April 24th, 2017 | Photos

Pixies_HOB_7 Photos by Leslie Kalohi Words by Madison Desler

To casual fans, the Pixies are perhaps most readily associated with two things: the song “Here Comes Your Man” and the messy breakup caused by strained relations between frontman Black Francis and founding bassist Kim Deal. Neither the song, nor Kim Deal were present last night at the sold out House of Blues in Anaheim, and neither were casual Pixies fans.

This was a room full of diehards, enthusiastically recognizing songs like “U-Mass,” “Wave of Mutilation,” “Caribou,” “Gouge Away,” and the rest of the substantial 34-song setlist with the first note. Combining noise-pop, surf rock, psychedelia, and elements of punk, the Pixies stormed out of 1980’s Boston and took the alt-rock world by storm, their significant stature in the rock world due more to their wide and storied influence (Nirvana, Radiohead, PJ Harvey, Pavement, Weezer) more than album sales. The albums they did sell were purchased by smart, cynical, anti-establishment Gen-Xers, who have since grown up, have a job with great health benefits, and may or may not now drive a mini-van, but were still maniacally screaming “If the devil is six, then God is seven!” right along with Francis during “This Monkey’s Gone To Heaven.”

Paz Lenchantin held her own with her bass prowess and balancing harmonies on songs like “All The Saints” and “Havalina.” She became an official member of the band with last year’s album Head Carrier, and she performed her main contribution “All I Think About Now.” “I try to think about tomorrow/But I always think about the past,” she sang, echoing the nostalgic mood of the audience, and acknowledging her new band’s history.

The Pixies are playing The Theatre at Ace Hotel tomorrow and Wednesday evenings.

Fans who came early were treated to an energetic set by Public Access T.V.. Hailing from New York, they’ve got an infectious, angular, new-wave sound, mile-long legs, and plenty of golden-age rock attitude. “Who are you here to see?” they playfully asked us. “No, who are you really here to see?” They’ve gotten plenty of buzz and a large East Coast following, but these Pixies shows are shining some light on them here on the West Coast. After smashing through well-crafted, nostalgia-inducing songs like “In Our Blood,” “End Of An Era” and the Costello-esque “Sell You On A Lie” off their debut Never Enough, they had the attention of more than a few Pixies fans who could be heard saying things like, “What’s the name of this band?,” “Are the kids really wearing those high-waisted jeans again?,” and “How did I not know about these guys?” Judging by the crowd’s reaction, those questions won’t be asked much longer.


Crackity Jones
Isla de Encanta
Um Chagga Lagga
Bel Esprit
I’ve Been Tired
Wave of Mutilation
Head Carrier
Monkey Gone to Heaven
Tenement Song
Magdalena 318
All the Saints
Where Is My Mind?
Winterlong (Neil Young cover)
Gouge Away
Might as Well Be Gone
Mr. Grieves
No. 13 Baby
Brick Is Red
All I Think About Now
Broken Face
Something Against You
Rock Music

Into the White