Last Wednesday’s Pixies concert
marked the start of my mini-vacation for American Thanksgiving. This
reunion concert was one that nobody expected — in spite of their
relative obscurity, this band is so loved by alt-rock fans that tickets
for the show sold out when they went on sale six months ago.
When the tickets went on sale, I simply bought four and assumed that it
would be easy to find three other people who would want to attend.
Deenster and Paul, just before the show began.
Those three people turned out to be my housemate Paul, Deenster
and her boyfriend Chris. They’d arranged to meet me at the office, from
where we’d hop into my car and drive to the show. For some reason, the
concert was booked to take place at the International Centre, a
cavernous warehouse typically used for auto and computer shows located
in a bleak industrial park right by the airport. Still, we were seeing
The Pixies, providers of inspiration for Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit,
key players in the soundtrack of my years at Crazy Go Nuts University,
and we’d have gladly seen them play at a sewage treatment plant.
Deenster arrived first with two guys named Chris. One was her
boyfriend, the other an internet friend from the HappyRobot.net online
community. HappyRobot Chris was accompanied by his girlfriend, Becky. I
invited them into the Tucows kitchen, where they were impressed by our
vending machines and assorted free coffee, teas and hot chocolate.
We’re livin’ the high life in this office!
After giving my guests some hot drinks, I showed them my desk, located
in the dead centre of the Tucows offices. Becky noticed a photo of Wendy that I had on my bulletin board.
“I know that girl!” exclaimed Becky.
“That’s Joey’s fiancee,” said Adina.
“Wait…you know Wendy?” I asked.
“I know Wendy from NTI!” Becky replied.
I knew Wendy attended NTI — short for the O’Neill National Theater Institute
in Connecticut — about ten years ago, back in her school days. That
clearly ruled out any possibility of mistaken identity; it was just
another one of those strange coincidences to which I’ve grown
Becky and Chris,
just before the show began. They came up from Jersey to catch the show.
To the right of the photo, an unknown hand attempts to do some product
We arrived at the International Centre in the middle of heavy rain. The
pairs of glass doors at the entrance had a sign with this laser-printed
on it on each left door:
NON-DISPOSABLE CAMERAS ARE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN
And each right door had this laser-printed sign:
MOSHING AND CROWD SURFING STRONGLY DISCOURAGED
I interpreted this as:
ANY ACTIVITY WHICH WE THINK WILL HURT OUR ABILITY TO MAKE MONEY OFF YOU IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN
ANY ACTIVITY WHICH WE KNOW HAS A HIGH RISK OF HARMING YOU AND THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU, WELL, BE CAREFUL, EH?
I resent the fact that Ticketmaster thinks that by dint of booking an
act, they own your experience and the right to take some snapshots of
it. We really need to spank the music middlemen.
I had my Nikon Coolpix SQ in a case attached to my belt. I told security it was a cellphone and they waved me through.
I ran into a number of friends at the show and even saw Miranda the Accordion Girl and her friends (although they didn’t notice me waving “hello”).
Chris and Deenster suggested going back downtown for drinks after the show, but I had to decline.
“I fly to Boston at 6 a.m.,” I said.
“6 a.m.! It must be love,” said Chris.
“You better believe it.”
Me, phasing in and out of our space-time continuum just before the show. I had a 6:25 a.m. flight to catch to Boston the next day.
It’s been a dozen years since I last had a chance to catch The Pixies
live in concert, and I must say that they sound much tighter this time
around. Perhaps the fact that bassist Kim Deal requested that it be a “dry tour” — she was famous for playing sloppily onstange because she was drunk or high — helped.
Black Francis (a.k.a. Charles Michael Kitteridge Thomson IV) gets things rolling.
Here’s some video that I shot during the show. The quality’s not going
to be the greatest, but it should give you an idea of what the show