Saturday, May 7, 2011

Black Francis (Pixies), Aladdin Theater, Portland, May 6, 2011

Only half a song!!!! Sorry!!! They made me turn the camera off! i still like it, so i posted it... Black Francis (Pixies) "Where Is My Mind?", May 6, 2011, Aladdin Theater, Portland

damn! and it was right before that line i can never figure out how to sing! (so many syllables... "except for one little fish, kept bumping in to me, i swear he was trying to talk to me, saying where where where? where is my mind...") in cambodia a fish followed me swimming underwater for a REALLY LOONG time, i DID swear he was trying to talk to me... probably wanted to ask me where to get what i was smoking...

Ed is Dead
The Holiday Song
Where is My Mind?
Wave of Mutilation
Mr. Grieves
Crackity Jones
No. 13 Baby
Planet of Sound
Head On
Los Angeles
Brackish Boy
All My Ghosts
Dog Gone
Robert Onion
Horrible Day
Goodbye Lorraine
I Burn Today
That Burnt Out Rock n Roll

I think I have all the songs performed (22 songs!). I forgot to bring a pen, so they are listed in the chronological order the songs were originally released, not in the order they were performed last night.
read reviews of the show from here... they discuss some of the interesting between-song banter and anecdotes about his guitars getting "smoked" in Japan ("to make them lighter") and the dorm neighbors who inspired "Crackity Jones" and "Brackish Boy"...
The show opened with "Where is My Mind?" ("Get that one out of the way", he joked) and "The Holiday Song" and, as you can see, featured many Pixies songs. There were times in the 90s when we were lucky to get one or two Pixies songs at a Frank Black & The Catholics show (often there were none). Of course, Black Francis has just come off (the day before this show) a nearly month-long Pixies tour of Canada (and Detroit, Milwaukee, and St. Paul). Those songs were great to hear, as always, but it was also nice to hear so many Frank Black classics, some of which I hadn't heard for years.
The songs were performed very slowly, although some of them were speeded up toward the end of the show. He also played with the lyrics, repeating lines. The new arrangements made some songs sound completely different, most notably "Planet of Sound". Other outstanding takes included the Jesus and Mary Chain cover "Head On", "U-Mass", "Headache", and "Horrible Day".

The crowd seemed to appreciate the performance, and expressed their enthusiasm in a most spirited manner. The audience appeared to be comprised of long-term hardcore fans, who knew all the songs and sang along with many of them. The theater is beautiful, but doesn't seem very rock n roll-y. We were all seated so that changed the dynamics quite a bit. I am used to being at shows where you can stand up front and maybe even dance and I'm also used to being at shows where most of the people are 22 or under. This audience had more than a few fans over 40, which, you realize, is the age of the singer, as well as the fans that have been following him on this 20-year-plus journey. Interestingly, no songs released after 2005's "Honeycomb" were performed last night - nothing from "Bluefinger" or beyond, despite the fact "Bluefinger" producer Mark Lemhouse opened the show (he put on a great performance too, opening with Dylan's "Wallflower" and playing "Ramblin' On My Mind" as a tribute to Robert Johnson and the late Pinetop Perkins, as well as his own excellent compositions... we always wondered how Robert Johnson seemed to play lead and rhythm guitar at the same time, the only explanation being his diabolic pact, but since Mark Lemhouse jammed with Pinetop, and Pinetop jammed with Robert Johnson, perhaps last night's performance provided our only clues as to how it was done).

              All in all, a great night from a great singer in a great rock n roll town...

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