The world needs another Pixies review about as much as it needs a new airborne super-virus, so, you might ask, why am I writing this? Well, I’d like to think I can justify one more write-up. You see, I first found out about Pixies in 1994 at the impressionable age of 15, on my first unsupervised week away from home. Shortly thereafter I discovered that the band had broken up without ever making it to Australia. I spent the next 13 years of my life fantasizing that the Pixies would reunite and tour here.
And, after all that waiting, they finally did.
30 Mar 2007: Big Top Luna Park Sydney, AUS
When I heard that this show was actually going to happen, something snapped, and I began to question my surroundings a little more than usual. As the fateful night drew closer, the paranoia set in. I was sure something would interfere: they’d break up again before they got here; they’d get detained by Customs; or maybe they’d get here but be fat and old and just generally suck.
As the gig grew closer still, euphoria replaced my paranoia and my Pixies-friends and I started to get together and take turns trying to predict what the band would and wouldn’t perform. We’d rank the four canonical albums and argue for hours over why Surfer Rosa shits all over Bossanova, or why Trompe Le Monde should be ranked second in the list, not last.
Finally the day of the concert arrived, and I was too antsy to work. I wandered in a daze, babbling incoherently to everyone who crossed my path. When we finally walked through the evil-looking face that doubles as the entrance to Luna Park, I thought I would lose it completely.
The Mercy Arms had drawn the support slot—plenty of darkness and wailing there, but I’m not entirely sure that the world of rock is ready for the pink chicken-sweater worn by the guitarist. I guess Pixies had nothing to lose by putting a great band on first. But then, they could have put the second coming on as a support act and still had my full attention.
In the half hour or so before Pixies came on, the tension was unbearable. So many people had waited so very long for this that the atmosphere became one of intense, boiling expectation. In what proved to be an eerie coincidence, a woman pushed her way through the crowd and stood next to us. As I glared at her with slight irritation, I realized she seemed somehow familiar. Seconds later it hit me: she was the girl that had played Pixies for me that first time all those years ago (seriously, it was her!). If it weren’t for her, I might not have been at this gig at all!
I felt a little sheepish, but seconds later Pixies took the stage and nothing mattered anyway. They started nice and slow, twisting a classic by having Kim Deal take vocals on “In Heaven.” Within a few songs they hit “Head On,” and the crowd went crazy. I was concerned at first, as I haven’t been in a moshpit for years, but ultimately decided to go with the flow or drown.
There’s so much more I could say, but it has all been written before. After they were gone, I looked around at the dissipating crowd, only to catch a glimpse of a high-school friend. We hadn’t spoken to each other for a while, but it was strangely appropriate that we happened to meet here. Our entire friendship had been based on a mutual love of Pixies. So, we talked, and for a short while we were all teenagers again; nothing was as important as the music. Pixies had finally come, all these years later. They may have been old, and they may have been fat, but they certainly didn’t suck.