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Review: Pixies at The Fillmore Detroit – 10.6.17


by David Gimpel

There are so many options nowadays on what to do with your Friday night in Detroit. For those of you who have decided on missing the Pixies at The Fillmore Detroit, may regret your decision. Pixies are one of the biggest influential bands in Alternative Rock music; influencing bands from Nirvana to Radiohead, even David Bowie covered the Pixies. The Pixies are also known for having one of the most dynamic live shows, and on Friday night they did not disappoint.

Sunflower Bean was the handpicked opener by The Pixies, and if you caught their set, you probably left a fan. I am a little bias because I have already had the opportunity to see the band perform at The Majestic Café, and their debut album Human Ceremony, was one of my favorites of 2016. They took this opportunity to test out some new material. Their music has same playful energy between lead singer/bass Julia Cumming, and guitarist/vocals Nick Kivlen reminiscent of the Pixies early years. They kept the energy alive by thrashing about on stage, which helped keep the audience engaged and ready for the headliners.

sunflower bean opening for pixies

Pixies soon took the stage to that irresistible drumbeat of “Wave Of Mutilation” off of the bands essential album Doolittle. This was the perfect opener as the mixed crowd of young and old were pogoing to the beat and singing along. The band’s lead singer Frank Black was in great form and still able to wail some of those blood curdling screams. Joey Santiago’s rapid-fire surf rock inspired riffs and unique guitar playing is still a sight to behold.

The great thing about the Pixies is they have no set list; they make things up as they go by observing the energy in the room and do a good job of deciding when to switch gears. They started out with seven bangers in a row before allowing the crowd to take a breather by slowing it down a bit, then revving up the tempo again. The band covered much ground throughout their set they played 36 songs; including nine from Doolittle, and eight from Surfer Rosa, making an old school Pixie fan very happy!


The highlights of the evening included the crowd singing along to refrain in “Monkey Gone To Heaven,” dancing along to “Here Comes Your Man,” even a little mosh pit for “Nimrod’s Son” and “Crackity Jones”. The band never addressed the crowd, but the energy in the room during “Where is My Mind” and everyone singing the deranged lyrics of “Hey,” was all they needed to do. Let the music do the talking.

The Pixies are one of the few bands that I could hear their songs over and over again, and never get tired of them. Seeing them live makes me appreciate them even more.

See the Photo Album of Sunflower Bean


Wave Of Mutilation
River Euphrates
Head On
Something Against You
Isla De Encanta
Um Chagga Lagga
Monkey Gone To Heaven
Classic Masher
Tenement Song
All The Saints
Here Comes Your Man
Nimrod’s Son
The Holiday Song
Break My Body
Brick is Red
Where Is My Mind?
Motorway To Roswell
Magdalena 318
Silver Snail
Bel Esprit
Gouge Away
Broken Face
Crackity Jones
Rock Music
All I think About Is Now
Wave Of Mutilation (Uk Surf)
Bone Machine

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