SEPTEMBER 4, 2023 - PHIL KURUT, COMEDY - CIGARS - MUSIC
I took my kids to see the Pixies live at the TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park (Indianapolis, IN) on August 29th, and I must say, it was a pretty rockin’ first concert for them. The Pixies were joined by Cat Power and Modest Mouse. I had never heard of Cat Power, but they did a good job. They were fairly low-key in comparison to Modest Mouse and the Pixies, but that’s what the opener is there to do. Get the audience warmed up, not fired up.
Modest Mouse took the stage next, and they were definitely there to get the fire burning. I’m familiar with Modest Mouse, but I wouldn’t consider myself a rabid fan. I definitely dig their stuff, and they rocked it live. I think they had about four or five songs at the end of their set that could have been the finale. Just when I thought they were getting ready to exit the stage, they broke into another closer. It was awesome. Of course, they hit “Float On” towards the end, but it wasn’t the finisher. Honestly, I’m not sure what the finisher was called, but it rocked all the same. I think the overall performance would have been better served if the sound guys would have either lowered the guitar levels or bumped up the vocals. It was nearly impossible to hear the vocals throughout the entire set. They still rocked.
After the crew cleared the stage and set up the Pixies’ equipment, the Pixies took the stage ready to rock. And rock they did. Now I’m not one of those fans who remembers every single song played on the night of the concert, but they definitely hit some of my favorites - “Bone Machine”, “Isla De Encanta”, “Tame”, “Gouge Away”, “Caribou”, “Nimrod’s Son”, “Here Comes Your Man”, “Monkey Gone to Heaven”, “Head On”, and, of course, “Where is My Mind?”, which I often find myself thinking is probably my favorite song of all time. The lead guitar, quirky lyrics, eerie background vocals, and stripped down drum part just do it for me. They also played “Cactus”, which has one of my favorite lines in it: “And a letter in your writing doesn’t mean you’re not dead.” Again, I enjoy eerie.
My daughter enjoyed the entire set, but she liked “Nimrod’s Son” in particular. There’s a very clear swear word in there, and kids never miss those, so that became her favorite. My son said he enjoyed the show too, but he wasn’t so sure about the various characters one is bound to witness at any given concert. If I ever hit the lottery, maybe I’ll look into booking the Pixies for a private concert for him. No weirdos.
My wife had a very different experience from the rest of us. Her seat was located by a very enthusiastic fan who scream-sang along to all of his favorites. At one point, I looked over to see the portly gentleman blowing out his vocal cords to “Monkey Gone to Heaven”. I made eye contact with my wife and gave her my head nod and smile that translates to, “Better you than me.” She laughed. She enjoyed the show too. This was her third time seeing the Pixies and my fourth. As an added bonus, I ran into a college buddy of mine that I haven’t seen for a few years.
Every time I’ve seen the Pixies, there are a few things that make me like them even more. First, they don’t really “jam out”. They might hold out the intros a little bit, but once they get into it, they just play the song, and it’s on to the next one. Secondly, they don’t find it necessary to say something “witty” to the audience every third or fourth song. They just play. I’ve always dug that. Lastly, they always rock. I’ve never left wishing they would have played better or played “that one song”. I just enjoy what they offer. The Pixies are what they are, and I love every bit of it. Looking forward to the next time I get to see them live, and if my daughter is with me, I’m sure she’ll be looking forward to “Nimrod’s Son”.