Alt-rock veterans the Pixies showed no signs of slowing at the revamped Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium on Tuesday with a set that lasted nearly two hours.
The band didn’t waste any time as it opened with one of its most famous songs “Debaser.” Frontman Black Francis bellowed into the microphone, sounding enraged as ever, while the band’s latest bassist Paz Lenchantin followed with opposing harmonies.
Letting the music speak for itself, the Pixies didn’t talk much between songs—in fact, they didn’t talked at all as they worked through the band’s catalog that stretches back to 1988’s Surfer Rosa.
They played hits like “Bone Machine,” “Here Comes Your Man,” “Monkey Gone To Heaven” and received one of their biggest ovations when Black Francis shouted into the microphone in slow motion “I hope everything is alright” before playing “Mr. Grieves” from the album Doolittle. Other recent songs included “Indie Cindy,” “Magdalena 318,” “Greens and Blues” and “Bagboy,” but it was mostly a night of nostalgia for fans as older material took the spotlight.
A polar opposite from the EDM scene and even most rock shows of today, the stage set was sparse with just a few lights. The crowd supplied most of the visuals with light moshing and crowd surfing accompanied by lots of howls and screaming.
On cue, the band ended the set with their biggest hit “Where is My Mind?” and most of the audience joined in on vocals to help out. The Pixies were showered with cheers as they unplugged, strutted the stage and admired the grateful reaction.
Black Francis and fellow founding members, Joey Santiago and David Lovering, embraced new bassist Lenchantin and gave her a heavy grasp, taking her under their wings with approval. They took a bow before stepping away to a relentless chant for an encore.
They returned and played “Planet Sound,” validating the Pixies legacy as a band that will burn out before it fades away.