Local favorites the Pixies deliver evening of slam-dancing fervor at Citi; Zulus play loud, fast, and well
With the Zulus.
Citi, Tuesday, November 21.
By SANDE CHEN
THE PIXIES APPEARED IN A CLOUD of smoke and the crowd went wild, and rightly so. The local band definitely rocked the stage last Tuesday with a night full of fire and zeal.
The dry ice smoke, flickering lights, and primal yells from lead vocalist Black Francis produced a somewhat show-biz effect. Nevertheless, the Pixies resolutely veered away from MTVisms, excluding radio favorites "Here Comes Your Man" and "La La Love You," and combining a solid selection from EP Surfer Rosa and albums Come On Pilgrim and Doolittle. Their music, intense and loud, was much more thrashy and fast live. Frankly, Doolittle sounded all the better for it.
The audience reacted enthusiastically, violently slam-dancing and pogoing through everything, even slow songs, like the gentle "Caribou." Volunteers at front were thrown up above heads and allowed to drop to the floor. Passive observers were steamrolled by a tidal wave of bodies.
In contrast, the Pixies stood serenely, with both guitarist Joey Santiago and drummer David Lowering in the background, and singer Black Francis right in front. Their execution was perfect, and the sound they generated meshed well. Except for Francis, they seemed very removed
from the activity below. Only bassist Kim Deals would speak after most songs, and she announced a set of acoustic numbers.
The pace slowed a bit in the song "Where is My Mind?" as fans took time to sing along with Deals' "ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo"s and choruses of "where is my mind?" The tempo soon switched gears when the energetic "Nimrod's Son" was performed.
Other tracks from the past included the familiar "Gigantic" and "Bone Machine," and mild rockers "Levitate Me," "The Holiday Song," and "Tony's Theme" as well as quick-paced "Vamos" from Come On Pilgrim. Of course, most of Doolittle was spotlighted, showing the versatility that the Pixies have, from the crowd-pleaser "Debaser" to the more subdued "Gouge Away." "Wave of Mutilation" and "I Bleed" were played especially well. Some critics have wondered if Doolittle's national acclaim has mellowed the Pixies, but this concert proves they still sustain the beat. The Pixies, along with the Zulus, another Boston band, closed the set with a rousing encore.
The Zulus, the opening band, played loud, fast, and well for an hour, using some nice sound effects like a beer bottle for a guitar pick. Despite this, and lead singer Larry Bangor's drunken antics and screaming, most of the audience at the beginning remained motionless and mute, while a few wild Zulus fans tried to initiate small-scale slam-dancing. By the last song, however, the aftershocks had spread quickly, and the audience for the most part was enjoyably slamming away.