I saw the Pixies at the El Rey two weeks ago
With Kim Deal having so recently departed the Pixies, this was my first opportunity to see the band with The Muffs’ Kim Shattuck on bass. The result was a band at ease with its presence and not re-presenting its legacy. Maybe it’s my perspective, but I felt like the continuing greatest hits touring of the Pixies was feeling heavy — overburdened with their own meaning.
With Shattuck, the band felt more like a band. Black Francis even interrupted himself singing “Here Comes Your Man” because he started on the wrong note. It was the kind of human moment that reminded us they are a band and not a touring nostalgia act. There’s a scene in Loud Quiet Loud — the documentary of the Pixies 2004 reunion — where David Lovering doesn’t end a song when he should and the band gets pretty pissed about it. That tension just wasn’t there.
I never really pined for the Pixies to make new music. They have an untouchable back catalog. But there they were at the El Rey playing new songs with a new bass player and looking loose. So Kim Deal really did have to move on to let the Pixies move on. Their set was full of new music — more, I think, than is on their new EP1. But it was also full of their completely perfect discography.
It was great to see the band playing well and looking fresh. I think over the years since the initial reunion, they’d reached a truce between the members. They always appeared adult about whatever disagreements they’d had. But this new tour may be actual peace.