There’s a moment towards the end of Pixies’ second of two sold-outs show at Kelvingrove Park when bassist Paz Lenchantin sweetly says “thank you,” and it dawns on you it’s the first word the band has spoken all night.
Long-time fans will already have known that the alt-rock icons are not the chattiest between songs, but it’s still quite a thing to see a band go two hours without uttering so much as hello.
But with songs like these, who the fuck really cares? They start boldly with one of their most beloved, let least aggressive, tracks Where Is My My Mind? and it proves a masterstroke. What better way to kick off a show than with a mass singalong.
Black Francis, Joey Santiago, Dave Lovering and newest recruit Lenchantin are on flawless form, delivering one punch in the gut after another, often accompanied by tears – although they’re the kind of tears you cry when your child takes its first steps or your puppy learns not to shit on the carpet.
There’s no need to dwell on the classic Pixies hits here. Debaser, Wave Of Mutilation, Here Comes Your Man, Gouge Away, Planet Of Sound et al are of course heartstoppingly stunning and sound as fresh as they ever did.
But it’s when newer tracks from most recent albums Indie Cindy and Head Carrier are aired that you realise just how relevant this band remain and how lucky we are to have them back.
Talent, Um Chagga Lagga and title track Head Carrier slot seamlessly into this incredible 31-song set.
Sure, there’s no Kim Deal (yeah I’m gutted too, but get the fuck over it will you) but Lenchantin is every bit as capable on bass and backing vocals. And it’s when she takes the lead on All I Think About Now that Lenchantin thanks the Scottish crowd, breaking the silence that has otherwise prevailed between tracks.
Judging by the reaction, All I Think About Now has just about replaced the missing Gigantic (penned by Deal and not played live since her departure) and has its own special place in the hearts of the loyal audiences.
And when the outdoor venue (hands down one of the finest in Scotland) is covered in white smoke as encore Into The White kicks into life, it’s as close to heavenly as any end to a gig you’re ever likely to see.
That Francis and co entrust Lenchantin with taking lead vocals on their set closer is a clear indication of the harmony within the band.
Long may it continue.