Show Pics: Pixies @ Stubb’s (5/1)

Hi all.

THE Pixies.

Kind of a big deal. But no Kim Deal. But we did get a Paz.

Along for the ride this go-round was Public Access T.V., a recently familiar face to Austin via SxSW. They put down a strong set to gain fans with their Brooklyn slacker take on what a Rolling Stones song could be.

Notes and plenty of pics after the break…

Welcome back to the gravel pit, this is my first proper show here this year for me away from SxSW.

Public Access T.V. spent time before the show milling about the grounds and speaking to a few (female) fans. Well played. On stage, there is a calm, a quiet confidence in the songs as this band has gradually garnered a fan base from hitting fests and opening for big names. They are still a bit awkward when promoting the headliner, but I want it that way. Public television is supposed to be awkward and occasionally awesome, think Bob Ross. The name works.

Pixies had a split crowd, the rabid and the ready. The rabid were up front yearning for the punk portion of the setlist to cut loose and then drown themselves in hits. The ready were primed for the hits, always anticipating the next thing. I think I was somewhere between. Later, after retreating to the top of the hill, I was watching the crowd upfront and it was hypnotic to see that area vibrate slowly, like a long wave, in groove to the groove, singing to the chorus, but listening with reverence as Frank gave the raspy sermon.

We photogs had to split into groups, two songs each. It made for a challenge and I decided on hanging back for the second group. It was cool to view the crowd from the far edges of the garages. Lights were super moody, something years and years of being a thing shape. The crossing backlights, just the right smoke, smoke used as a punctuation to songs, broad bands of fill to surround the guitar solo…

Songs were well scattered. “Where Is My Mind” was not saved for last, nor was “Monkey Gone To Heaven”, nor was “Hey”. “Gigantic” wasn’t there, somewhat understandably. Over thirty songs, you get blasted by fast ones. The set goes quick, banter at a minimum. Machine-like delivery. An upward facing growl into the microphone, Black Francis’s vocal never needs to be like a recorded track. Not to these fans. It needed to be coarse and tense, like it was hard to do, the things hard to do are worth it.

THE emphasis is for Phil.

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