April 12th, 2004
|vespa59||02:18 pm - A letter in your writin' doesn't mean you're not dead.|
Tomorrow is the first Pixies show in twelve years. Holy shit.
Tomorrow, in Minneapolis of all places, Black Francis, Kim Deal, Joey Santiago, and David Lovering will take the stage together for the first time since 1992. Sadly, I won't be there, but there is a huge community of fans on frankblack.net who I'm sure will give a wonderful account of the night.
I first found out about a possible reunion a few months ago, when NME took some comment Frank Black made and turned it in to a rumor. I didn't put much stock in it, but then there was another comment in another article. A few days later, a hundred of my friends are sending me links to an article entitled "Pixies to play Coachella Festival in Indio, CA". I was floored. I read the article to confirm it was real and that it was the original lineup, and I started looking in to getting tickets and getting there. I was bummed that it was a festival concert, but at that point, I would have been happy to see them play at my own execution.
As I worked on the logistics of getting to Indio, news surfaced of some "warm up" concerts. The Pixies, in all their insecure wisdom, had decided to play a bunch of small venues in the weeks prior to Coachella, to iron out the set and see how the crowd would react to them. I compulsively checked Pollstar two to three times a day looking for dates until one day they showed up. Eleven or so shows in places like Saskatoon and Boise, ID. At first I scoffed at the weird and remote locations and then I realized how lucky I actually am. A good chunk of the dates are in Western Canada and the Western U.S. So what if I have to drive five hours to Eugene, OR! It's better than having to get a flight from Florida or anywhere else on the east coast!
I decided, almost immediately, that this year's big vacation would be a Grateful Dead-esque Pixies following. I made plans to go to shows in Victoria, Vancouver (two shows... at the same venue where the Pixies played their last concert), Spokane, WA, and Eugene, OR. A team of friends got together and made plans for covering phones, web browsers, and box office locations so we could buy up all the tickets we needed. I drove to Victoria and sat in a chair in front of a theater box office for twelve hours overnight. I scored. Big time.
switchblade got me tickets for Spokane and Eugene. In Victoria, I was the first person in line. I was the ONLY person at that location to get tickets for the Vancouver shows before they sold out. I gave the extras to the other people who contributed to the big ticket buying effort. The rest are safely stashed at home like Charlie Bucket's golden ticket. Now, I just have to wait for nine days.
Some people only have to wait until tomorrow. Some people can't even wait that long. A couple of guys in Minneapolis have been spending their lunch hours hanging around outside the Fine Line in Minneapolis. They eavesdropped on a bit of rehearsal. They watched Kim Deal arrive... then Black Francis. They heard bits of Here Comes Your Man, I Bleed, U-Mass... They diligently reported back with the same teenage giddiness I felt when I first held those tickets in my hands.
Last week, someone posted a very low quality video shot at a Breeders concert in southern California. Joey Santiago joined the Breeders on stage to perform Gigantic. I watched Joey play that song and felt the biggest smile walk all the way across my face - like Charlie Brown thinking about his little red-haired girl. In the video, I could see the same smile on Joey's face, and I knew then that these shows will be nothing short of miraculous.
See, it doesn't matter that they broke up under bitter circumstances all those years ago. It doesn't matter that the last two albums weren't as good as the first three. It doesn't matter that the last tour was in support of U2 (ugh) and the shows were awkward and bad. It doesn't matter that since they broke up they've been ripped off by hundreds of "alternative" bands and ripped on by hundreds of "music critics" for whom the Pixies' popularity makes them too mainstream to be meaningful. What matters is that they're my favorite band ever and after all this time, I get to see them play live music again. I get to see them at a time when they're excited about being back together and when they seem to have hopes of recording together and touring together... at least for a while. It's almost like I get to see them as a new band. Certainly better than the last time I saw them, when they were all sick of each other.
Yep, tomorrow night is the beginning of another run for the Pixies. I don't know how long it will last, but I'm gonna soak up as much of it as I can.