There wasn’t much breathing room at 9:30 Club last night. The $55 tickets that went on sale last Friday courted older Pixies fans’ wallets more than younger ones, but they sold out quickly with little promotion. This is not a fanbase that needs to be convinced of anything.
D.C.-turned-Omaha songwriter Laura Burhenn (Postal Service, Georgie James) took the stage with her current band, the Mynabirds, promptly at 8 p.m. Featuring former D.C. resident J. Tom Hnatow (These United States, Vandaveer) on guitar, the group pushed through a lovely set of pleasant tunes in anticipation of its upcoming third LP, Lovers Know, out in August on Saddle Creek. Older singles like “Numbers Don’t Lie” and “Generals” sounded solid alongside newer, more romantic material.
After the openers packed up, it was a refreshingly quick turnaround before the Pixies launched into “Gouge Away.” It’d be a stretch to call the crowd wild, but they were certainly happy to be there, singing and nodding along all night. The newest bassist, Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle, Zwan), handled her position gracefully, nailing every note but never overshadowing the original members. While Kim Deal’s departure from the band felt noticeable on “Where Is My Mind?”, the strength of the Pixies’ songs held up on their own, and Black Francis’ still-vibrant vocals were enough to satisfy pretty much everyone there. I spotted quite a few 9:30 Club staffers mouthing the words to “Here Comes Your Man” and “Monkey Gone To Heaven.” With a total of 32 songs (three of which were an encore), very little stage banter, and all the hits scattered throughout the set, it’s hard to imagine wanting anything more from a Pixies show in 2015. —Ryan Little
Photos by Brendan Polmer