So we got into the city around 5:30 and stopped to eat. By the time we're done, we got on line at 6:10; 20 minutes to wait in the cold. Fortunately it wasn't that cold and there were people to talk to. As we're standing there, a group of kids (say around 16) camw up and asked what the line was for. Someone ahead of me said "The Pixies" and the kids said "who?" I figure this is no big deal, there's no reason the kids'd hear of them and I'm expecting an Old Man Punk Rock show.
A young woman in front of me started exclaiming "How can someone not have heard of the Pixies!?", much in the way I likely would have had it been a Ramones show (and I would have exclaimed about the Ramones, not the Pixies in that situation). I started talking to her a bit and found out she's 19. I asked her how she's heard of them and said she can't remember, likely working backwards from a band that's around now. We got separated soon after as there were 2 lines and our frisker was faster. I made him laugh by saying "I have to pee, please be gentle". I always like making people laugh when they're performing a tedious job.
The tickets we had ($50 tickets) were for the second mezzanine, so we walked upstairs and I got to go pee. Rob (the person that had the extra ticket) also had to use the facilities and told me to just get seats if I'm done before him, which I was. There are Seats! This is where hagbardc becomes jealous. It was also General Admission and there were still very few people up there. I snagged seats just to the right of the center in the front row, second Mez. This afforded us a great view with no crowding.
As I'm sitting there waiting for Rob, I'm thinking that at least I got to talk to a cute woman today. As I'm thinking this, she appears by the door, sees me and runs to where I'm sitting and asks if she can sit there, saving seats for two of her friends. I said sure, as I'm unlikely to turn away an attractive nerdy woman. She sits down and the two of us talk for the next 1.5 hours while waiting for the show to start. She got the tickets to the show in August and had been dying to see them. She'd only gotten back from England the previous Sunday. She goes to college in Binghamton NY, spent the last semester in England, is an English Major that may want to study law, but is definitely going to grad school. She was very cute with a nice, if bundled figure and black hair and nerdy glasses over pretty eyes. Very pretty lips too. She made a point of mentioning she has an AIM ID and asked if I did too. She loves scrabble and etymology word games and I can't remember the web site she said has them. Ah well. Her name begins with a J, I think... Funny how I can remember everything but names. Anyway, it was an enjoyable way to pass the time until the opening band came out.
I'm sorry they did. I don't remember their name, but they SUCKED! And it didn't help that they had the guitar and the lead singer's mike up way too high. Fortunately, they only played 8 songs and left. I amused Rob by accurately predicting how many songs they'd play.
J's friends showed up just before the Pixies started and seemed quite dorky/scattered. One couldn't remember who had his ticket and was quite panicky before she calmed him down over the cell phone.
Then the show started and who cares about anything else, really? They started with Wave of Mutilation and ended with Wave of Mutilation, which I thought was quite funny. The band was great, still tight even though they're old and fat and haven't played together in years. They did make me feel old on occasion. They played UMass, so I was happy. They played many songs from Trompe le Monde which I consider to be one of the great albums of all time. They played Planet of Sound and Here Comes Your Man and Debaser and lots of great stuff. I realized when grabbing a Pixies CD to listen to on the way to the show that Trompe le Monde is the only Pixies Album I own on CD! I have the rest on Vinyl. I should rectify this.
Possibly my favorite part was the 10 minute long guitar-feedback solo. It was quite complicated and fun. He set the guitar on a stand and played the pedals more than the guitar, despite additional strumming and beating the strings with a drumstick thrown to him by the drummer. He threw it back after and the drummer caught it, so showmanship was displayed. I also enjoyed that they didn't play straight from the albums, they made variations and it was well done.
They made a big show about being tired after the main set, mostly miming having sore throats, but stayed on stage to play Gigantic and that was the show. No real Encore set, just the one song.
The weirdest part is that I've NEVER heard an audience cheer like this before. Sure they were all singing along, but in-between each and every song, even though they didn't leave much, if any, of a break between numbers, the audience cheered like the show was over and they were trying to get the band to come back out for an encore. Hooting, clapping, stomping, whistling, screaming, it was amazing! I've been to TONS of shows in venues all over and I've never heard anything like this. During the numbers, people were leaping about, playing air-anything and screaming. They weren't even dancing as much as punks do in a pit, it was almost like a revival! Of course since the last show on the tour is this Saturday, it might be the last shows they ever do so perhaps people were giving it their all since they won't get another chance. I was very pleased to see they played Amherst too. I wish I'd gone to see them there.
I noticed there was no pit at all. Is that finally passe? Or was it indeed mostly an Old Man Punk show, despite the youngins I met?
One last note about J. Despite all her talk about loving the Pixies and wanting to see them, she left in the middle of their show. As Rob said: Lame.