Report: Pixies Live in Hamilton, Ont.

A capacity crowd greets the Beantown
legends on April 20 at the Hamilton
Convention Center, and
the entire Doolittle summarily unfolds.

 

Text &
Photos by April S. Engram

After releasing
their comprehensive collector’s boxset a year ago, Minotaur, the Pixies began touring heavily. For this “Doolittle
Tour” Pixies performed every song, in succession, from their 1989 album Doolittle in addition to a few fan
favorites for their audience. Sounding just as intense and fresh as on the day
they were released, it is a sobering reminder of how progressive the songs of Doolittle are as Pixies celebrate 22 years
since its conception.

 

Before the eager
crowd was treated to hearing the sounds of the talented musicians, Pixies
played a creative montage of film clips. After several minutes of dramatic
music and the sepia tinted film, an impatient fan shouted “Quit teasing us!” Unfortunately
her wish was not yet granted as some more time passed before the lights grew
completely dark and the Pixies emerged.

 

The audience
erupted once Kim Deal, Black Francis, Joey Santiago and David Lovering took
their positions behind their instruments. Deal greeted the delighted spectators
and happily announced, “we’re going to play some B-sides,” and the night of
great music began.  The first four songs
were greeted with enthusiasm from the crowd, but once Deal struck the first
bass riffs to “Debaser,” the most eager of fans cheered even louder and threw
their hands in the air.

 

 

 

With “La La Love
You,” Deal introduced drummer Lovering sang the tongue-in-cheek song. Once the
track was finished Deal teased, “So David, do you look at the ladies in the
audience when you sing that?” He murmured an inaudible something to Deal, she
laughed heartily. The upbeat atmosphere continued as the audience sang along
with Francis for nearly every song; and, at each songs end Pixies were drowned
in loud applause.

 

 

“Wave of
Mutilation,” “Hey,” “Gouge Away,” “I Bleed” were all favorites with “Monkey
Gone To Heaven” drawing the most fanfare of the “Doolittle” selection. Those in
the front jumped as soon as the familiar song began and waited with anticipation
for Francis to shout “Then God is seven” at the song’s core as they bellowed
along with him.

 

 

With the end of
“Gouge Away” the Pixies put down their instruments and each member approached four
points of the stage and waved thankfully to the receptive crowd. They then
stood together in the center and in conjunction with a film playing on the
large screen behind them, lined up in order and took several bows before
disappearing.

 

 

The audience
cheered on until Pixies returned. Deal thanked the crowd again for the support
and they leapt into the UK Surf version of “Wave of Mutilation.” For “Into The
White,” the stage was drowned in white fog as Deal’s voice eerily echoed the
lyrics “into the white” at the song’s close.

Yet again, they waved goodbye and several audience members began leaving the
venue with the majority of the fans applauding and cheering for more. Several
minutes went by. I thought to myself, “Well, I’ll stay until the lights come
on.” And certainly, the venue lights were turned on and several people turned
to leave when suddenly Lovering’s bass drum vibrated through the walls once
again. The second encore was beginning.

 

 

 

 

The four songs
that Pixies fans seemed to be craving the most were met with great support. To
the classic “Where Is My Mind?” the audience sang louder than they ever did as
Francis let them sing the last chorus. Just before the end of “Gigantic,” Deal
asked the guys to quiet it down and as she calmly played the timeless riff, she
again thanked everyone for coming to the show then confessed that she’d be
going to bed once done. She turned to each member and asked them their plans.
She lastly asked Francis, “Charles, how about you? Going to bed after this?” “I
just woke up,” he laughed then the Pixies closed the evening.

 

A fantastic album,
Doolittle, was played flawlessly. And
as timeless as it may be to listen to the older, influential tunes of Pixies,
hopefully the Boston
quartet will conjure up a new album in the future.

 

Setlist:

 

DANCE THE MANTA
RAY             

WEIRD AT MY
SCHOOL

BAILEYS WALK

MANTA RAY

DEBASER

TAME

WAVE OF
MUTILATION

I BLEED

HERE COMES YOUR
MAN

DEAD

MONKEY GONE TO
HEAVEN

MR. GRIEVES

CRACKITY JONES

LA LA LOVE YOU

No. 13 BABY

THERE GOES MY
GUN

HEY

SILVER

GOUGE AWAY

 

Encore 1

WAVE OF
MUTILATION (UK
Surf)

INTO THE WHITE

 

Encore 2

BONE MACHINE

CARIBOU

WHERE IS MY
MIND?

GIGANTIC

 

 

 

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