Reunion tours are a tricky business, albeit very frequently a profitable one. But there's no denying that for some people, the advent of a favorite band reuniting is tantamount to reuniting with a first love. For some, it was KISS. For others, Simon and Garfunkel. And for a certain be-flanneled slacker generation, it is the Pixies.
Never a huge mainstream success (except for the radio-friendly "Here Comes Your Man" off of 1989's Bossanova), the Pixies nonetheless created a sound that defied convention and paved the way for a new generation of bands. In an age when pop drivel and hair bands dominated the airwaves, the Pixies kicked out killer riffs and astonishingly postmodern -- nay, even Dadaist -- lyrics. Their songs brought Spanish and surf sensibilities together with feedback and eerie chords that went from danceable to heart-rending, usually in under three minutes.
Their messy breakup in 1993 (purportedly conducted over phone and via fax) left legions of fans mourning the fact that they would most likely never perform together again. Still, their fame grew over the years, due in large part to the success of alternative radio.
Guitarist and lead singer Black Francis and bassist Kim Deal have had reasonable success with other projects in the intervening years -- Deal went on to form The Breeders, and Francis, who changed his name to Frank Black (his real name is Charles Thompson), has released over a dozen records, both as solo projects and with his band, The Catholics.
When rumors of a reunion tour began circulating more than a decade after they played their last show, the heart rates of music geeks the world over sped up.
The Pixies follow up their extremely successful and critically acclaimed spring/summer tour, which included sold-out performances and appearances at the Bumbershoot and Coachella festivals, with a series of fall dates, one just up the road in Denver at the Magness Arena.
-- Bettina Swigger
capsule The Pixies with the Thrills
Thursday, Sept. 30, 8 p.m.
Magness Arena, 2240 E. Buchtell Blvd., Denver 303/871-2336
$39 general admission