Review by Nikki Rodgers with Photography by Anthony Longstaff in Leeds (17th Sept)

It was only 2 years ago that Pixies were playing this room last, ending their evening by filling the venue with thick plumes of white smoke and disappearing off into the night. We haven’t seen them since, until now, when they surprisingly emerged from the haze with a critically acclaimed new record and a world tour.

Pixies perform at o2 Academy Leeds, UK, 17 September 2019

First order of business this evening is the opening act, London four piece The Big Moon. Anyone dismissing this band as a flowery pop rock outfit would soon be silenced after watching just one of their sets. Their live performance is instantly catchy, laden with indulgent riffs from the first song. The fact that the tunes are melodic and singable, though, shouldn’t take away from the fact that this band are supporting Pixies, and there’s enough grit and edge in the music to validate their place in that spot. This is a very good band.

Big moon perform at o2 Academy Leeds, UK, 17 September 2019

Awash a blazing ensemble of bright white lights, The Pixies take to the stage at 9pm. Like many bands of their stature, they’ve had a revolving carousel of members and a huge arsenal of material to draw from, and tonight they’re out to prove it. The set is a mammoth 39 songs long and spans the band’s monolithic career from start to finish. They showcase all twelve songs from new record Beneath The Eyrie as well as leaning heavily on their huge catalogue of anthemic hits.

Bands who have been playing for thirty years are often guilty of phoning in their live shows, but not Pixies. These songs are being showcased with all the grit and vigour that made them famous in the 80s and 90s, they could be a brand new band, cramming them into the two hour set like cats in a sack.

Pixies perform at o2 Academy Leeds, UK, 17 September 2019

Crowd pleasers like ‘Gigantic’, ‘Monkey Gone to Heaven’ and ‘Where is my Mind?’ predictably go down extremely well, with the latter’s guitar part being played by an excitable chorus of 3000 brummies singing together in unison.

That being said, it’s the strength and weight of the new material that really supplies the framework for this show. The energy never stops and it must be very gratifying for the band as fondly regarded as the Pixies to see such strong positive reactions to material that they released just three days ago.

Pixies perform at o2 Academy Leeds, UK, 17 September 2019

Rounding off this machine gun of an evening is a two song encore consisting of ‘Hey’ and ‘Vamos’, both fan favourites which wraps a neat little bow around this juggernaut of a set before moving on to the next city. This is the start of a very long tour, and if this performance is anything to go by, then many hundreds of thousands of Pixies fans are going to be left extremely happy in the coming months.

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