FEBRUARY 19th 2014
Review by Dan Coburn
Photos by Peter Ruttan

Have you ever gone back to your hometown for a high school reunion. There's always that one guy who was your cool friend that you always had fun with. When you meet him at the reunion, he's a little older, a little fatter and maybe a little balder but he's still essentially the same fun guy. He's still doing the same thing in the same place but he's still loves what he's doing so much that it's not sad. You start to wonder if he's got it all figured out and you don't.

That's the Pixies show in a nutshell. It was just the right amount of nostalgia, early 90's melancholy and checky punk rock. Exactly what I would expect from an experienced alt rock professional musician. The highlights included a lovely lead vocal from current touring bassist, Paz Lenchantin, on "Havalina", classic hits such as "Gouge Away", "Wave of Mutilation", "Bone Machine" and, my personal favorite, "Where is my mind?". The latter came as the second song of the encore which, to me, would have been the perfect end to the night. However, the encore continued with one more song that led into a strange feedback solo by guitarist, Joey Santiago, which was impressive and interesting, but would have better placed elsewhere in the set.

I only had two problems with the show and they weren't really to do with the band. The reflective surfaces in the stage backdrop made it hard on the eyes, especially when the lights went up on the crowd. The other was the venue. I don't have a problem with the Orpheum, per se, as it is a great place to see a play, symphony or sit-down musical act such as Loreena Mckennit or Sarah McLachlan. For a sold-out good old post punk act, 2-3 nights the Commodore would be more appropriate and a lot more fun. The whole audience was standing for the majority of the show and it was obvious that they wanted to move around or get near the stage but the Orpheum staff was pretty strict about seating areas. Next thing you know some people might have even wanted to actually <gasp> dance!

All in all, if you were a fan of the Pixies, you got exactly what you expected from this show. Sometimes you just want to go "back home" and see that some things never change.