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Top Ten Differences Between Seeing the Pixies Live in September, 1989, and April 23rd, 2004:

  1. The "Death to the Pixies" t-shirt I purchased in 1989 for $5 was available for purchase for $25.
  2. Attendance at the 1989 show couldn't have possibly exceeded 150 people. Attendance at the 2004 show couldn't have possibly been less than 2,500 people.
  3. 2004: Far less combined hair, far more combined weight.
  4. Frank Black: gay? When I was younger, I either didn't notice or was too sheltered to notice even if he was wearing a giant foam finger bearing the message, "#1 GAY GUY!"
  5. In 1989 I wasn't worried that the bass vibrations in the floor would cause me to release my bowels.
  6. At the 2004 show, before every song, Frank Black announced, "It's great to be back after all these years. We're just doing it for the fun of it. And the only thing more fun than playing live in front of thousands of fans, is kicking back with a cold Michelob Ultra the new low-carb beer with a taste smooth enough to carry the legendary Michelob name. I GOT A BROKEN FACE UH-HUH!!"
  7. I cried less this time. I've seen enough pain in my life.
  8. In 1989, I think I was angry about all the older (late-twenties) people at the show. In 2004, I was nauseated by all the younger fans for pushing and shoving and smoking the pot and french kissing without protection. Also, one of them knocked the palm pilot out of my hand during "Crackity Jones."
  9. I don't remember the Pixies being so loud. My goodness. The music is delightful, but I can hardly enjoy my Riesling over all that noise. Note to the Pixies: I don't see Sting hiding behind all that extra volume to communicate his message of love.
  10. Holy shit, I got fat.

    Actually, the show was pretty amazing. I will confess to being sort of embarrassed about attending, like I had something to prove all these years later, or something I never resolved. (i have many things i never resolved. mom, call me.) But it was an incredible show, whether it was seen with or without my soft haze of nostalgia. They just tore through song after song, almost without interruption, just as I'd remembered them.

    One thing I noticed this time around was how intimate their fans are with their music now, and how badly they wanted to express this. There was a woman standing in front of me who, during "Monkey Gone to Heaven," held her hands up "rock out" style, and used them to count off the middle section: "If man is FIVE etc." It was fun watching her add a new finger whenever appropriate. She counted all the way to seven with almost no difficulty.

    [The intended effect of this entire entry was to make you jealous, although I think the actual effect might have been to make me look pathetic. Either way, we're both right.]

WE FIRST MET ON 04.28.2004

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