Comeback Artist: Pixies – The Influential Band Returns to the Stage

Pixies Comeback

Very few groups can claim a legacy as dominating as the Pixies. The band is widely cited as a source of inspiration among many modern rock artists. They’ve been covered by everyone from Beck to Bowie, and they’re also frequently dubbed one of the best rock groups. After taking an extended break, Pixies are hitting the road again.

Pixies Make A Comeback, Announce North American Tour

Pixies were formed in 1986 by vocalist Black Francis and lead guitarist Joey Santiago in Boston. The pair soon recruited bassist Kim Deal and drummer David Lovering. They scored a record deal with British independent label 4D and, only a year after their formation, the mini-LP Come On Pilgrim was released.

Yet, it was their debut 1987 release, Surfer Rosa, that really snared audiences’ attention. Featuring the singles “Cactus,” “Where Is My Mind?” and “Gigantic,” the album touched on subjects like voyeurism and imprisonment while blending various musical styles. The album is likely the most renowned Pixie release due to the immense legacy it formed. It created a sound that was analyzed by The Smashing Pumpkins and motivated Kurt Cobain. The Nirvana frontman was later quoted as saying that the iconic single “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” was essentially him “trying to rip off the Pixies.”

Surfer Rosa paved the way for the Pixies’ subsequent album, Doolittle. It was more successful commercially; the record peaked at 98 on the US Billboard charts, though it may have been largely due to their leading single, “Here Comes Your Man.” The band caught a bit of flak for the tune, which was considered “too poppy” and is rarely performed live. Despite the popularity of the record, however, tensions began to brew between band members and they opted to take a yearlong break.

They returned to release Bossanova in 1990 and Trompe le Monde in 1991. The latter, which peaked at seven on the year’s UK Album Chart, would be the band’s final studio release before their break-up. Black Francis went on to release subsequent solo albums, while Kim Deal concentrated on another project, The Breeders, who topped the charts with 1993’s “Cannonball.” Successive Pixies-related compilations would follow, including the best-of record Death to the Pixies, Pixies at the BBC, and Complete ‘B’ Sides.

Despite a career spanning only six years, Pixies had left a lasting impression on the music world. Dave Grohl, Modest Mouse, Radiohead and Weezer have all stated a direct influence by the group. Pixies also acquired a sizable fan base and went on to command the respect of musicians for years to come. As Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard once summed it up, “I don’t think you can be someone from our generation or later and not be influenced by the Pixies.”

Although the group was largely adored, it was presumed for a while that the world had seen the last of them. As of the beginning of 2013, they’d remained in a seemingly endless hiatus, but in June, the band announced the departure of Kim Deal. Later that month, Pixies fans were treated to a new release, the promise of an album to come, and a tour. Pixies released EP-1 (containing four new songs) in September and announced Deal’s position would be filled by bassist-vocalist Kim Stattuck.

The band will embark on a North American tour in January, kicking off the 33-date tour in Toronto before making their way to the U.S. with a January 18th show in their hometown of Boston. Pixies have been said to put on some of the greatest rock shows and, as tickets are rapidly snatched up, there’s little reason to wonder whether there’s truth to behind their reputation.

Check out their complete list of dates below; tickets are going quick over at Rukkus.

Pixies 2014 Tour Dates:

01/18  Boston, MA // Orpheum Theatre
01/19  Port Chester, NY // Capitol Theatre
01/21  Newark, NJ // New Jersey Performing Arts Center
01/22  New Haven, CT // Shubert Theatre
01/24  Philadelphia, PA // Electric Factory
01/25  Pittsburgh, PA // Carnegie Music Hall
01/26  Washington, DC // Strathmore
01/29  Richmond, VA // National Theatre
01/31  Durham, NC // Durham PAC
02/01  Asheville, NC // Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
02/03  Nashville, TN // Ryman Auditorium
02/04  Atlanta, GA // Tabernacle
02/06  St. Louis, MO // Peabody Opera House
02/07  Columbus, OH // LC Pavilion
02/08  Detroit, MI // The Fillmore
02/09  Chicago, IL // Riviera Theatre
02/11  Kansas City, MO // Midland Theatre
02/13  Denver, CO // Fillmore Auditorium
02/14  Aspen, CO // Belly Up Tavern
02/15  Salt Lake City, UT // The Great Salt Air
02/18  Seattle, WA // Paramount Theatre
02/19  Portland, OR // Schnitzer Auditorium
02/21  Oakland, CA // Fox Theatre
02/22  San Jose, CA // The Joint
02/24  Phoenix, AZ // Comerica Theatre
02/25  Albuquerque, NM // Kiva Auditorium
02/27  Houston, TX // Bayou Music Center
02/28  Dallas, TX // South Side Ballroom
03/01  Austin, TX // Austin Music Hall

Article by Kristen Gilmartin

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