Pixies – Orpheum Theatre – May 3, 2011
Coming to the end of nearly two years of touring to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of the landmark album, Doolittle, The Pixies wowed the sold out Vancouver audience. Performing a nearly two hour set starting off with B Sides and the entire Doolittle album from start to finish, the quartet reminded us of why this was album launched them into international fame and acclaim.
From the first strains of Debaser to the howls of Gigantic the audience was hanging on
every note as though they’d not heard them in 20 years. Perhaps they were taken back to that time when ‘grunge’ was in its infancy and the ‘quiet/loud’ sound that the Pixies gave birth to, and bands like Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins adopted, was innovative and amazing.
The animosity between members that lead to their early 90’s break up seems to have withered with age but none of the skills that these four brilliant musicians possess has faded at all. For four middle aged Bostonians they can still produce a wall of sound that delights and amazes. The Doolittle album tracks seemed to wiz by, possibly due to their incredible short length, the longest being not even 4 minutes long. The B sides allowed for more experimentation as some had never regularly been played live so were rehearsed just for this tour. The opening set of four obscure B sides and
the closing two encores filled out the show and made us appreciate the Pixies that much more. Hopefully it’s not another 20 years before we hear those tracks again!