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Gigantic

Posted in Beats, Beer, General, Icons by brettok on August 5, 2010

When the Pixies played in Auckland in March this year, it was for me the culmination of a twenty year wait to witness one of my all-time favourite bands.  I’d missed them in Australia in 2007, when I moved to NZ.  That was hard to take, and resulted in a week of depression, remorse and disappointment, to say the least.  Auckland would be a defining moment in my musical fandom.

Or so I hoped.  While it was a great show, and a box was ticked, somehow it felt a little anti-climactic.  Probably because I’d built it up in my mind for so long, and maybe expected something that was more than even these icons could humanly deliver.

A week after that show, I was sitting in a cafe in Nelson when I read in the newspaper that the band was coming back to NZ for a one-off show, this time not as part of the Doolittle Tour, and they would be playing tracks from their complete discography.  How could I not go?  Tickets secured, there would be a five month wait until they hit the South Island.  It was only last week that I realised that the gig was imminent.  My holiday to Aussie had left me a little on the broke side, and I even considered  not going to Christchurch at all.  Sense prevailed, and off I went.

Well shit, turns out I made the right decision!  This show put everything into perspective.

Hearing the great songs from their ‘other’ albums was perhaps the reason they seemed better this time.  Maybe it was because I hadn’t built it up too much.  Maybe it was the Epic Mayhem (6.2% of hop-laden goodness) beforehand, or because I’d met some cool guys and girls on the walk to the stadium, who I shared the experience with.

I don’t really know, or care, because everything just gelled.  Them, me, us.

While the Doolittle Tour obviously concentrated on that seminal album, they also trotted out some ‘bonus’ tracks for each show. I’d hoped that Dig For Fire would be one of them.  It wasn’t.  So when, this time, about 4 songs in, that familiar bassline rumbled through the PA, life seemed complete.  Or at least pretty fucking good.

Cactus, Vamos, Velouria, Alison, Planet Of Sound, Is She Weird, Gigantic, U Mass, River Euphrates, all these non-Doolittle numbers were performed with an enthusiasm that maybe playing the same setlist for over a year can inspire.  Of course the Doolittle tracks were amazing also, with the notable absence of Monkey Gone to Heaven, which disappointed most of the throng. You can’t have everything though, and I gladly traded it for Dig For Fire.  A couple of encores, the last with the house lights up a la Auckland, and soon we found ourselves wandering into the drizzly, chilly night, damp on the outside yet warm and fuzzy within.

How do you top off a night like this?  Karaoke, of  course!

I trundled into town with the crew, whose names  are harder to remember than their friendly faces.  After our first point of call was way too packed, we  ventured across the alleyway to a little Korean bar  called Doli.

Ok, there was Dan, Shane, his faux bro Keith,  Tina, Brooke, Emma (she may have been a  random), Kent, Steve and several other lovely guys  and  gals who enthusiastically encouraged my  caterwauling and  joined in the butchering of  classics old and  older.

We searched the songbook for any Pixies songs, but unsurprisingly we were left empty-handed.  We did however manage to shred Radiohead, Sex Pistols, Beatles, Chilli Peppers, Neil Young and god knows what else.  The owners finally were rid of us about 4am.

Such a full night can only leave one with an emptiness when the new day comes, but this feeling is fleeting, and I can’t help but think I just witnessed one of the best concerts of my long and prolific gig-going life.  Top 2 at least.  It was that good.

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2 Responses

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  1. lalahsghost said, on September 8, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Is Kim Deal still with the Pixies? I hear she has plumped up. Still have a T-shirt from them, and shat my pants when they reunited in ?2005?

  2. brettok said, on September 20, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    Ah, wv! Yeah she’s still there, a little plump, but her voice is still the same, and I just wanna give her a big bear hug!


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