Pixies / Weezer / the Frays - live in Toronto (Cover Artwork)

Pixies / Weezer / the Frays

live in Toronto (2005)

live show

On a rather mild July day in the more-crowded-than-usual city of Toronto, I got a chance to see my favorite band, yet again, for the fourth time in nine months. This is quite cool being that just a year and a half ago I thought I would never get the chance to see them.

The show was held at The Molson Amphitheatre within Ontario Place. As I mentioned before, the city, and especially that area, was very crowded due to this show and the fact that the Indy car races happened to be going on that same weekend. There were at least two or three times the popular amusement park's usual visitors on this day. Needless to say, getting there and in and out was a bitch, but luckily this venue had assigned seating, so there was no risk of getting stuck at the back. I took my seat in the left section first row of seats above the floor with a great view of the stage and prepared for what I expected to be a great show.

The first band up was called the Frays. They hailed from Colorado and it was their first time in Canada. There were four members, playing guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard respectively. The keyboard player/vocalist was wearing a stupid hat. I know these odd facts are boring, but they're a lot more interesting than this band's music was. My favorite thing about them, though, was that they only played four songs.

Now, some Pixies fans are pretty crazy. Like I said, this was my fourth time seeing them and I've experienced some pretty strange things at those previous shows. This show was no different, as four especially nerdy Pixies fans actually managed to climb up on stage and play a few songs. They called themselves Weezer. They opened with a wonderful number entitled "Say It Ain't So" which ignited most of the younger people in the audience, causing each one to make the 'W' with their index fingers and thumbs. Within the next seven songs they also played "Undone (The Sweater Song)," "Getchoo," and "El Scorcho." This was shaping up to be a great set list, but then things turned ugly. They played mostly crap off the new album and nothing else off the Blue or Pink(erton) albums except for the obligatory "Buddy Holly." They didn't even sound very good. Before playing "El Scorcho," Rivers said "we got a lot of requests to play this last time we were in Toronto, but we hadn't been practicing it so we couldn't do it." Well, it sounded like they still hadn't been practicing, and that goes for almost all of the songs they played. To their credit, the rendition of "Island In The Sun" wasn't half bad and was probably the highlight of their performance, but in keeping with their pre-decided theme of disappointment, they closed with, of all things, "Hash Pipe" and an extended feedback "solo." Weezer may have two pretty good albums, but they suck live.

Set List:

  • Say It Ain't So
  • Photograph
  • Undone
  • Peace
  • Pity
  • Getchoo
  • El Scorcho
  • Hold Me
  • Perfect Situation
  • Death & Destruction
  • Island
  • Drugs
  • Beverly Hills
  • Buddy Holly
  • Haunt You
  • Hash Pipe
This was quite an odd combination of bands, at least as far as the fans were concerned. At every other Pixies show that I had been to, it was all Pixies fanatics, but at least five Weezer fans noticed my Pixies shirt and said something to the effect of "hey, I've never heard of the Pixies. Can you tell me what they sound like?" Oh the blasphemy! That's like a Jesus freak having never heard of God. I spoke slowly, choose my words carefully, and attempted to explain in a way that was correct, but that they could still understand: "Like Nirvana, except they don't suck" / "Like Weezer, but much harder and faster with occasional outbursts of screaming" / "Have you ever seen 'Fight Club?'" Yeah, it was difficult, but I think I convinced each one to stay. Many didn't get the chance to speak with me though, and left before the Pixies even took the stage. That was fine with me, though. I moved down to the floor and took their seats.

After a short wait, Frank Black, Kim Deal, Joey Santiago, and David Lovering took the stage. Kim said a quick "hey" and then they went right into "Velouria." I found the fact that they chose this song to open with particularly hilarious, as it's basically the template for every Weezer song. They also played new addition to the sets of the summer tour "Stormy Weather," which sounded a lot better than the already great album version. There was a great stretch in the early-to-middle part of the set that included especially powerful versions of "Bone Machine," "Tame," "Caribou," and "Crackity Jones." After "Crackity Jones," Kim remarked "sorry my fingers can't move that fast anymore," but it sounded great to me. One thing I noticed was that many of the Weezer fans, while seeming to enjoy the performance, were not moving around very much. I'm sure this made me in all my rocking-out glory easier for the security to spot when they kicked me back to my seat immediately after "Allison." My trek back up to the first level was accompanied by "Debaser." After this, Frank picked up his accoustic for the final stretch. The two biggest highlights of the show were included in this, one being "La La Love You," which was so much fun, and the other being "Wave Of Mutilation (UK Surf)" with alternating vocal lines between Frank and Kim. Frank did cut Kim off a couple times and at the end she said "hey, you were stealing my lines!" Aww, she's so cute. The end of the show was probably the most energetic part and included such greats as "Here Comes Your Man," "Nimrod's Son," "Vamos," and "Where Is My Mind." They came back to play "Gigantic" for the encore and finished with each band member saying goodnight to the others during the usually instrumental ending of that song; "Goodnight Kimmy." "Goodnight Charles." As this was going on, fireworks began going off in another section of the park; this incited cheers from the crowd and I thought it was a very fitting end to an excellent performance. The Pixies are one of the best live bands on the planet. If you haven't seen them, go see them. If you have seen them, go see them again.

Set List:
  • Velouria
  • I Bleed
  • Stormy Weather
  • Subbacultcha
  • Gouge Away
  • Bone Machine
  • Tame
  • Hey
  • Caribou
  • Wave Of Mutilation
  • Crackity Jones
  • Monkey Gone To Heaven
  • River Euphrates
  • Allison
  • Debaser
  • In Heaven
  • Wave Of Mutilation (UK Surf)
  • La La Love You
  • Here Comes Your Man
  • Ed Is Dead
  • Mr. Grieves
  • The Holiday Song
  • Nimrod's Son
  • Vamos
  • Where Is My Mind?
  • Gigantic