DVD Reviews

The Pixies – Live in Boston

Club Date: Live In Boston/Acoustic: Live In Newport
(Eagle Rock Entertainment)

If you’re not familiar with the Pixies, then stop reading this and don’t come back until you’ve at least got your grubby little paws on a copy of the ‘Death To The Pixies’ compilation, and listened to it repeatedly. Been there, done that, you say?

Good – then go and read about how this Boston quartet became one of the most influential alternative bands of the late 80’s/early 90s, arguably paving the way for Nirvana and their ilk with classic albums like ‘Doolittle’ and ‘Bossanova’. Having originally split in 1992, they reformed in 2004 for a hugely successful world tour; and these two DVDs catch the band at two performances in their native New England.

For such a revered band, there’s a refreshing lack of egotism or grandstanding from Black Francis and co on these performances; just a few snippets of endearingly amateurish between-song banter that lend the outdoors Newport performance a certain intimacy, and give the impression of a band playing for a couple of hundred close friends (as opposed to lucky fans) at the tiny Boston show.

There’s nothing amateurish about the music though. Sure, the Pixies were never the most accomplished of musicians, but that didn’t (and still doesn’t) stop songs like ‘Nimrod’s Son’, ‘Bone Machine’, ‘Wave Of Mutilation‘ and the more well-known ‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’ sounding like the bonafide alt-rock classics that they are. The lengthy set-lists on both DVDs are guaranteed to keep most Pixies fans happy, and the sound and video quality is excellent throughout. There’s also a mini-documentary and a recording of an early 1986 performance on offer in the ‘Extras’ sections.

Many of the songs featured on ‘Acoustic: Live In Newport’ have never officially been recorded in an acoustic form, and hence this DVD will probably be of most interest to the seasoned Pixies aficionado. Nevertheless, ‘Club Date: Live In Boston’ serves as a fine document of a classic band who have managed to bury their creative differences and re-emerge sounding as great as ever. If you’ve managed to catch them live over the past couple of years, you’ll no doubt agree; and these DVDs are sure to bring back some fond memories.

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Alex Gosman