There was a very telling moment in the Pixies’ set Wednesday night at  Stage AE that tells the tale of two divergent groups with two distinct purposes.


It was the opening to the Paz Lenchantin-led “All I Think About Now.”  Lenchantin, a full-time Pixies now, sings lead on the song written by  Frank Black (aka Black Francis) about and to former bassist and founding member Kim Deal. The beginning of the song echoes very much  the intro to perhaps one of, if not, the Pixies most well-known songs,  “Where is My Mind?”


As guitarist Joey Santiago hit the first few notes of the intro, an audience that was rather lackadaisical through the concert so far,  sprang to life. There was a push from people in the back moving  forward to hear what they clearly wanted to be “Where is My Mind?”


When Lenchantin became singing, the crowd that flowed towards the stage, ebbed back.


While, yes, there were true, hardcore Pixies fans there that appreciated the diversity of the setlist to this point, a majority of the crowd especially on stage left were wanting a ‘greatest hits’ show.


They wanted “Here Comes Your Man,” "Debaser,” "Where is My Mind?” They  had no interest in the fact that the band had played half of its 1987  debut EP “Come On Pilgrim.” Or that the band, except for the title  track “Head Carrier” played none of the singles off their latest 2016  release.


Or that the group went deep with 89’s “Dolittle,” so deep that the  encore “Into The White" was B-side to “Here Comes Your Man.”


Those greatest hits or, now, classics got the biggest crowd pops. They also elicited the most audience participation.


The Pixies, on the other hand, were scorching through a no-frills  90-plus minute set that was a tour de force of their back catalog. A  back catalog that is so diverse that easily moves from experimental to straight-up rock. It is a catalog that, should in a just world right with reason, have them in the so-called Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


The band is still too vital to be packaging a ‘greatest hits’ tour as  “Head Carrier” proved. This is a band that was there celebrating its past and looking to a very interesting future.

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