Concert review: Pixies at St. Andrews Hall

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WHO: The Pixies
WHEN: Tuesday, June 9
WHERE: St. Andrews Hall

Maybe you can't tell, but pictured above is the Pixies. The alt-rock reunion band on tour in perpetuity played a last minute set at St. Andrews Hall last night after Robert Plant, whom they've opened for recently, fell ill. For longtime fans, it was a treat; ever since the Pixies started touring again years ago, their Detroit shows have been relegated to the Fox Theatre or the Fillmore. It was an intimate setting — or, if you ask a colleague of mine, it was not.  

The place felt half-empty around 8 p.m., but filled up quick once they took the stage about 15 minutes later. The band sounded tight, and Frank Black still croons like Frank Black always has, so, to say the least, everyone had quite a time. 

Opening with "Gouge Away" was a nice touch; I've always felt it was a standout on Doolittle (unfortunately, Papa Roach felt the same.) Early on, I was situated behind two individuals who were more preoccupied with the filter on the photos they took than the show in front of them. I went to grab a beer at the smaller bar in the back of the room — soon after, a small skirmish appeared to break out. That was lame, so I moved elsewhere and it was somewhere around "Caribou" when I finally found a decent place to stand. 

There's a number of complaints that could be levied about the setlist, which was a 28-song eclectic mishmash that spanned their entire catalogue ("Hey" sorta seemed like a given, no?) and included a pair of duds off 2013's EP dud Pixies, but the lack of banter facilitated a seamless experience. Whatever the case, whether or not you steadfastly oppose reunions of any sort, the band clearly appears to be enjoying themselves.

Would it've been worth a trek to Meadowbrook to watch the Pixies open for Robert Plant? No. But, for an impromptu set in what's probably one of the smallest venues they've played in Detroit in years, the band certainly made it worth everyone's while. 


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