Pixies & Modest Mouse Deliver Flawless Co-Headling Sets at Forest Hills Stadium

Pixies performing on the stage at the famous Forest Hills Stadium in the Forest Hills section of Queens, NY in front a near sold out crowd of 13,000 fans. (Photo credit: Mark Smitty Neal)

Mark Smitty Neal | Go Venue Magazine

On Saturday, June 15th Pixies and Modest Mouse Co-headlined the famous Forest Hills Stadium in the Forest Hills section of Queens, NY in front a near Sold Out crowd of 13,000 fans with main support from Cat Power aka Charlyn Marie “Chan” Marshall, who kicked things off with what would feel like at first to be a soulful set to me, would in fact just actually be very somber. Which the artist is kinda known for. The set did feature a melancholy cover of The Rolling Stones ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ and ‘It Wasn’t God Who Made Honkey Tonk Angels’ which was written in 1952 by J.D. Miller and Kitty Wells. While it was a bit gloomy within the stadium throughout Cat Powers set, it was completely different in the courtyard area as a very diverse crowd of fans young and old, families with their kids all enjoyed cold beverages, tasty snacks in the comfort of a beautiful day with clear blue skies and summer temperatures with a very festival vibe.

After a very brief intermission, with the stadium pack with fans inside at that point. Modest Mouse hit the stage and would set the mood for the entire evening with a performance that changed the vibe and had fans dancing in the aisles. This would be my first time seeing the band live and was nothing short of blown away by the stage presence and energy of frontman Isaac Brock, as well as a cover of The Cure’s ‘A Forest”. Just as the Pixies are famous for with their setlist, Modest Mouse also keeps it just as exciting by changing up the setlist from show to show. One thing that does remain consistent is that their set covers a little bit of everything from their entire catalog of albums at an evenly paced rhythm throughout, keeping the energy level on high all the way and the experience mind-blowing.

After Modest Mouse finished a stellar set, there would be an hour-long intermission before the Pixies would take the stage, so it was back to the courtyard area for most fans. This would only continue that awesome summer festival vibe that flourishing throughout the day in the courtyard area. It would also give fans a chance to storm the merch booths if they didn’t have a chance earlier in the day, as well as re-up on refreshments and take care of other things.

There would be no house lights being turned off or any stage lights dimming, as it would still be light out. The sounds of  ‘You Know My Name’ from The Beatles would play over the PA system for a bit before silence filled the stadium with anticipation for the band to walk out on stage alongside former Band of Skulls bassist Emma Richardson, who would be making her New York debut with the Pixies. Making their way out to a roar of nearly 13,000 eager fans. Then it hit! Bang! That opening riff of U-Mass would rip through the crowd as everyone irrupted in excitement. The Pixies always come correct with a killer, diverse setlist that covers all those illustrious albums in their catalog. Although it has been quite some time since I’ve seen them perform ‘Alec Eiffel’ live, which is my jam, but that’s another story. As they shift back and forth from playing the more higher energy paced tracks to then easing back a little with some more slower paced jams just keeps everyone on their toes with that excitement of not knowing what’s to come next for an hour and a half. Hell sometimes the band doesn’t even know what’s next. I love that you see them talking amongst themselves discussing the next song. From ‘Wave of Mutilation’ to the cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s ‘Head On.’ Keeping that pace with ‘Isla de Encanta’ then toning back just a bit with ‘Cactus’ only to follow that up with ‘Planet of Sound.’ Mind blown, and that was only the first six songs of the set. Can’t forget to mention Emma Richardson killing it on ‘In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song)’ before wrapping up a perfect show with ‘Wave of Mutilation’ (UK Surf Version), ‘Where Is My Mind’ and finishing it all off with the cover of Neil Young’s ‘Winterlong.’

The setlist that were put together by both Modest Mouse and the Pixies blended so smoothly. And let’s face, the Pixies live, never disappoint and on a gorgeous Saturday outdoors priceless!!! It was the perfect way for some to kick off their Father’s Day weekend.


Modest Mouse

All images © Mark Smitty Neal

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