Pixies launch “Doolittle” tour


Chalk this one up to a tour I wish I could’ve seen. In 1989, the Pixies released Doolittle, an indie-rock classic featuring disjointed guitars, awkward screaming, biblical lyrics, and juicy hooks. It’s my favorite Pixies record, so I wish I had the time to catch them touring in support of the album’s 20th anniversary.

The reunited Pixies began a nine-city U.S. Doolittle Tour this week in Los Angeles, marking the 20th anniversary of their alt-rock classic. Its intense mix of sonic dementia and soaring pop melody was brought to life in a 90-minute set filled out with memorable, if overlooked Pixies B sides from the same era, beginning with the heavy thump of “Dancing the Manta Ray,” the thrashing Spanish guitar of “Weird At My School” and the blistering, spooky surf sounds of “Bailey’s Walk.”

Like the Doolittle album, the performance Wednesday was an unsteady balance of darkness and light, from howls of unease to the warmth of “Here Comes Your Man,” as the band’s faces were spread out on the big screen behind them, goofing in black and white like the Beatles in A Hard Day’s Night. After some sci-fi gibberish from Francis on “Dead,” Deal announced happily, “We’re still on the first side” of the album.

The Pixies are another cherished band that I discovered later in life. They’re one of the the few bands I would go out of my way to see. From what I’ve read, they put on a great show.

Now the surviving members of the Replacements just have to get back together.