At The O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., September 21, 2019

THE PIXIES (Live at The O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., September 21, 2019)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Demand for tickets was so high that sold out signs were posted within minutes of them going on sale which is testament to the legendary status attained by Alt-Rock legends, The Pixies. Across a career spanning well over three decades they have influenced artists as wide and varied as Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins to Radiohead. The Academy was literally packed to the rafters with barely enough space to slip a sliver of paper.

The Pixies are anything but predictable. With a setlist that changes from night to night, a song that opens the show one night may well close it the next and it is this spontaneity that keeps the set fired up even if that means the odd false start as happened with Here Comes Your Man.

Many bands of a certain vintage occasionally throw in the odd new song into a set packed full of long-established favourites. The Pixies, during a show taking in almost 40 songs, had ample capacity to play virtually the whole of their latest album, Beneath The Eyrie, with Catfish Kate and On Graveyard Hill sounding every bit as startling as the more familiar Bone Machine and Monkey Gone To Heaven from their classic Surfa Rosa and Doolittle albums.

Three quarters of the original line-up that started in Boston way back in 1986 still remain, led by vocalist/guitarist Black Francis, along with guitarist Joey Santiago and the dynamic drums of David Lovering with only bassist Kim Deal absent. This could have been something of a deal breaker if not for the presence of Paz Lenchantin, whose own credits include A Perfect Circle, Maynard Keenan of Tool’s side project, who nailed Deal’s parts to perfection.

The Mexican Punk of Isla De Encanta rattled along at a fair pace while the Gothic Horror Punk of St Nazaire and Psychobilly attack of Nimrod’s Son and the pure golden Power Pop of Classic Masher each showed a different slant on The Pixies approach that enmeshes so many different influences and creates something so utterly unique.

The biting guitars and multi-faceted vocals of Black never waned and even after almost 40 songs the crowd bayed for more. No flash, no gimmicks, just killer songs. The Pixies are legends for a reason.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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