Carnegie Music Hall is a great and intimate venue for a show. Not a bad seat in the house and the acoustics are good for the 1,950 seat hall. I’d say they had the bass up too high, with the mids (vocals and guitars) a litle too low. Security ran a very tight ship; maybe entirely too tight The yellow shirts cracked down on any cell phone video recording and dancing near the stage was dealt with harshly with some people being thrown out.
The Pixies came on around 9:15 and played for about 90 minutes with one encore. Their set list (see below) was appropriately heavy with Surfer Rosa, Come On Piligrim, and Doolittle with the new EP songs mixed in. They started with a solid 8 songs of classics before introducing new material. Notable live favorites that were missing were Subbacultcha and Hey.
Joey switched between his black Les Paul Custom, gold top Les Paul Standard, and a hollow body Gibson going through a single Marshall stack. Black Francis did the bulk of the show playing an acoustic Martin, interspersed with his usual white Telecaster and a Gibson SG going through a couple Vox amps. Lenchantin stuck with a Fender Precision Bass the whole show through an Ampeg amp. Paz also played Moog bass foot pedals for some songs, which made her a kind of multi-tasking Geddy Lee, according to my buddy Jonesy.
Black Francis looks to have dropped a few pounds but is still a hefty guy. He could easily switch places with Hank Schrader on Breaking Bad and nobody would notice. Both he and Joey have greatly benefitted from the Billy Corgan shaved head look to make baldness look like a style choice.
Joey interacted with the audience on Vamos with an extended feedback solo. Using the toggle switch on his gold top Les Paul, he pointed to different sections of the audience and would direct white noise at them when they would applaud. This is the most engaged Joey has been with an audience.
La La Love You (which Dave sings lead on) was particularly funny when he started laughing and nearly messed up the ending vocals. Paz Lenchantin did a great job both on bass and with the Kim Deal vocals.
On Isla de Encanta Black Francis wasn’t at the mic when the vocals started, and the song stopped while he bantered that he blew the opening lead while Dave told him just to start singing the opening Spanish vocals…which he did and they quickly resumed playing. Kind of funny, and couldn’t tell if it was staged.
Several songs were given the Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf) treatment, by greatly slowing them down to 1/3 speed (and intensity) for the first several verses before then going back to high speed. They did this for Nimrod’s Son and one other…I think it was I’ve Been Tired.
Overall, a great show. I didn’t expect so many college age kids there. It was about half college kids and half kids of the 80s. So I guess the Pixies are still influencing new generations of hipsters.