Concert Review: The Pixies & Jay Reatard @ Wang Theatre (11/27/09)

Bands: Pixies, Jay Reatard
Venue: Wang Theatre (Citi Performing Arts Center), Boston, MA
Date: Friday, November 27, 2009

Act One: Jay Reatard

1. Blood Visions (BV)
2. It’s So Easy (BV)
3. Nightmares (BV)
4. Fading All Away (BV)
5. It Ain’t Gonna Save Me (WMF)
6. My Shadow (BV)
7. Oh It’s Such A Shame (BV)
8. I’m Watching You (WMF)
9. I Know A Place (S 06-07)
10. All Over Again (S 06-07)
11. See/Saw (MS ’08)
12. Hammer I Miss You (S 06-07)
13. Before I Was Caught (WMF)
14. Faking It (WMF)
15. There’s No Sun (WMF)
16. Waiting For Something (BV)
17. Trapped Here (MS ’08)

Jay and His Denmarkian cohorts (Cola Freaks), they robbed the painted nude ceiling women of their respective virginities with their twelve o’clock chunk, even though most of the crowd was settling in through their set. Their sound was great. I only wish that I was standing and bumping into my companions. As soon as they hit the stage, they blasted into the classic “Blood Visions.” Within just a few moments of mayhem, Jay Reatard aficionados, the few of us, could tell he sounded better than ever before. One fan in particular was so excited he stood up and wildly danced and humped the air! The songs were longer (well, by his standards lol) and resembled their studio counterparts a bit more, whilst retaining that noisy assault Jay prides himself on. Highlights were “See/Saw” (as always) and “I Know A Place,” although the entire set was exceptional. Without a doubt Jay Reatard goes down as my favorite opening act. Alas, the performance was underappreciated, since everyone came for the Pixies, but that’s okay because we’re all fucking creeps!

Act Two: The Pixies
Speaking of creepiness, there’s nothing creepier than Salavdor Dali and his eye ball spinning and slicing, short film, Un Chien Andalou, which was displayed on a gigantic screen for the audience to see. As all Pixies devotees should know, the signature song, “Debaser,” was based on Dali’s spooky work of art. With this in mind, you would think they would open with that song. But, instead they opened with most of the Doolittle B Sides: “Dancing the Manta Ray,” “Weird In My School,” and “Manta Ray,” finishing the would be LP tracks later. This was only a minor qualm for me, because I (and everyone else) was so excited to see The Pixies! As Kim Deal noted, they were “crusin” through the B Sides and they cruised right into “Debaser,” continuing with the entire Doolittle album, as planned. While the band cranked out these classics the audience witnessed vairous, often bizarre, images on the big screen. These videos perefectly complemented the wonderfully horrific music of the Pixies. Horrific in the sense of unsettling. But, of course with their pop hooks and rock and roll chops, one couldn’t feel any emotion but sheer thrill and joy. Musically and technically they weren’t as proficient as Sonic Youth, pretty damn close though. Where they may have slightly (and I stress slightly) lacked in musical ability and sound quality they surely made up for in showmanship. The quartet kept the audience standing and bopping and shaking from the moment they hit the stage till the very end. When they finished their magnum opus, they briefly left the stage. Next, they returned to complete their B Sides. A nice little theatric came in the form of smoke, which engulfed the crowd as the band kicked “Into the White.” Then they played a rather familiar song AGAIN: “Wave of Mutilation UK Surf.” The second version of the classic, merrily malevelent number was more serene than it’s original counterpart, giving the eerie lyrics it’s eerie due a la Jay Reatarard- “Searching For You” perhaps. So, after these two tunes, The Pixies said good bye and hit the dustry trail….. for a bit. After highly energized crowd response, the group pulled a Sonic Youth and returned for Encore II. This time, there were no more Doolittle tracks or B Sides left. What would they play?! Well, they began with the endearing, “Where Is My Mind?” much to everyone’s delight. Next came “Caribou,” a solid performance for a solid track. The night concluded with “Vamos,” another Surfer Rosa classic (WIMM being the first).

Chris Overall: A + Yes, it did indeed beat out Sonic Youth, which was tough, tough competition. This concert is unique in that I recognized every song performed, including both opening act and main act. That has never happened before! So, what else is there to say; one of my favorite bands playing one of my favorite albums, what more can I ask for?

Glen Overall: I’d give this a fringe A+. Excellent sets by both bands. Some Pixies songs that really really caught my attention were “In The White,” “Money Gone To Heaven,” and “La La Love You.” I like Jay’s new direction and I sincerely hope that he will be able to find adequate replacements when the two Cola Freaks go back to being Cola Freaks full-time (provided they don’t go full Reatard). Obviously, I’d prefer a more interactive experience to just standing up in amazement. Motion is always a plus.

Chris

* POST SHOW UPDATE* It should be noted that this was one of Jay Reatard’s final performances, for he passed away nearly two months later. Long live Jay and long live the Pixies! It was an honor to see both legends on the same stage. RIP Jay.

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