The Pixies are one of the world’s biggest and most iconic alt rockers. The group slid into the big leagues around the late 80’s and never looked back. I find that their music can sometimes serve as a breath of fresh air when scrolling through my playlists on my iPhone. With searing guitar work and crushing vocals, the much-admired pack will forever be on my favorites list.
I’ll never forget that momentous Wednesday night in Rochester. My best friend and I drove up from Syracuse to The Armory on a bitter November night. The venue was nothing like I had been expecting. Like an extremely sizeable open gymnasium, hundreds upon hundreds of people walked around, getting hyped up for the big show. It was a part of the bands “Lost Cities” tour. It was truly amazing, a band that has been around for as long as The Pixies have can still collect such a mass amount of fans for a concert. It was apparent that the years passed had not washed away any sort of fandom, whether you are a die-hard devotee, or new on the scene, there is something in the music for everyone.
There they were, the infamous four-piece group, right in front of me, dominating the enormous stage like the pros that they are. The crowd consisted of a very… ahh… interesting array of people, to put it delicately. Young and old, there were definitely some characters present.
Enormous, oversized paper lantern type globes hung from the stage. The lights that beamed within them set the cool mood perfectly. The set list consisted of Doolittle in its entirety, as well as the albums full B-side. Could you ask for a better show? Not to mention the band was gracious enough to give us a full encore. And thank goodness they did. If “Where Is My Mind?” wasn’t played, I would have been undoubtedly upset. I don’t mean to be that person who needs to hear every hit song from the band I’m seeing live. But c’mon! Everyone fell in love with that bass-thumping tune from the last scene of Fight Club; also one of my all time favorite movies. The song brought the movie to a close so flawlessly that it launched the band into a whole new level of stardom. But I digress. Hearing that high-pitched “oooooohh” in the first 4 seconds of the song, my heart just about dropped. I immediately broke out dancing, not caring if anyone was staring, shouting every word to every line. I wasn’t about to let this iconic song pass without soaking in every moment. Other favorites played included (but not limited to) “Hey”, “I Bleed”, “Here Comes Your Man”, and “Crackity Jones”, which by the way, front man Black Francis totally killed. His mega powerful voice boomed as he yelled the legendary line “CRACK CRACK CRACKITY JONES.”
The Pixies music speaks for itself. The unconventional marriage of punk and surfer rock has done the band well over the decades. To be a part of a band that is so influential that it jumpstarted careers of super groups like Nirvana and Pearl Jam has to feel like an insane accomplishment. It’s an accomplishment none of us will ever have the pleasure of feeling, sorry to those out there who think they’re going to “make it.” I’m no cynic, just a realist. So for now, sitting back and listening will have to do.