Arvest Bank Theater – Kansas City, Missouri
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Eager, Excited, Anxious, doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt when I found out that Go Venue Magazine had gotten me a photo pass for the Kansas City Pixie performance. I’m a 57 year old man (ouch it hurt typing that) , but I, for at least a moment was a teenager again. This is a bucket list photo shoot as not only am I huge fan of this band, but I firmly believe they (along with Dinosaur Jr.) are directly responsible for the entire grunge scene and every genre of music that was influenced by it.
I am member of a Facebook group called “Pixies and Frank Black Francis”. They have a group T-shirt and it was this T-shirt I chose to sport at this event.
The opening act was somebody I’d never heard of, but was told by several of the younger folks in the crowd that she was awesome. I’ve heard this before and often times have been disappointed. NOT THIS TIME!! Mitski is what she goes by. Her full name is Mitski Miyawaki. She is a Japanese-American singer-songwriter who attended State University of New York at Purchase. This college offers a unique education that in ways emphasizes inquiry, mastery of skills and creativity. Mitski’s music did all of that. Her vocals flutter melodically, but this can be deceiving at times as without warning they can become very aggressive. Mitski seems to genuinely be grateful to be on stage. At one point she said, “thank you for letting me play in an incredible and amazing space.” You get the feeling that she really meant it. Tonight she was accompanied by a drummer and guitar player who both were incredible but un-named. A Special mention to the guitar player, who was creative and inventive. Mitski plays bass and at times her intros remind you of a Cure song, but she is her own being with her own style of music. Check out “Your Best American Girl” and “I Bet on Losing Dogs”.
And now for the moment we’ve been waiting for. Ladies and gentlemen. I give you Pixies. That’s right, NOT “The” Pixies, just Pixies. You wouldn’t say, I went and “The” Styx would ya? Glad that’s settled.
The walk on stage like the owned the joint, and for the next two hours or so, Black Francis, Joey Santiago, David Lovering and Paz Lenchantin did. When this band begins to play there is a slight moment of anticipation, it’s as if a wave of greatness is about to crash down upon you, so what better way than to start a show with none other than “Wave of Mutilation.”
We are five seconds into the show and already we are being pelted with awesomeness. This was a 34 song set, “I Bleed, “ Caribou”, and “Classic Masher” followed. Next was the ever popular sing-a-long song, “Monkey Gone to Heaven” After we catch our breath we hear, “Cactus” and again, another sing-a-long song. “Hey”. Its here I want ya to know that I am as big a fan as Kim Deal has ever had. She is in my mind still the coolest girl in music. With that said, Paz Lenchantin is a very close 2nd. During the entire show and with all due respect to Kim, I never once wished Kim was on stage instead of Paz. After of group of about five songs that kept us all energized we get to a three song spurt featuring, “Here Comes Your Man”, “La La Love You” and “Gouge Away” It’s not going to be often any band will give you three in a row of that magnitude. Seven more songs followed that led to “Velouria”, two songs later, one of the big ones. “Where Is My Mind?”. Everyone is singing this one. You’re probably singing it to yourself as you read this. From “Vamos” to “Debaser” the show is about to end. They thank the crowd, take a bow, but never leave the stage. Instead they bring us “All I Think About Now.” The house lights come up and it’s time to go. Nope, they actually play “Bone Machine” with the lights up. Never seen this done before. As we leave we are led by a Beatles classic, “Helter Skelter” being played over the theaters sound system.
Ok listen, if you’ve never listened to this band, please do yourself a favor and do so. There is also a great documentary called Loud QUIET Loud. If you’re a fan of Nirvana or band like that and you’ve never listened to Pixies, please be sure you do. It will help you appreciate their influence even more.
– Dean Birkheimer
Photos courtesy of © 2017 Dean Birkheimer.