1:32 AM: So I went to see The Pixies last week...

Of course, they rocked.

Here's the setlist:

1. Subbacultcha

Many people didn't recognize Subbacultcha until the chorus, so it made for a weird minute or two when the Pixies kicked into their opening song with a bunch of blank stares instead of unbridled enthusiasm.

2. Vamos
Great drumstick solo by guitarist Joey Santiago...the Pixies seemed to really enjoy playing this one. I used to dislike Vamos, but hearing the Pixies play it live really changed my mind about the song.

3. Where is My Mind?
Kind of a bummer to have this at the beginning of the set, but it was still exciting for most people to hear their favorite Pixies song right out of the gate

4. Cactus
Played the way he plays it with the Catholics!

5. Velouria
Not quite as exciting as I thought It'd be live, but still an excellent rendition of an excellent song.

6. Wave of Mutilation
One of my least favorite Pixies songs, so I was kind of bored during this song.

7. Debaser
Most well received song all night. Everyone on the floor of the auditorium was singing along to every word.

8. I Bleed
The Pixies don't pull I Bleed out as often as they do most of the other Doolittle songs, so it was well received as well. The vocal harmonies between Frank and Kim on this one were wonderful to experience live.

9. Is She Weird
A rarity, but not many people were too excited to hear this one. Many Pixies fans never bothered with Trompe Le Monde and Bossanova, the band's last two albums, so there wasn't much anyone could do but just sit tight and soak the song in.

10. #13 Baby

Kind of unexciting live. This is one of the worst songs off of Dolittle, yet everyone seems to love it. I'd much rather hear anything off of Surfer Rosa than this song. This would have been a perfect spot in the setlist to play "Something Against You"

11. Hey
Hey was all about Frank Black's vocals, and everyone seemed to enjoy hearing Frank scream throughout the song. The bnad felt more raw than they did on most of the other songs they played.

12. Caribou

This is a Pixies fan favorite, so of course everyone enjoyed themselves during this song. It was wonderful hearing 500 or so voices sreaming "REPENT! RE-EPENT!" in unison.

13. Bone Machine
Should have been the opener. This was the song I was most excited to hear live, and they stuck it in the middle of the set-list. I still enjoyed it, but it would have been much better at the beginning, or as an encore.

14. U-Mass
U-Mass really livened up the middle of the set, and it was another song the band really seemed to enjoy playing.

15. Gigantic
Frank Black was clearly bored during Gigantic, but Kim really won the crowd over when she finally got her moment to shine. The girls in the crowd responded to this song the most, obviously.

16. Gouge Away
My favorite Pixies song definitely wan't a disappointment live. Frank's vocals for this song are a lot different live than they are on the studio version. The crowd response to the song (lightly head bang to the verses, mosh during the chorus) shows how much the Pixies have influenced the "soft verse-loud and intense chorus" dynamic that's become so standard for most indie and pop-punk bands today.

17. Holiday Song
When Frank strapped the acoustic guitar on, both Richard and I thought he was going to play Nimrod's Son, but fortunately, he played The Holiday Song, which is an even better acoustic Pixies song. It was nice to see them put a few songs from Come on Pilgrim on the set-list.

18. Broken Face
A fun segue from Holiday Song to Crackity Jones, and another song that nearly everyone was complelled to sing along to. The crowd was drowning out both Kim and Frank during the chorus.

19. Crackity Jones
Not one of my favorite Pixies songs, but the live version was much better...it felt like a more complete song when performed live.

20. In Heaven
Nice to see Kim getting to sing lead vocals again, but this was a weird spot in the set-list to put the song. It's almost always at the beginning or very end of the set, and usually leads into a much better song than Mr. Grieves.

21. Mr. Grieves
This was the song I most enjoyed Frank Black play on. Everyone knows this song, and it's just a fun song to put anywhere in the setlist.

22. Isla de Encanta
Not a song I especially wanted to hear, but it came right before...

23. Head On
Possibly the best song from the whole show. The Pixies definitely picked a good song as their only studio cover, and they have only started playing this song live again recently. You can tell they were more excited to play this than any of their more well-known songs.

24. Nimrod's Son
Pretty nice run through, especially when everyone got to scream "You are the son of a mother fucker!" along with Frank.

25. Monkey Gone to Heaven
A boring rendition of one of the Pixies most dated songs. Everyone expects them to play this song every show, so they really don't put much effort into playing it. Not one of their best moments onstage.

26. Here Comes Your Man

Bo-ring. I just don't like Here Comes Your Man very much, and it was clear that the band had no interest in playing the song. The crowd went crazy for it though, of course.

27. Tame
Tame was insane live! The best part, aside from hearing Frank really let lose during the chorus (which consists of the word "tame" being screamed over and over), was seeing all of the "what the fuck?" faces on the African-American security guards' faces. A perfect way to end an excellent set.

28. Planet of Sound

Everyone was enjoying the hell out of Planet of Sound. It's probably the Pixies' best song from their last two albums, and it's just a really exciting song to hear live. The best encore I could possibly think of, and a great note for the band to leave on.

The good part

We were in the 15th row or so, and the Pixies played some songs that they play less often...Is She Weird, Head On, the Catholics version of Cactus, and the encore to end all encores, PLANET OF SOUND.

The bad part
The Pixies couldn't sell out a 1,200 seat auditorium in Birmingham, Alabama, the biggest city in our state. Only about 800 people showed up, and a ton of people sat through the whole thing. What prudes...I was jumping, headbanging, and screaming until halfway through, when I almost lost my voice. Then, it was mostly just jumping, moshing, and headbanging. Intense stuff.

Boutwell Auditorium just isn't a good rock concert venue. It's an aging building with poorly designed seating and horrid acoustics, and has a security crew full of angry young men. The security were kicking people out for smoking cigarettes, moving up to the pit area, and basically being dicks the whole time. I hope you're glad Boutwell, you nearly ruined one of the greatest concert experience of my life.

Also, no 'Something Against You,' no 'Levitate Me,' no 'I'm Amazed.' I can deal with less Surfer Rosa and Come on Pilgrim songs if it means more Trompe Le Monde songs, though.

All in all, it was a great time. Frank Black was very businesslike on stage, but he can still scream with the best of them. Kim screwed up a few times (as always), but her enthusiasm was infectuous. Joey's drumstick solo in Vamos was awesome, and dave hit someone in the crowd in the head with a drumstick on accident. I'm sure this was a mediocre show as far as this tour is concerned, but that didn't stop me from enjoying every single second of it.

It really felt like we got our money's worth. 28 songs over the course of 90 insane minutes. No song was really half-assed, because the crowd was so into every song. The Pixies fed off our energy, and really put a lot of heart into songs like Debaser, Tame, Bone Machine, and The Holiday Song. Of course, they could have played a 10 song acoustic set, and I would have still loved the show.

I know i complained a lot in this post, but everything I mentioned was pretty insignificant at the time, and at worst a minor setback to one of the best concerts I've seen in my life. The Pixies were just as good as I'd heard they'd be on this tour, and I came away from the show feeling like I had just experienced something very special.

Oh yeah...the Thrills were horrible. No stage presence, no enthusiasm, and their songs just don't translate to a live setting very well. Let's Bottle Bohemia is a crappy record, and they played almost every song from that album over the course of their 9 song set, instead of playing more crowd pleasers from So Much For the City.