Live Review: Pixies at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, 11/24

If one thing was clear at the Pixies’ November 24 show—the second night of a three-day residency at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom—it was that they felt their music mattered more than their legend. Although the band, whom Kurt Cobain canonized, by saying that he outright plagiarized them on “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” was playing its classic 1989 album Doolittle in its entirety (as well as its attendant B-sides) the group rarely spoke to the audience. Frontman Black Francis, in fact, didn’t say a word; it was bassist Kim Deal (also of Breeders fame), who would have short comments between songs like, “Some B-sides so obscure we had to learn them,” to introduce “Bailey’s Walk,” originally on the “Here Comes Your Man” single. For the first four songs, in fact, the band played almost entirely in the dark, showing lurid scenes from silent movies behind them.

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