The Louisville Palace  welcomed the Pixies  last night into, according to Kim Deal, the most beautiful venue they’ve ever played. It’s hard not to be slightly overwhelmed being surrounded by its intricate sculptural architecture, pouring with details from walls to ceilings that could be mistaken for a European opera house.
Surfer Blood  opened the evening with good vibes and played to a very welcoming crowd. They’re currently touring with the Pixies in support of the fresh EP Tarrot Classics that just dropped last month.
The Luis Bunuel-Salvador Dali film Un Chien Andalou commenced the show as the infamous image of sliced up eyeballs flashed on the stage-sized projector screen. Since this is the Doolittle tour, it would only make to start this way. However, instead of immediately jumping into “Debaser,” they took a detour on some Doolittle b-sides before pounding out the record A to Z. Highlights from this set included “La Love You” dedicated to all of the lovely ladies of Louisville, which brought a warm response from the crowd’s female front. Guitarist Joey Santiago started getting a little jammy around “No. 13 Baby” where his riffs became drawn out without taking away from the song’s pace.
Then Kim Deal announced it was time for the deeper cuts of the album, which broke into “There Goes My Gun” and the angst anthem “Hey.” A change of grind came in the western-inspired “Silver” as a desert environment on the projector screen portrayed it to be so. Wrapping up with the album’s last track “Gouge Away,” the Pixies left the stage and the anxious crowd, unfulfilled, was able to coax them back for an encore. It was clear the band anticipated this though, because they returned with a killer set beginning with a slowed down rendition of “Wave of Mutilation” set to a clungy groove. Finally they got use of their smoke machines on the b-side “Into the White” that engulfed the entire Palace auditorium in a thick fog. Meanwhile, the Pixies were nowhere to be seen behind the flashing mass of vapor hanging over the stage. And like any good rock show, ended on a spastic guitar lick and fatal roar of everyone striking their instruments one last time.
The applause lingered just long enough to get them back onstage for a second encore where they broke out Surfer Rosa. Santiago sported a Louisville Slugger t-shirt and during “Vamos” he stood up his guitar while holding a drumstick like a baseball bat and hit the strings in a homerun spirit. The familiar croon of Kim Deal brought in “Where is My Mind” and the set came to a full stop on “Gigantic.”
Tonight the Pixies hit up Knoxville, TN and continue on the two year long celebration of Doolittle’s 20th anniversary. Hope they catch some sleep.
Photo: Lara Kinne