February 28, 2014
South Side Music Hall
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Love Tsunami
Photos by Brian Ullrich
The Pixies Dust Dallas
The Pixies are booked all over the world for most of 2014 and they should be. As a current act with nostalgia appeal, their draw is huge. February 28, 2014 at the South Side Music Hall located at the world famous Gilley's in Dallas, Texas proved the point that they are still going strong. As soon as we arrived, we rolled down the window to take care of parking and overheard an old timer lot attendant tell his guys that he'd never seen it that packed. He was right, so we headed for the back of the lot where we could get a spot fast and get inside for a better vantage point. We were too late.
That's ok because being at the rock show is excellent no matter where you are in the room. I've had terrible seats before and hanging on the fringes of a thronging crowd is not the worst place to be when you want to hit the bar or go to the restroom. South Side is a good venue with decent drink prices and they are smart enough to sell munchies near the restrooms. They gouge you a little for it, but when you think about how much goes into the rock show and all those people who need to get paid to make that magic, $3 for a soda seems reasonable.
I'm not as familiar with Pixies music as I wish I was. I lost the 90s the way old hippies lost the 60s, but what I saw in that audience was delighted devotion at every song. These guys are all in when they play. There's not much banter and no pandering to their fans. They deliver the goods with no frills and jam hard so you feel it. Right out of the gate, they played "Waves of Mutilation," a crowd favorite and a song my friend was most looking forward to. It's great to see the joy when a band plays "that song." It's like it's that person's birthday for those few minutes.
As the show went on, I discovered that I AM, in fact, more familiar with their music than I initially thought as they busted out "Gouge Away," "Here Comes Your Man," and "Hey." They played three of the four songs on their new EP. If you want to hear them, you can find them on the Pixies official website. My favorite is "Magdalena." Give it a listen, if you haven't already. It's good stuff.
Whoever was in charge of lighting displayed a fluid continuity that gave the whole show an ethereal quality that was especially appreciated when they played "Where Is My Mind?" and the crowd took over those haunting Ooo-ooo's. Everyone was well behaved, too. That may have been the fewest cell phone cameras I've seen at a show in a long while. You'd think that was a bad thing with social media as such a prevalent influence, but it's not. Fans were so present to the band that they just didn't have room in their heads for anything else. The Pixies even broke my six show run of having a drink spilled on me.
It was amazing, really. We jetted out at the encore because the idea of fighting that crowd was a little more than either of us wanted to deal with, but one of my friends stayed behind to watch. She reported that it was a perfect two songs to end their set, making a total of 31 tunes blasted through South Side Music Hall. Some would argue that 31 songs is self indulgent on the part of the band, but I don't think so. I think it's a generous gift. Time is precious. The doors aren't chained. You can leave if you want, but who wants to when the music is that good? For me, it was a matter of hedonic calculus. I was quite satisfied with the 29 songs I experienced. A crowd entranced by the possibility of hearing that one song they didn't hear and really wanted to hear made a perfect escape from a terrible parking situation.
The Pixies are a good time waiting to happen, so if you are in a city where they haven't played yet but you are on the tour route, GO. You'll be glad you did.