Written by Caballero Oscuro
Although this is a completely new Blu-ray release, there’s no new material on it. Instead, it combines the contents of two previous Pixies concert DVDs released in 2006 in their entirety, including the bonus features. As such, fans who already have the DVDs may have little incentive to upgrade aside from technical specs and marginal space-saving design.
After over a decade apart, the Pixies reunited in 2004 and found themselves playing to larger audiences than they ever encountered in their heyday. This led to an extended tour schedule and eventually to the two DVDs documenting these full concerts.
The Blu leads off with a full acoustic set recorded at the Newport Folk Festival in 2005. It’s an interesting choice for the reunited band, representing their first-ever entirely acoustic set and first-ever appearance at an event that wouldn’t seem to be a natural for them. I expected very little from this outing but was pleasantly surprised by the warmth of the songs in their acoustic setting and the ease with which the band adapted to the extremely laid-back vibe of the festival. Against a setting sun and within steps of the beach, the band delivered a completely satisfying set and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the performance themselves. Well, except for guitarist Joey Santiago, but that’s just because he’s apparently always inscrutable when it comes to displaying emotions on stage.
The second concert presents the Pixies in their normal electric mode at a very small club in Boston surrounded by around 200 of their closest friends and biggest fans. This is a longer set and is also a fine performance, but in spite of the intimate setting, traditional performance method, and deep-catalog choices I found myself not nearly as entertained as the acoustic concert. Maybe it was too much of the same too shortly after viewing the first concert, maybe there just wasn’t enough energy in the venue with the greatly constrained audience numbers, but it felt too forced to me and ultimately a bit lacking compared to its acoustic partner.