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Review: Pixies at The LC

Matt Ellis Matt Ellis Review: Pixies at The LC
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In the last few years I’d almost forgotten that the Pixies were still around and not just a name that every alternative band spouts out when asked about their influences. However, after seeing the band perform live to a sold-out LC crowd on Friday night, it’s quite clear that the Pixies are still one of the most important bands out there.

With touring bassist Paz Lenchantin filling the hole left by founding member Kim Deal and touring off the back of the first new Pixies music – besides one song in 2004 – in over two decades the band looked fired up and sounded more intense than any band I’ve seen in the past few years.

Opening track “Bone Machine” sounded loud and set the tone for the evening as the band jumped from song to song with barely a break between. Crowd acknowledgement was none existent, no ‘thank yous’ or song introductions, there were no false smiles and zero stage theatrics beyond the beautiful lighting. This was about the music and nothing more.

The band are right to let the music do all the talking. Black Francis’ intense wailing vocal delivery gets straight into your head and demands your full attention while Joey Santiago’s sublime ringing guitar noise echoed throughout the LC hall and David Lovering’s almost effortless perfection drumming kept the songs moving along with power and purpose.

Filling the Role of Kim Deal would be a tough task for anyone, but Paz Lenchantin did a fine job for the most part. The bass lines still sounded fantastic and the vocal compliment to Francis was spot on for everything but “Where is my Mind” where the cooing just didn’t quite feel the same as Deal.

And after an engrossing 90 minutes of some of the greatest alt-rock ever to be written, the band walked off stage – finally smiling and looking happy and content to be playing live again.

The past few years has brought us new music, new touring bass players, and what seems like a renewed shot of life for the band. The Pixies are very much alive and well and while they may not be getting any younger, they’re still top dogs in the alternative rock world.

Matt Ellis is a freelance photographer who covers bands that visit the city and the Columbus Crew MLS team. More about Matt can be found at Matt Ellis Photography.

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