"Pay attention. You're never going to see this again," a man in the crowd told the young girl standing next to him. "This will never, ever happen again," he repeated in the Convention Hall of Asbury Park, NJ, referring to band about to take the stage. Maybe he was right, or maybe not... only time will tell. The only thing that mattered is that The Pixies
came, saw, and rocked a sold-out show.
The crowd started to file in around 7PM, with opening act Surfer Blood
taking the stage around 7:30. The last stragglers of the audience finally stumbled their way across the street around eight, after wolfing the last of their pints at Wonderbar. Surfer Blood tore through their set, comprised of tracks off their debut album and their brand new EP Tarot Classics
. The crowd was generally warm, but mostly anxious. Let's face it, they're opening for the Pixies. They could have been juggling burning guitars while quoting George Carlin and people would still be anticipating.
Finally, at 9:15PM and what seemed like an eternity, the house lights dimmed to an immediate uproar from the crowd. Projected on the screen behind the stage was Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali's surrealist 1929 masterpiece Un Chien Andalou
, the basis for the opening track of Doolittle
, "Debaser." (If you haven't seen it, check it out
, and you'll understand the "slicing up eyeballs" line.) After playing the fifteen minute film in it's entirety, the main attraction took the stage. Bassist Kim Deal addressed the crowd.
"Hey guys!" she said excitedly. "We're going to play some B-sides for you. We'll get to the A-sides, but we're going to start with the B-sides."
And they did, launching right into Doolittle
outtake "Manta Ray." The crowd couldn't have been more receptive. After two more B-sides, the band launched into their 1989 masterpiece, and namesake of the tour, Doolittle
, playing the album in it's entirety and in order. There were some minor flaws in the show, a missed riff in "Here Comes Your Man," a missed verse in "Mr. Grieves," but not a soul in attendance cared. The band powered on with Frank Black still able to hit screams and falsettos alike after 20 plus years singing.
After the final notes of "Gouge Away" faded through the monitors, the band put down their instruments and gave the crowd a bow before disappearing back stage for a quick breather. When they came back, Deal told the crowd what they were in for. "More B-sides!" During the last song of the encore, the band let their four industrial sized smoke machines loose. The venue was packed with smoke with only strobe lights able to pierce the dense fog. One literally
could not see their hand in front of their face, let alone the person standing next to them. When the smoke dissipated, the band was nowhere in sight. The crowd was going nuts, willing the band back for just one more song. Luckily, they obliged.
The second encore was a real treat for die-hard fans. Black led the band in the second performance of "Wave Of Mutilation," this time the stripped down U.K. surf-mix. Before finally calling it a night, the Pixies also busted out Surfer Rosa
stand-out "Where Is My Mind?" and tracks "Caribou," "Isla De Encanta," and "Nimrod's Son" off of their debut Come On Pilgrim
. The band graciously took their final bow before disappearing for the rest of the night.
The crowd filed out of the Convention Hall, collectively grinning from ear to ear, everyone ecstatic and in awe from the band's two-hour performance. "Dude, we just saw the Pixies," was heard more than once. One can only hope that this won't be the last time we see them.