Pixies @ Sydney Opera House, 23rd May ’14 – Across The Ocean

Pixies @ Sydney Opera House, 23rd May ’14

It is another glorious autumnal Sydney evening and tonight the famous harbour is the epicentre for the stunning Vivid festival.

pixies promo

The expansive lightshow is an LSD taker’s wet dream, with the iconic Opera House the main beneficiary of some perpetually mind altering visuals.

Tonight however, it is the interior of the Opera House that boasts the real anomaly, that being the seminal pioneers of abrasive indie rock, the Pixies. When Danish architect Joern Utzen designed the building in the late 50s I doubt he had this kind of cacophony in mind.

With minimal fuss the band strides nonchantly on stage, wordlessly acknowledges the predominantly Gen X crowd and kicks into Bone Machine. All eyes are on new touring bassplayer Paz Lenchantin, stepping into the massive shoes of the much adored Kim Deal. It is immediately apparent that Lenchantin is a great choice. The bassplaying is flawless and it appears she has somehow acquired Deal’s voicebox. We are won over. The permanent smile etched across her face indicates a delight at being there and seems to have given the rest of the band a shot in the arm as they plough through Wave Of Mutilation and an extended jammed out Gouge Away.

Predictably the fervour does diminish slightly with the first new track of the night, Bagboy, which is accepted warmly as opposed to deliriously. A Joey Santiago wall of noise serves as a suprise intro into Velouria while drummer Dave Lovering gets his moment in the sun with lead vocals on La La Love You, a rare moment of lighthearted Pixies cheese. Then its back to being battered with a cluster of angst being unleashed via the intimidating Something Against You and I’ve Been Tired, showcasing the band’s caustic early sounds.

Singalongs are in abundance too with notable crowd favourites Hey and Monkey Gone To Heaven warming everyones vocal chords for the epic finale of Where Is My Mind?, which sees the full house rise spontaneously to it’s feet… but wait- there’s more.

Quite a bit more actually as the encore of the jangling Here Comes Your Man is followed by frantic takes of The Holiday Song and Debaser before Planet Of Sound brings the assault to a close.

In around 90 minutes we have been treated to nearly 30 songs. We danced, cried, sang and obtained goosebumps. Not a word was uttered from the band for the entire duration. Just a wave hello, a wave goodbye and a non-stop bombardment of brilliance in between.

Gavin Stocker

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Outside of Across The Ocean Gavin Stocker writes, records and performs music under the moniker of P Truck.

He can also be found clinging to his youth on a skateboard or wandering aimlessly through the bush.
Gavin Stocker