Music Box @ Fonda – Hollywood, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito
Ever since the Pixies reunited back in 2004 I have been trying to catch them live. Typically one of three things happen that prevent me from seeing the band. If I am not out of town, I already have tickets for another show and if I happen to have a ticket for the Pixies show (10/23/04 to be exact) then my car breaks down and I never actually make it to the show. I had all but given up my dreams of seeing the band when low and behold I saw a tweet that mentioned the foursome playing a pseudo-secret fan club e-mail invite show at the Music Box in Hollywood, CA. With the password for tickets included in the tweet I added another $50 to my Visa card and prayed for no issues with my car on the night of November 19th, 2011.
With no opening act on this particular evening the Pixies hit the stage inside the sold out theatre just past 9pm. The band kicked things off with a botched version of “Bone Machine.” I am not exactly sure who messed up causing “Bone Machine” to be aborted, but after some serious chuckles from the various musicians on stage the show got back on course with a rocking take on “U-Mass.”
Knowing the group is currently performing their classic 1989 album Doolittle from front to back, I was shocked when that albums third track “Wave of Mutilation” was performed early in the set. Clearly this special show was to be radically different than others on this tour. With “Isla de Encanta” and one of my personal favorites “Caribou” following no one seemed to mind that we were not going to be rocking out to Doolittle like the rest of the nation.
As the set continued on, the band sounded tight musically while being very loose on stage. Bassist/vocalist Kim Deal gave a shout out to guitarist Joey Santiago’s family who happened to be sitting right in front of us (you can hear his daughter scream Daddy in the video for “There Goes My Gun”). This shout out occurred after Pixies front man Black Francis/Frank Black/Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV discussed the difference between crowd members screaming I Love You and Fuck You while the band performed on stage.
While we didn’t get Doolittle from front to back, we did hear every song from the album over the course of the 32 song set. In between timeless numbers from that album like “Here Comes Your Man” and “Monkey Gone To Heaven” we got a mix of rare Pixies gems. Some of those gems included the B-side “Bailey’s Walk” and a cover of Neil Young’s “Winterlong.” After busting out some of the biggest Doolittle songs including “Gouge Away” and “Debaser,” the main set closed with a B-side sung by Deal entitled “Into The White.”
The band never actually left the stage for an encore break; instead they put down their instruments, walked around briefly before taking position and heading into the fan favorite “Where Is My Mind?” With the venue anxious to kick fans out by 11pm so they can host a dance night, the Pixies wrapped their nearly two hour show with “Gigantic.” Much like the first song of the night, the band stumbled, but was saved by Deal and her hilarious good night wishes to her fellow band mates. With a long bus ride up the coast for a Sunday night show in Napa, her goal was to be asleep long before the first dance night patrons found their way into the Music Box. For me, I was just happy to finally catch the Pixies live and in person.