Gouge Away – Review of the Pixies at Orpheum Theatre

Pixies at Orpheum Theatre on Saturday night. (Photo - D. Hixon)

Pixies at Orpheum Theatre on Saturday night. (Photo – D. Hixon)

Orpheum Theatre, Boston, 01/18/14

Riding in an uber on my way to the Orpheum I had my doubts on what to expect from the Pixies. Their name and reputation, which was seemingly impenetrable prior to their 2013 release of EP1, has since been in serious jeopardy. Kim Deal leaving last June is the blow that keeps reverberating, and the subsequent firing of her replacement (Kim Shattuck), and the underwhelming response to the recently released EP2 (Pitchfork gave the album a 2.0) – have assisted in making these used to be superheroes not only appear human, but possibly desperate, and certainly average.

Thankfully for those at the Orpheum on Saturday there was nothing average about the Pixies performance. The sold-out crowd stood firmly behind their hometown heroes as they played the songs that made the Pixies THE PIXIES. Newly minted bassist, Paz Lenchantin, seems to have re-energized the band as they ripped through their set in a precise and focused manner – with her not overstepping bounds, which meant Kim’s ghost minimally haunted the evening. Playing a total of 31 songs it wasn’t surprising that only one was from the recently released EP2 (“Magdalena”) – which sure seems like an acknowledgement from the band on its shortcomings.

With Kim gone, the stage banter was minimal, but Frank and Crew made up for it with a steady stream of great song after great song. The recent turmoil that’s encircled the bands brand and legacy was nowhere to be seen on stage, and their Boston brethren in the audience were firmly behind them, as the mezzanine swayed in approval on a rocking Saturday night, leaving hope that the story of the Pixies is not yet final.

D. Hixon


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