By Brandon Judeh (Music Reporter)
The auditorium was nearly pitch black as soon as college alt-rock heroes Pixies took the stage on Sunday evening.
Joey Santiago’s guitar let out an eerie whale as the music slowly crept in, the atmosphere almost like something out of a David Lynch film.
Fittingly, Black Francis begun to sing “In Heaven, everything is fine” from the song “In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song)” written by Peter Ivers for Lynch’s 1977 horror-head trip movie, Eraserhead
After the opener, things went hard and fast as the quartet smashed through 34 songs with quickness and reckless abandon.
“Andro Queen” and the classics “Wave of Mutilation (UK surf edition)” and “Ana” followed in frantic style.
David Lovering’s booming drums led the way on 2014’s Indy Cindy and 1989’s Crackity Jones, proving just how underrated his drumming skills is.
Though many long time Pixies fans were undoubtedly missing co-founder and bass player Kim Deal, touring bassist Paz Lenchantin did a fantastic job of taking her place.
The versatile musician, who has played in countless bands such as, A Perfect Circle and Zwan, has developed a great stage presence over the years.
Her laid back, summer-time fun personality counteracts Francis’s intense insanity perfectly and her sweet melodic vocals almost made hardcore fans forget about Deal.
Classics such as, “Gouge Away,” “Debaser” and “Bone Machine” sounded as fresh as ever and Lenchantin’s vocals on the later two were spot on.
The band noticeably left out a couple of songs that Deal had lead vocals on, most notably “Gigantic” off of 1988’s Surfer Rosa.
As the band chugged along during the humid Cleveland night, there was no crowd interaction at all, after one song ended the next quickly begun.
The crowd, with its mix of Gen-X’ers and young adults, had no quips, as they seemed transfixed on the rejuvenated rockers, particularly on the somewhat mysterious Francis.
“Hey, been trying to meet you/Hey, must be a devil between us or whores in my head,” Francis fittingly belted out during “Hey” with sweat pouring off his face.
When the quartet returned for an encore, they fired through a great performance of “Here Comes Your Man” and “La La Love You” much to the crowds delight, but soon vanished off into the night.
As almost mysterious as the show was, there was one thing certain.
This is a band, which not only influenced almost every grunge band, but also continues to influence a new generation today.