BEING THERE: The Pixies @ The Electric Factory


The Pixies weren’t just first to the indie rock party: they hosted it. They’re royals in the kingdom of rock, prophets in the religion of screamed lyrics, champions in the game of noise. Their subjects/followers/fanatics (or whatever else you may call them) flooded the Electric Factory floor to see the Pixies do what they do best, what nobody else can do — though Lord knows for 25 years they have tried and tried. This tour diverges quite a bit from others since the Pixies’ reunion in 2004: Paz Lenchantin plays bass, replacement of the replacement of Kim Deal, the band’s beloved founding bassist, and for the first time in over 20 years, the Pixies are playing new music (a pair of rather excellent EPs released in September of last year and the first of this year, respectively). They opened up their 90-minute set with a killer rendition of the classic “Bone Machine,” which was frighteningly three-dimensional, the crack of David Loverling’s drums intertwining with guitarist Joey Santiago’s off-the-beat riffs, synthesized with Lenchantin’s rolling thunder bass line and jaunty vocal harmonies and of course, some ear-throttling screams from Black Francis’s buoyant vocal chords. “Magdalena,” off their 2013 EP2, blended right in with their more quintessential tracks, guitars firing on all cylinders with just the right amount of gravity and Lenchantin feeling right at home with rock solid playing and eerily ambient counter-melody vocals. All things considered, the best trick in the Pixies’ book is that signature subtle meter switch from 4/4 to 3/4 and back without a second thought. The Pixies rock just about as hard as anybody in four, but nobody rocks harder in three than this band. They pulled the move all night long and it hit like an 18-wheeler every time, from noisier tunes like “Nimrod’s Son” to new songs like “Indie Cindy” to more subdued hits like “Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf Mix).” Their set ended in Coen-brothers-movie fashion, the group leaving the stage without playing an encore, much to the disappointment of the sold-out crowd. It made me want more: more of the tight grooves of “Gouge Away,” more of Santiago’s absolutely insane feedback-only guitar solos of “Vamos,” more of the creepy chromaticism of “Isla De Encanta,” and more of the crunchy, classic Pixies indie rock goodness of songs like “Hey,” “Caribou” or “U-mass.” To be honest, I don’t quite care who or what the Pixies influenced; they’ve got their own thing going on, and they rock at it. — NOAH SILVESTRY

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Noah Silvestry is a junior at Friend’s Central