First, a little history. The Orpheum was already sold out when word got out that the Pixies didn’t have a bassist. People were worried. Black Francis, the Pixies original guitarist-singer, and Kim Deal, the Pixies original bassist-singer, were known to have a contentious relationship, and Deal quit the band during recording sessions in Wales in the summer of 2013. That was it, she’d had enough, and left abruptly. The band finished the first of two Eps and for the fall tour selected Kim Shattuck (Muffs/Pandoras) as the new Bassist. “We definitely want someone who can just be a personality, I think, and especially on the feminine side. Just the same formula that we’ve used.” David Lovering, (drums) told BrooklynVegan in an interview. But by November, she was out, unceremoniously fired. In December, Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle/Zwan, Billy Corgan’s post-Smashing Pumpkins band) steps in. Where does she get to play first? That’s right, Northampton followed by Boston. Talk about a trial by fire.
The Pixies formed in the mid 80s, and Boston is home. A show for the homies, no matter how you slice it, was going to be extreme. At the Orpheum, anticipation was high as the Pixies took the stage. Paz thumped out the first notes of “Bone Machine” and held her own at the mic. When she sang the lyric “Your bone’s got a little machine,” – the crowd went totally nuts. Right out of the gate, she was in – the crowd loved her. Even Frank Black seemed relaxed. No banter, no tension, just a solid hour and a half of Pixies. They did crowd pleasers like “Wave of Mutilation” and “U-Mass” and sing-a-longs like “Where Is My Mind” and of course “Here Comes Your Man.” During “La La Love You,” drummer David Lovering had fun with the crowd doffing his cap in a “Sim Sala Bim” type wave, as the Magician conferred a thousand thanks. Completely fitting since Lovering was a Magician before the reuniting of the band. They played raw and ruckus fun ones like “Monkey Gone To Heaven,” and my throat was burning from singing at the top of my lungs through most of the show. The light show over the background of shimmering plastic cathode-ray style television screens was incredible. Missing were some of the songs that Deal dominates vocally like “Into The White,” “Gigantic” and “Debaser” but new material took its place with “Bag Boy” and “Blue Eyed Hexe” meeting with approval. This was a stratospheric event, showcasing a wealth of new material, revitalized energy, and a new bass player. Rather than an oldies show, the Pixies seem reborn into a new edgy but comfortable band. Welcome back Pixies. We missed you.
The Pixies are touring to support the release of EP-1 and EP-2 available for download or on CD.