Review: Pixies – Hollywood Holidays (Live)
Published on March 25th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
If nothing else, the release of this 1991 show at the Hollywood Palladium has had us trawling back through Pixies’ still-astonishing back catalogue, fostering a renewed adoration for which we are grateful. “If nothing else” is of course disingenuous on our part, for Hollywood Holidays is rich with investigation-worthy moments, especially for Trompe le Monde fans.
Pixies kick the show off though with an inverted version of Bossanova‘s opening one-two hit, throwing “Rock Music” – complete with extra twiddles from Joey Santiago and extra shouty “SHAMONE!”s from Black Francis – in front of the turbo-charged Shadows of “Cecilia Ann”. “Gouge Away” isn’t immediately identifiable by dint of Eric Drew Feldman’s creepy organ line at the beginning, but a mass crowd singalong breaks out once the penny drops.
The treatments of ensuing Trompe le Monde duo “Motorway to Roswell” and “Alec Eiffel” are respectively laid-back and incendiary, that organ powering along the berserk lunatic’s refrain that leads out the latter, during which time we are also treated to a gleefully ridiculous Black Francis falsetto. After that, a faithful run through of the cast iron classic that is “Velouria”, a full-on whooping and hollering “Crackity Jones”, and then B-sides “Manta Ray” and “Dancing the Manta Ray” infiltrate a cluster of Trompe le Monde numbers populated by “Distance Equals Rate Times Time”, “Lovely Day”, “Subbacultcha” and “Palace of the Brine”.
Only then are we thrown a welcome scrap of Come On Pilgrim in the form of “Ed is Dead”, while Doolittle is represented late in the set by the “UK Surf” version of “Wave of Mutilation” and an especially sludgy sounding “Monkey Gone to Heaven”. From thereon in it’s another cluster of Trompers – there’s nothing from Surfer Rosa, unfortunately, perhaps evidencing the Black Francis autocracy that galled Kim Deal and ultimately split up the band.
Any which way, Hollywood Holidays is a consummate live performance from one of the very greatest bands to have ever been a band.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!
Hollywood Holidays is out now. For more information, please visit the official Pixies website.