It seemed that in the late ’80s and early ’90s, college rock stations’ airwaves were inundated by The Pixies. Like a black hole, you couldn’t escape from the pulsating beats of the quartet’s intoxicating rhythms. The Boston-based outfit disbanded, amicably, in the early ’90s then got back together for a series of recordings and tours in the early aughts. They’ve been touring ever since, although founding bassist Kim Deal left in 2013; Paz Lenchantin became an official member of the outfit late last year.
Eschewing the syrupy love songs that propel most bands to fame, The Pixies (and lead songwriter/vocalist “Black Francis”) have long favored surreal lyrics and subjects that most bands shy away from. Widely lauded as an influential band, they can count both Kurt Cobain and Bowie as fans of their style. While not recording many albums or leaving a long legacy in their wake, it seems that The Pixies were one of the most important bands to emerge from the mid-eighties post-rock scene.
Playing to a crowd of mostly-middle aged suburbanites longing for their college halcyon days, the quartet took to the stage at The Agora Theater and played a rousing set of mid-’90s nostalgia-tinged tunes. One concertgoer, a teacher with a college-aged son, mentioned that she remembers coming to the Agora in her youth, diving from the stage to the anthems made popular in the lead up to the Clinton White House years. She solemnly looked down to the ground and smiled as she recounted that those years were some of the best of her life. Now a suburban soccer mom and fourth grade teacher, it seems that hearing the quartet on that dimly-lit stage took her back to a cherished part of her pre-adult life.
And maybe that’s one of music’s major missions, right? I mean, beyond moving us to new places and providing a new point of view, of course.