September 19, 2010
Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
Grand Prairie, TX USA
Review by Roy Turner
Photos by Giovanni Gallucci
20th Anniversary of Their Landmark LP "Doolittle"
There is just something about the Pixies that just breeds a special type of giddy excitement. It would be arrogant of me to even try to explain why, but I will have no problem expressing how it feels. It was definitely in the air this past Sunday when the Pixies made their way to Dallas. For a variety of reasons: a) This was their first show in Dallas in six years, and only their second since their much maligned breakup almost 20 years ago. b) The occasion of this tour is to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their landmark LP Doolittle which they were set to perform in its entirety, including the litany of b-sides that were associated with the project. c) It's the fucking Pixies!
So with that sense that you were seeing something rare and special and finally getting your hands on something that you have long been denied, the eruption from the crowd (clearly made up mostly of a generation that never got to see them originally) was deafening when they took stage. In true Pixies spirit of unpredictability they started with the b-sides, beginning with Dancing the Manta Ray. Kim Deal in all her ridiculously likeable awkwardness would go to the mic every few songs and shout "More b-sides!"
And I couldn't be happier by this announcement because not only were actually seeing the Pixies; we were given a chance to hear songs like Weird at my School, Manta Ray, and Bailey's Walk. However these seemed like warm-ups or maybe it was just lack of recognition from the audience because as soon as that undeniable opening riff of Debaser started the place really came alive and those that were previously sitting were now on their feet. I've always found the real excitement in live performance was the surprise of not knowing what was coming next, however there was a comfort knowing that you were gonna hear No. 13 Baby and when you were gonna hear it.
So after all of the b-sides from that era and the entire Doolittle LP was performed, what's next? And that's when the show hit another high as now all bets were off and anything could happen. And anything did, in the spirit of the rarity of the evening they returned to the stage to do the UK Surf version of Wave of Mutilation and the incomparable Into the White.
And just when you thought this show couldn't get anymore epic, they return for a second encore with FIVE songs, and for some reason the house lights were on the entire time. I don't know if this was conscious effort on the band's part or the venue's in the interest of city curfew but it created an even more intimate effect. Deal drew attention to their much updated (and much needed updating) stage show with the lights and short films playing in the background with "We've played here before, but this time we have movies!"
After the sing-alongs of their biggest hits Where is my Mind? and Gigantic , Deal again takes to the mic with this little coda that was as memorable as anything they played, when she address the other members individually telling them that she wanted a chance to tell them goodnight in case she doesn't get a chance to later. So as they were all telling each other goodnight a la The Waltons , she then faces the crowd and says " Goodnight everybody" with a tone that made it seem like this is the only time on tour that this has happened. I'd be interested in knowing if this is repeated night after night, but even if it is, it does nothing to revision what an amazing show this was.