Yesterday I got to see a band I’ve liked since junior high, and unlike most of the bands I liked then, they were, and are, amazing.
I showed up a half-hour before the doors opened at the Metro Centre and managed to get a front-row spot. I was a little worried I’d get too jostled around or crushed, but thankfully, this was by far the most pleasant crowd I’ve ever encountered at that venue.
Opening band IMAGINARY CITIES were pretty great. The lead singer is probably garnering lots of Adele comparisons. She has some great pipes on her, and is ridicuously cute. Unlike Adele, this band brings some loud, fun rock music as well as some daintier numbers. They played a tune about the band CAKE and that made me really happy.
The Pixies came on after the audience was treated to a viewing of Luis Buñuel’s Un Chien Andalou. They started the set with some b-sides before launching into Doolittle, which they played in its entirety. They followed with some more b-sides (my favourite was “Into the White” which featured billowing white smoke enveloping the band) and then a sort of mini greatest hits roster. I really appreciated that they played “Caribou” and wailed along with Charles.
While it would have been really great to hear more of their albums represented, I can’t really complain about their set-list. They played what the crowd wanted to hear, and folks danced and sang along appreciatively.
The band, save for Kim who was incredibly charming, didn’t really interact with the audience, or even react at all to the cheering and screaming. It was a little odd, and brought back memories of Bob Dylan’s Metro Centre show where he didn’t address the crowd until the last song. But, unlike Dylan, this band is not past its prime and still brings an amazing amount of energy in their performances.
These people are incredibly musicians and have not been diminished by the 20 years that separates the release of Doolittle and this tour. It’s a real score for Halifax that the Pixies kicked off their Canadian tour here. This is the type of show people want to see, not boring, bloated dance music on the Commons. Them coming here allows me to dream about other musicians who might wander through our fair hamlet. Iron Maiden 2012? Let’s make it happen.
Lauren always aims for the head. Follow her on Twitter @laurenoostveen.