Pixies: Wish We Were There!

Nov. 24 2009, Published 8:03 a.m. ET

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The Pixies descended on New York City last night for the first of five shows-the fifth of which was added yesterday due to popular demand-that have New Yorkers clamoring for a glimpse of the highly influential indie-rock quartet at one of these oversold gigs.

Originally, New Order spin-off band, Bad Lieutenant, was scheduled to open, but had to bow out due to visa problems, so The Pixies invited Brooklyn duo Black Gold, who had previously collaborated with Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago, to kick off the rousing festivities in New York (and Chicago).

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Of course, The Pixies did their first run of reunion shows at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom in 2004, entry for which was comparable to the fabled frenzy for Willy Wonka's golden tickets, and so it's really no surprise that the Boston band are back for another round, but what is surprising is that they waited five years to do so.

Sure, The Pixies are now officially a middle-aged traveling jukebox-of-sorts, that churns out it's most loved songs, the ones people pay to hear, but that doesn't diminish what they are: a kick-ass rock band. They might not look just like they used to, but they do sound just like they used to. No small feat some 20 years later.

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Over those feel-good melodies and stop-start song structures, Frank Blank's distinctive voice instantly transported the audience back in time by perfectly delivering his well-known lyrics, recreating those famed screams and yelps,  and harmonizing with Kim Deal, whose voice is still syrupy sweet.

The band graced the stage twice more for encores that included mega-hits "Wave Of Mutilation" and "Where Is My Mind?" with the crowd peppered with lit-up cell phones capturing the moment. The audience was heavy on serious Pixies loyalists, once-hipsters who had discovered them as teenagers, and quite a few actual teenagers-younger than the legendary Doolittle album-who still appreciate the band's greatness years later.

The band closed with the fan favorite "Gigantic," with Kim Deal wielding her rather gigantic red bass and delivering the famed chorus. The projections on the screen behind them showed more movement than the actual band, who are not known for getting too crazy on stage, and capped off the set with a clip of the four Pixies bowing at the end, larger than life.



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