I have been spoiled musically by all the 80s bands who have reunited and toured in the past few years. Alternative rock band, The Pixies, whom I saw for the first time in the late 80s at the famed Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ and with whom I fell madly in love, kicked off a world tour September 2013. What would make this tour a “must-see”? Touring with brand new songs–something they had not done in 20 years.
I’ve been stressed for weeks about what topper to wear to commemorate this special evening at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY on January 19th. As luck would have it, I found this 1960s vintage Yves Saint Laurent hat at INA, my favorite designer resale shop on Bleeker St. in NYC. Bueno! When I placed it on my head, I was transformed into a “mischievous elf”, the definition of “pixie”. How apropos since the name of “The Pixies” was chosen randomly while flipping through a dictionary for inspiration.
With this hat and extra layers of winter gear, I was emboldened to sing favorite songs with my friends at the top of our lungs.
When I entered the theater lobby, I never expected to see a 12 piece marching band that nearly tore off the roof. I had never heard of the Asphalt Orchestra until this moment. I love a great horn section. The energy and magic that they created was the most perfect prelude to an unforgettable show.
Next up, the fans. I had a feeling I would see some good style and I was right. The main theme was casual if not slovenly, but then again I wasn’t expecting top hats, morning coats and petticoats. This is The Pixies, so an untucked, disheveled, punk rock-surfer look was the dominant style.
Minutes before showtime the Asphalt Orchestra reconvened near the stage and played an acoustic version of “Bone Machine”. The crowd went nuts. We knew the Pixies would be on any minute.
Many fans were disappointed when original bassist/backup vocalist Kim Deal left the band in 2013. She was then replaced by Kim Shattuck of the Muffs, was fired in November and finally replaced with Paz Lenchantin.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Paz’s performance, but by the time they sang “Monkey Gone to Heaven”, I was impressed. She beamed most of the evening. How could you not? She was playing for the freaking Pixies.
I was beaming when they sang their newest song off their new album EP 2, “Magdalena.” I have never heard a song named after my namesake. Judging by the lyrics, and the fact that I have known quite a few Magdalenas in my lifetime, we are an unforgettable lot. Beware… we can be down right mean when you mess with us.
“Magdalena, she’s between us
You’re the meanest, Magdalena
Magdalena, how’d you get so strong?”
They played 31 songs total, a real treat, since they recorded 8 new songs last year.
Something that I love about the Pixies is that their set list changes from night to night. These guys are pros so the quality of their live performance has clarity and is never too loud. The Pixies are a live band whose sound is as dynamic as their CD and they are by far one of the best alternative rock live acts around.
I wish I had the resources to see The Pixies perform in Warsaw, Poland in June. As I’ve mentioned before in my blog posts, my family is from this part of the globe. I have a feeling at least a quarter of the audience will be named Magdalena and they will be heard caterwauling all the way to NY. Their tour ends in France in June 2014.
On my way out of this adrenally charged night, I was greeted by a mischievously beaming gal who simply had to try on my hat. She looked adorable! We chatted about the show and I was exhilarated meeting avid fans of bands I admire. It’s so great to share my enthusiasm and admiration for these bands which shaped and inspired my (warped) teen years.
Here are some photos taken by fans that night of the Pixies.
I leave you with a video of my favorite Pixies song – “Motorway to Roswell.” Every time I hear this song, I stop everything, want to drink a bottle of tequila, do wheelies and sing this at the top of my lungs. Hot damn, I love the chorus.
“last night he could not make it
last night he could not make it
he tried hard but he could not make it
last night he could not make it
…he started heading for the motorway
and he came right now.”
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