Clocking in at almost two and a half hours, this is one long-ass DVD of live Pixies, reunion style.
The majority of the footage is from one show in France, a 28-song set that occurred (from what I can tell) fairly early in the round of reunion shows. The group's a little rusty, with FB flubbing lines here and there, and Joey Santiago not really sounding quite up to snuff with his lead parts. And really, that ends up being the fun of it. The band seems nervous, and watching them trying to remember all of the old songs is actually fun.
And the songs are certainly old. Of the 28, there's only two from their post-Doolittle catalog ("Velouria" and "Subbacultcha"), which is, for me, a letdown. I felt the same when I saw them on the tour, but considering we never thought we'd see the band again, you can't really complain.
Thankfully, the bonus features make up for it a bit. Pulling performances from seven other shows, there's 15 more songs total, including sweet versions of "Planet of Sound," "Is She Weird," "U-Mass," and the relatively random "Into the White." These bits are interspersed with interviews with a couple of dudes who worked with/for the band in the early days and then joined them again for the reunion. Some cool info there.
The audio and video quality of the whole thing is top-notch, and it does a fine job of documenting the early stages of the band's reunion. Couple it with loudQUIETloud (which we'll get to), and you've got yourself the whole damn package.
Why do they not play later material? Is it a band issue or is that simply what they think the people want? Bizarre call either way.
I'll take this little spot to mention that I love watching Kim Deal play bass live with The Pixies. I don't know why, but she really holds the whole thing together for me, dangly cigarette and all. Did she just always play what Frank told her to or did she contribute her own parts? Either way, the bass parts in Pixies tunes are deceptively clever and fascinating to watch. She also gives off the impression that she is one small step from messing the whole thing up, which you have to love.
Santiago live is awesome for a whole other reason. Dude seems unfazed by the display of awesomeness that he is putting on, which is hilarious to me. He reminds me of the Archers' lead guy in the way that he casually seems to be wandering around, tune-wise, and yet always finds his way back to the song and makes the whole thing 10 times better.
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