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Perhaps reluctant to reveal their advanced age and weight, indie-rock icons the Pixies took to a darkened Rimac stage and opened with the obscure "Dance the Manta Ray." Like an insecure lover, the group kept the lights low for "Weird at My School" and "Bailey's Walk." According to the Boston quartet's bassist-vocalist Kim Deal, "Some B-sides were so obscure we had to learn them to play them." Transpiring in less than ten minutes, the first four songs feel like a quickie.

Then the concert lighting kicks in and the band launches into what everyone is assembled to hear, 1989 essential Doolittle. "Debaser" begins and both band and audience come alive. Fans sing along with Black Francis's cryptic lyrics — "But I am un chien Andalusia." He sounds nasal compared to the full-throated crowd.

The band's loud-soft-loud dynamic is gloriously loud, seductively soft. A wall of Marshall amps (for Francis and lead guitarist Joey Santiago) and an Ampeg tower (for Deal) supply the powerful sound. From atop his riser, drummer David Lovering's snare pops like rifle fire. The band is tight, professional.

The jaunty "Monkey Gone to Heaven" incites the audience to count off on hoisted fingers the tunes' refrain, "If man is five...then the devil is six...and if the devil is six...then god is seven!" Nearby, a young brunette jumps, screams, and contorts as if she's done the math.

Deal introduces "There Goes My Gun": "This is the second side of the album, toward the end, where people kind of buried songs." But nothing from Doolittle goes unappreciated. The audience gives a rousing response to the country-tinged ballad "Silver." And though the propulsive, bass heavy "Gouge Away" should have sealed the deal, the crowd cheers the Pixies back for a double encore, which include "Wave of Mutilation," "Where Is My Mind?" and "Gigantic."

  • Concert: The Pixies
  • Date: September 26
  • Venue: Rimac Arena
  • Seats: General, floor, center
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