PIXIES @O2 APOLLO, MANCHESTER [REVIEW]
ALEJANDRO DE LUNA
Pixies coexist between a universe of brilliant absurdity, madness, originality and frantic song shifts; recalling dashes of punk rock, garage, grunge and the so-called alternative, a genre widely spread by the group from Boston. The four-piece band lead by Black Francis – a one-off vocalist – sounds spectacular and farther than tight live. They have the vintage anthems of quintessential American alternative fashion and a disparate songbook with a classic pop side adorned by bubblegum backing vocals and accessible melodies, but also a furious and unpredictable angle full of dirty guitars and volatile tempos.
The female component in Pixies is as essential as Black Francis‘ wacky singing style, Joey Santiago‘s delirious and imaginative guitar soundscapes and David Lovering‘s savage and precise drumming. The female figure embellishes the stage and Pixies‘ repertoire with style. The archetypal bass lines of the American underground and sweetened backing vocals grant Pixies a unique personality and sound – Paz Lenchantin fills the big shoes with class.
Despite being 30 years on the road, Pixies‘ catalogue aged brilliantly and live the legacy is boosted by a precise interpretation masterfully executed, yet the rawness and attitude persist to the point that one could dream up of those early years when the group used to play raunchy venues across America and kids like Cobain studied their songbook.
While listening to Pixies, there’s a sense of urge. The music coming from the speakers is immediate and in your face; enraged but melodic, with messy guitars and psychotic soundscapes. The O2 Apollo stands in ovation after ‘Debaser’ and a night adorned with a paramount setlist, and Pixies return for one more treat. All of a sudden, the venue is camouflaged with white smoke and the stage hides well behind this thick curtain of white fog. The drums and bass of “Into The White” fill the Apollo and Paz Lenchantin‘s vocals escort the raw guitar strumming. Lights on and the memorable gig ends perfectly. One can’t really ask for a better night.