energy smoothed out some, the pace seemed to slow, but this was probably just so the band didn't burn itself out by hitting the songs hard and fast throughout. Perhaps they were saving their energy for going out on some of the band's most intense and emotionally-charged material.

Brandon Marshall

Of course, David Lovering took the lead vocal on "La La Love You" and sounded like some crooner of old. Though Pixies often cover "In Heaven" (aka The Lady in the Radiator Song) live, it came as a pleasant surprise mid-set. "Wave of Mutilation" was the more dream-like, slower version (on recordings, it's referred to as the "UK Surf" version). It made the more mellow -- welll, as mellow as this band could ever really get -- part of the set sparkle a little.

Brandon Marshall

Things started to kick back into gear after "Cactus" with a fiery rendition of "Blue Eyed Hexe." For "Monkey Gone To Heaven," Paz Lenchantin proved her ability to sing and harmonize as she executed the band's iconic bass lines. "Head On," the Jesus and Mary Chain song, came off like Pixies decided to put a lot more energy into the performance than it put in to the recorded version on Trompe Le Monde. The set ended with a surprise, an impassioned take on the fractured and demented "Planet of Sound," which ended with an abrupt silence before the band waved and left the stage.

Brandon Marshall

The band didn't make us wait long before it came back on and kicked off the encore with one of the newer songs, the moody "Greens and Blues." Then "Where Is My Mind?" got more than half the crowd singing along. But it was the concluding number, "Vamos," where Pixies cut loose a little more.

Brandon Marshall

In the chaotic, noisy part of the song, Joey Santiago held his guitar high so that the feedback drifted where it would, and he then held his gold Les Paul with the body pointed at the ceiling while he sculpted the feedback a little. At one point, he hit his head against the back of the guitar to elicit more sound from the guitar for several moments before the song went back to form and flamed out. Without any words to the audience, the band came forward and bowed and waved good night. Like Santiago said in a recent interview, the band let the music speak for itself.

Location Info


Fillmore Auditorium

1510 Clarkson St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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Chris Vann
Chris Vann

Caught the SLC show. Still have a ringing in my ears!

Maegan Barnett
Maegan Barnett

Brittney Cunningham Matthew Cory Cunningham Deena Palmer ;-)


I had a lot of fun last night; the stupid Fillmore continues to be a disappointing venue, though.  There are nulls in that room unlike any venue in Denver.  Anyone think this phenomenon has gotten worse now with sound companies providing line array systems?

The band wasn't perfect, but that's what I want to see in a live performance -- the capacity stumble a little bit or explode at any moment.  Black hasn't lost an inch off his voice and Lovering still plays with an energy that not many can.  Paz also served as a more than satisfactory replacement on bass and harmonies.  I've never paid $60 to see a show in my life, but that's the band you open your wallet for.

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