The Pixies began a new chapter in their storied history Monday night when they opened their 2013 world tour at the El-Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. Playing the first official night with new band member Kim Shattuck on bass, the Pixies ripped through a 26 song set in 75 minutes. The crowd of predominantly 40 and 50-somethings, were chomping at the bit as the line to get in wrapped around the art deco building at least an hour before doors. Prior to opening act Meg Myers taking the stage, the venue was at capacity as everyone staked a claim to their spot.
The Pixies set included a nice mix of new music, classic set staples, and few surprises. The underrated 1991 LP Trompe Le Monde, placed five songs in the set that included The Jesus and Mary Chain cover “Head On” and the rare “Distance Equals Rate Times Time.” The classic indie rockers played two songs off the recently dropped EP-1, “Another Toe In The Ocean” and “What Goes Boom.”
Charles and company opened with a cover of The Fall’s “Big New Prinz” (watch below). From the get-go Ms. Shattuck had a bounce in her step and at times was a little chatterbox. However, at no time did she engage in dialogue with Charles, unlike old Kim’s routine. Many of the same classic Pixies tunes that at we have become accustomed to hearing at shows since they began touring again in 2004 made the setlist,, such as crowd pleasing sing-a-longs “Hey” and “Gouge Away.”
The band closed the set with “Planet Of Sound” and from that moment on… a delightful night out with the new-look Pixies took a bizarre turn for the worse. Frontman Frank Black waved to the crowd and gave a thank you gesture as the band left the stage. After a few minutes of nonstop cheering and yelling, all while we watched the equipment being put into place for the encore…..NOTHING. After about ten minutes the stage lights went on and David Bowie’s “Heroes” began to play as the crowd started the chant “One More Song, One More Song.” After about fifteen minutes it became apparent that they were done (for whatever reason), leaving the three song scheduled encore aborted. Unfortunately, cheers turned boos and smiles turned to confused looks.
We’ll never know why we were short changed out of hearing them play “Andro Queen” live for the first time ever, as well as the classic “Where Is My Mind?” and the one I was looking forward to, “Indie Cindy.” Monday was the first of four nights in Los Angeles. This weekend the Pixies will perform at Riot Fest in Chicago along with The Replacements.
Here are 5 tunes I recorded from the El-Rey Theatre on 9-9-13
“Big New Prinz” (The Fall cover)