Saturday, 3 April 2010
Twelve days after the first Brisbane gig, the band was back in town. I don't know if the promoters had underestimated their appeal (not surprising, I guess, in their 87-91 recording career they never scored a Australian hit) but they'd left no gap for a second Brisbane show. So it was that they tacked on a second show, the last of the Australian-NZ tour.
This time I was joined by my dearest friend Renae. We met up outside the Fox at around 8. This time we were on the floor. The pub was a lot quieter before the second show, so I thought that the crowd would be 1) younger and/or 2) more keen to get in and stake a good spot. Surprisingly, the Convention Centre was still pretty empty by the time we got inside. Security was tighter this time around. Instead of ripping tickets they were taking them and issuing wristbands. One of the staff told me that they'd had problems at the first show with people coming out with two tickets and getting friends in for free. There was also a huge sign proscribing cameras and all that stuff. That may have been there the first time, but i didn't see it. In any case, there were literally dozens of people filming bits of the show with no consequence.
When R & I first saw the Pixies in 2007, we were about 10 back from the stage, right in front of Kim. We took the same spot again, but much closer, one spot back from the barrier. Once again The Art were pulling their crappy rock moves and generally making the pre-Pixies time drag. Renae and I spent the set trying to work out the gender of the drummer. It was a guy, but his skintight shirt made his chest look extremely feminine and bouncy.
About ten minutes before the show started, a few latecomers who couldn't be arsed with courtesy started the old 'shove my way to the front' manoeuvre. What had been an almost perfect spot became a fetid nightmare. I ended up beside a 6' Amazon bogan woman who apparently had the uncanny ability to wipe her arse with her armpits. She was ugly, stupid and foul-smelling. Her companion was an equally drunk monstrosity with a torso like a Spanish question mark. They argued for a while until he fucked off towards centrestage, scattering small people with his massive tub of guts. Stinking drunk woman lost her balance a number of times, sending me sideways into Renae. The odour of her salted sewage armpits was overpowering. Every time she whacked into me she gave a lame 'sorry' and went back to being an obnoxious cunt.
I started filming a few songs because she was ruining the show for me and I wanted something to take away from it other than her stench and constant yelping of lyrics that bore no resemblance to any Pixies song I've ever heard. Finally, about halfway through the main set, she grabbed my shirt to stop herself from keeling over completely. She just managed to right herself in time. Just as she opened her mouth to offer another meaningless apology, I turned to her and in utter frustration said, in as clear and unequivocal a voice as I could muster: 'Fuck...off'.
Yes yes, I know. I shouldn't have called her a cunt, but she was a cunt.
Other than that, the show was as powerful and tight as the one a week or so earlier. As I mentioned earlier, I did take some footage but the sound is horrible...and a barrier security guard took a dislike to my filming half way through Gouge Away, despite the fact that about six people around me had been filming bits and pieces...and I'd only taken footage of about three songs. Renae said later he kept staring at me, like a guy with an N95 who knows all the words is some kind of bootlegger.
The only difference between the first and second shows was the 2nd encore:
In that regard, the first show left it for dead. Closing with 'Velouria' was never going to be as strong as 'Where is My Mind?'
I've made this experience sound like a downer...and in comparative terms, I suppose it was a bit. But it was still a Pixies gig with a band in blistering form and for that I'll always be grateful. I'm going to get a copy of the 30th March show and lay it over some of the footage I shot...when that's done, you'll have a chance to sample it for yourself.
This band is an acquired taste. A number of my friends just don't understand why I love them so much and I've never had any way of explaining it to them. No way that made sense to 'em anyway. But I've long since given up trying. If you've never heard a Pixies song, go have a listen. If you come away having enjoyed the experience...you'll know exactly what I mean.
Here's a threebie from them, one sweet, one screamy and one just flat out rockin'.