The show was held at Mississauga's Arrow Hall, within International Centre. I'd never seen a show there before, and it's a good subway and bus ride away from where I live in Toronto, but I liked it and I'd go back. Not everyone agreed with me however; I even heard someone remark: "I'm never going back to Arrow Hall, not even if the fuckin' Beatles dig themselves up." I didn't think it was that bad. I waited out in the cold for about half an hour, as there was already quite a big line when I got there. I was part of the second group they allowed in, but for some reason unknown to me everyone stayed away from the stage, so I got right up close. I was up front, against the barricade, right/centre of the stage, between the places that would shortly be occupied by Frank Black and Kim Deal, closer to Kim. I had a great view of everything. Now on to the show...
First up was Hamilton, Ontario's The Marble Index, named after a solo Nico record. I'd never heard or heard of them before, but they were excellent. I'd describe their sound as fast indie, but they call it "millenium punk." The three-piece played a short but inspired set. Adam Knickle's brilliant drumming was what I was most impressed with, but Brad Germain and Ryan Tweedle turned in solid guitar and bass performances. Brad's vocals reminded me of Dave Grohl on this particular night, but I've yet to hear anything they've recorded so I don't know if they always sound that way. I was going to buy their CD, but the merch line was far too long after the show, so I didn't. These guys really got the crowd going, and probably would have even without Brad's ominous warning; "Frank told me and Kim agreed: 'Brad, if you don't get the crowd going, we're not coming out,' so you'd better keep it up." There was a lot of funny audience interaction such as asking specific audience members (like the girl with the glasses) to rate each song out of ten, and Brad misunderstanding someone's "don't you hate pants" comment as "don't you hate France." He said of course they did which received booing and the next song was dedicated to "our rocky relationship with France over the past few seconds." He also reminded us that "the fuckin' Pixies are coming out later!!!," always good for a cheer. I loved this band.
Next was The Datsuns. I've never liked this band, and I don't know who does. Most reviews of them that I've read were terrible, and deservingly so. This return to 70s-style rock 'n' roll that is becoming popular is pretty horrible and it doesn't do anything for me. The singer's shrill, high-pitched screaming (and not the good kind like Frank Black) pierced our ear drums and all in all they were very unoriginal. I will say that they are some of the skinniest people I've ever seen and it took me a few songs to figure out the sex of the guitar player. I can't tell you any specific songs that they played because I don't really know any, but they did play that "like a motherfucker from hell" (or however it goes) song, which would be my favorite if I had to pick one, mainly because it was one of the last songs they played.
Finally it was time for the Pixies. I bought my ticket back in May, so I was extremely excited to say the least. They are my favorite band ever. The audience was warmed up by The Marble Index, cooled down by The Datsuns, but picked back up by our anticipation of the greatness to come. We saw Frank Black peeking out at us from the side of the stage and that received massive aplause and Kim Deal came out for a few seconds and hid behind an amp, but wasn't really noticed by most of the audience. When they all finally came out the place just went nuts. We had little time to prepare though because David Lovering's drums started booming and the band went right into "Bone Machine." We were all jumping and screaming the lyrics right back at them. They played "River Euphrates" and "Wave of Mutilation" next, each one brilliant and better than the last. "Monkey Gone To Heaven" was next, receiving much applause seconds into it. We all held up 5, 6, and 7 fingers when it was necessary. Next was "No. 13 Baby" and this was one of my favorites. It's my fifth-favorite Pixies song and I wasn't sure that they would play it, and Kim Deal and I also had a moment. We caught each other's eye at the first "I'm in a state" and didn't let go. She stared at me and I stared at her and sang the song. We had a few other moments such as when I yelled "hey Kim my name is Paul!" and she smiled at me when they were playing "Gigantic" a bit later in the show and when she was waving good-bye to us at the end she leaned forward and waved to me specifically. It was pretty cool. The next song was "U-Mass" and we all screamed "it's educational!" along with Frank Black. I can't remember the rest of the set in order, but they played favorites such as "Debaser," "Tame," "Hey," "Here Comes Your Man," "Broken Face," and "Velouria." I'll list all of the songs they played out of order at the end. Some of the highlights of the show included: "In Heaven" with lead vocals by Kim, playing half of "Nimrod's Son" then all of "The Holdiay Song" then the rest of the previous song and doing the same with "Isla De Encanta" and "Something Against You." "Isla De Encanta" also contained Frank Black's most severe screams of the night at the "laaah, loooh, patria" part. There were two bits of theatre during the performance. The first was Joey Santiago's guitar solo during "Vamos." He brought out a folding chair and placed his guitar on it, played with the pedals for a little, then signaled to David Lovering to toss him a drum stick; he dropped it on the first try (causing Frank and Kim to burst into laughter), but caught it on the second and played the guitar with it then tossed it back to Dave who caught it, he then went on the remove the patch cord and strum the guitar with it and also played the cord with his fingers...it was quite impressive. The other "piece" was at the end. Apparently David Lovering's wrists hurt and he couldn't continue, but the rest of the band begged and pleaded and he agreed to play one more song which was "Where Is My Mind." We all swayed and sang along. That was it for the performance. Frank Black stood with his hands on his hips and basked in our love and appreciation, while the rest of the band waved good-bye.
I can honestly say this was my favorite show that I have ever seen. I may have seen more passionate and enthusiastic performances from other bands, but I've never seen a better band. And I don't think I ever will.
Set List (Out Of Order):
Isla De Encanta
The Holiday Song
Something Against You
Where Is My Mind
Wave Of Mutilation
Here Comes Your Man
Monkey Gone To Heaven
No. 13 Baby
Is She Weird