Review Summary: Black Francis bought me a burrito once. True story.
The Pixies went away right around '92-93' never to return, and we were sad. Now (three years ago lol) the Pixies have returned to walk and rule the earth once again. They reign supreme over most rock bands large and small. They can't help it, don't blame them. The rotund family man named Charles (I like to call him Black), former junkie / alcoholic turned boring old fart Kim, straight laced, mild mannered Joey Santiago, and the flaky, drug dabbling David Lovering are just too powerful. No fault of their own. Sometimes the planets just align that way, and magic happens.
This is a DVD review, as you have already figured out. When the Pixies last left us they were a solid, explosive, but somewhat uneven live act. Fast forward a dozen or so years and by technology, experience, and age, the Pixies are a changed band live. A better band, a looser band, a more forceful band. As if they had never stopped. Or perhaps as if they had.
– One word is all that is needed, really. Amazing
. Shot in France three years ago (July 2004) the Pixies on stage are an extraordinary experience to say the least. This isn't a physically busy band, no theatrics, no jumping around, no sense of hip or cool. Just four players who pretty much stand in one spot and let the music do the talking. No fancy light show, just the basics. And that's all this band needs as they take you through a generous twenty-five song set (and a few extras) of some of their best material.
Thankfully those responsible for capturing the band understand this and keep the camera work just busy enough, shooting from interesting angles to bring the experience into your living room. Crowd shots are kept to a minimum and when present don't irritate very much. Each band member is well represented and through the music and camera work you get a good idea of each performer.
The performance itself is bone crushing, elegant, beautiful, raw, powerful, colorful. This is the music of the Pixies, and although not physical performers, the whole is greater then the sum of its parts, and you come to see the uniqueness of each player as the concert unfolds. So kudos to the filmakers for capturing the essence of a band that sound in description like they would be boring as hell on on stage but as it turns out are as the DVD portrays: Kick assery of the highest order.
– Oh my. This band has some great rock n roll songs, amirite" We get the “Uk Surf” version of Wave Of Mutilation
performed at a low, tense simmer, Cactus
, which is darker and more foreboding then in the studio, a slammin' Gouge Away
, and of course the magnificent Gigantic
. tbqh to just keep listing and describing songs is kinda' useless. What you get here are 44 (omg) Pixie performances featuring a wealth of material from all four of their official LP releases, and some from the EP C'mon Pilgrim, too. You get 33 singular songs and 11 duplicates that are featured at various places in the main and bonus areas of the DVD. That's all you really need to know. And each one is performed like GOD”S OWN ROCK BAND WERE PLAYING THEM.....oh wait.....
– Um, yeah. Pretty much the whole freakin' thing. The great thing about the Pixies is they are a band that does everything
so right. So its different for everyone. Their beauty is immense, the whole of them, awesome. They're like a huge mass of perfection. It's all good, and if you want a piece of your own you look over it and take what you want. It's a unique experience for each listener. This is a generous rock n roll band. They give much, you just need receive. I'll take it all k plz thnx :)
True highlights are musical, and they are many. Mostly they are collective pleasures that concern the performance itself. The Pixies have become in their absence a fine group of musicians, and if in the past they had a hard time duplicating on stage what they were in the studio as their recordings grew more textured, this is not the case upon their return. Black's vocals are as fierce as ever and more emotive, Kim Deal's bass like loud, delicate thunder, her cigarette smoke tinged vocals like those of a fallen angel. David Lovering's drums smart, inventive, and solidly anchored. And then there is Joey Santiago. Bearing the responsibility of bringing all those twisted, sonic guitar sounds live to the stage, he is this bands most improved player. Not that he was bad before, but since we last saw him with the Pixies he is so much better. Having never left music and taking advantage of modern technology he is quite simply one of rocks better guitarist, and the Pixies benefit. He makes it sound right
. And because of this for the first time in this groups history they sound right on stage. Not a little off center, or spare, or “almost there,” but right on top of it. God bless Joey.....
– Ooh, lots of it =] From all over the tour we get 16 bonus performances of some songs featured in the main program, and some not. Some of it was pulled straight from the groups first official performance back at Coachella Music Festival held in the South Cali desert, and even that is splendid. Other stuff was shot during the tour. No matter, its all great. Some even think it should have been made the main feature of the DVD. Not so, but it is sublime nonetheless. Some of the songs featured not included on the main program are Nimrod's Son
, No. 13 Baby
, Is She Weird
, Into The White
, Planet Of Sound
, etc. Perfection, one and all. Also featured are interviews with some particulars within the Pixies organization and a chance to choose the shots for a performance of Monkey Gone To Heaven
. Good fun.
- The disc itself looks good on my computer and stand alone DVD player. It's well lit and colors don't streak or look pixelized or distorted. It's all very clean and clear. The sound is Dolby Digital 2.0 or 5.1 and the audio is well mixed and balanced across all levels. All in all a professionally executed and presented package.
So this is the Pixies. Live, in action, and never better. Words cannot describe. You don't watch this band, you don't listen to them. You experience them in total. A completely cathartic event, thats what this band is. Thats what all truly great rock n roll is. Or at least aspires to be. That's what is found on this DVD. A big, big love, to be sure.