The Pixies Have a Ball at the House of Blues in Anaheim

Pixies at the House of Blues Anaheim (Credit: Mary Bell)

Heading out to see the Pixies is a bucket list moment for me. I’ve never seen them before. I have most of their CD’s — yes, I still have those. I bought most of them at the Goodwill for one dollar. (A deal compared to $20 for a record.) So seeing them and writing about them is gratifying. I’ve also never been to the House of Blues in Anaheim, either. I drove to HOB with one mindset: I ain’t paying for parking, that’s for damn sure. So I left my car at a mini-mall parking lot nearby. There is a possible chance for a tow, but I chance it anyway. At the venue, I get my ticket for the show and wristband for something called the Foundation Room. I finally get inside the HOB right as the opener, local band Wetwood Smokes, finishes their set.

The lines for the all venue’s bars are huge, so I decide against waiting for a tasty brew. Instead, I traverse the crowds to get a good spot for the show because I’m hoping Weezer — just maybe — pops in for a song or two during the encore or something — they are doing a huge tour with them after all. While I wait for the Pixies, they are playing “The Bends” by Radiohead on the speakers. And for this occasion, the perfect song. After the song finishes, the stage lights turn on and everyone cheers. They play a recorded version of “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)” by The Beatles as the Pixies get ready to go up on stage.

Pixies at the House of Blues Anaheim (Credit: Mary Bell)

The crowd — filled with a diverse crowd of young and old — is ecstatic. They blow up as the Pixies begin to play an extended intro of “Gouge Away”. Paz Lenchantin — the Argentinian musician know for her work with A Perfect Circle, Jenny Lewis, and Queens of the Stone Age — drops the iconic bass line with ease. Frank Black — in sunglasses — shouts his iconic bible inspired lyrics (The story of Samson from the book of Judges). “Missy aggravation/ Some sacred questions/ You stroke my locks/ Some marijuana/ If you got some.” After “Gouge Away,” they play “Wave of Mutilation (a-side version) — seamlessly transitioning without stopping with the help of David Lovering’s dirty and beautiful drumming.

Paz Lenchantin of the Pixies rocking the House of Blues.

They go through a set of deep cuts that include “Crackity Jones,” “Something Against You,” “Isla De Encanta,” and “Um Chagga Lagga.” The gigantic — pun intended (let’s have a ball, Paul) — set-list is 34 songs long. Throughout the show, Lenchantin backs Frank Black like she is the real deal (another pun). She is a perfect facsimile of Kim Deal’s voice. You can hear why she’s there. 

Towards the middle of the show, they play “Here Comes Your Man” and everyone and their punker grandpappy are singing along to the chorus. They play their cover version of “Winterlong” (Neil Young) and “Head On” (The Jesus and Mary Chain). And of course, they play “Where’s My Mind” (I couldn’t find it though). To my surprise (and my happiness) they play the b-side version of “Wave Of Mutilation” too.

Joey Santiago of the Pixies performing at the House of Blues. (Credit: Mary Bell)

After playing “Tame” the Pixies bow to the crowd and say goodnight. However, it was just a ruse. They stay on stage and play “Veloria.” During the last song of the set “Vamos,” Joey Santiago does what he does best and begins to make beautiful guitar noise with his hat while Frank Black and Paz Lenchantin sit on stage and watch. Unfortunately, to my disappointment, Weezer does not come onstage during the encore. Even after I scream “play Buddy Holly” several times. My friend gives me a ride back to my car. And yes, it’s still there — and there isn’t any parking tickets on the windshield either. 

I like to stare at my computer. Occasionally I type words to pass the time. Those words are usually about music.

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