Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I heart the Pixies

Now, where were we? The Pixies - STILL the greatest alternative rock band in the world and they proved it last Thursday at Blackjack 2007.

The last time I saw them was in 1989 and the crowd was simply going ballistic. This time around it was like gathering at a reunion - or going to church - to spend just over an hour as witness to something that is so good it's almost dangerous.

Excuse the puns, but there is no doubt that some kind of weird 'Black' Francis magic was involved in this tour - a Deal with the devil himself - reincarnating a maniacal shaven headed Francis and Santiago, an ageing magician on the skins and the bad-grandma of rock Kim Deal a smoking incindiary on the bass.

There was plenty of jumping, screaming and cackling from the crowd, but the big difference between this gig and the last one 18 years ago was that almost everyone was singing along with the lyrics - a group prayer, one last chance to dip our collective toes into the maelstrom of demonic, fret bending, screeching, eyeball gouging madness that changed the way we thought about music forever.

And despite the sheer joy of watching it all unfold, for me there was an underlying sadness - like bringing a favourite relative out from cryogenic suspension for one last party that you know is going to end all too soon and is unlikely to ever happen again.

Watching Kim Deal mouthing the lyrics, 'I.... Love... You', you just knew it was a heartfelt thank you and farewell - and the love flowed back onto that poorly lit stage in the Claremont showgrounds in abundance.

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