Hundreds of Pixies invade Big Easy


The fast, tight and dialogue-devoid 23-song set unleashed by The Pixies on April 25 at The Big Easy was not repeated in Portland, Seattle or Salt Lake—it was an unparalleled, unprecedented stroke of Boise luck. Seeing the faces behind the growls, howls and guitar screeches that form classic Pixies songs was a fascinating first for almost everyone present, for while Black Francis and Kim Deal have wandered into Boise for past side-project shows, the Pixies proper have not. With his shifty eyes, bald head and sensible wardrobe, Francis was a sweaty enigma wrapped in an algebra teacher, an unpierced, unadorned nonentity whom every hipped-out crowd member would walk by on the street a thousand times without note. His voice, already one of the most distinctive in modern rock, has only reached higher highs and lower lows over the last 12 years, and perhaps sounded even better than on the landmark early Pixies records—when it could be heard, that is. For while no support-singer could ever really drown out Black's unholy shrieks, hundreds tried. Every word of every song was obliviously belted by a herd of dopes and most it seemed ("Debaser" and "Where is my Mind" in particular) by every dope but me. I understand the joy of "support" and of nostalgia as much as anybody, but people: Francis knows the words. He knows you know them, too. He even knows you like them, because you came to the show at great personal cost. Don't bury another great show by a great artist (Ani Difranco and Modest Mouse also having received such treatment recently) in your beer-glazed karaoke fantasy.