Monday, September 20, 2010
Concert review: Pixies at Verizon Theatre (September 19)
Pixies can still rock as hard as they did back in 1989.
GRAND PRAIRIE More than two decades after Pixies album Doolittle was released, the songs still pack as much punch as they did back in 1989.
Sunday night at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, the Boston based alt-rockers revived those classic tunes in front of a nearly sold-out crowd. Only the very top on the upper balcony was empty. The rest of the venue was packed with eager fans, ready to relive the magic of the band’s early 1990s explosion.
And while lead singer Frank Black and the rest of the band didn’t exactly mirror the energy coming from the crowd, they certainly amplified it by revitalizing this classic album. They seemed less concerned about schmoozing for the audience and more concerned with the actual execution of their songs. They rolled through the Doolittle tracks, knocked out the big hits (“Where Is My Mind”) and filled the rest of the set with an assortment of B-sides.
All of this was done in front of a video board accompaniment that lit up the stage with movie clips and graphics throughout the show – giving us some really cool visual stimuli to go with their audio pleasure. During “La La Love You,” red heart-shaped graphics illuminated the stage while Black, bassist Kim Deal, and guitarist Joey Santiago traded “I love you” lines.
Considering the band formed nearly 30 years ago and were named one of alt-rock’s most important bands shortly thereafter, it is amazing they can still rock this hard. Even with their somewhat nonchalant demeanor onstage (to be fair, the Pixies have never been the type to bounce around stage) they put together a bona fide rock show. They engaged the audience through song and created an authentic connection with them. But for most, that connection has existed for decades.
During their second encore set – yes, two! – the Pixies didn’t even bother turning the house lights down. The crowd could see the band, the band could see the crowd, and the crowd could see other members of the crowd. And as thousands of raised hands swayed back and forth during “Where Is My Mind?” it was tough not to feel a sense of community.
The band has aged well, which is to say that they don’t seem to have aged much at all. On Sunday night they showed that they still rock as hard and as well as they did back in 1989. I bet there were more than a few people in the audience who, for at least those few hours, felt the exact same way about themselves.
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