Pixies warm up for London shows with first night of New York residency

Band play new songs and old classics at the Bowery Ballroom

Andy Willsher/NME
Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
Pixies last night (September 17) played the first of four intimate New York shows at the city's Bowery Ballroom.

Appearing in front of a sold out crowd, the band followed last week's equally small gigs in Los Angeles and a headline set at the weekend's Riot Fest in Chicago with an encore-free performance at the 550-capacity venue in Manhattan's Lower East Side. The current shows are the band's first since autumn 2011.

With former frontwoman of The Muffs, Kim Shattuck, playing bass and supplying backing vocals in place of the recently departed Kim Deal, the four-piece ran through a host of hits, covers, deep cuts and new material – airing 'Indie Cindy' and 'What Goes Boom' from their recent EP, as well as the new songs 'Blue Eyed Hexe' and 'Bagboy'. The band opened their 75 minute set with a cover of The Fall's 'New Big Prinz'.

The biggest crowd reaction however, was saved for the likes of 'Hey', 'Wave Of Mutilation' and set closer 'Where Is My Mind?'. The band spoke little with the crowd throughout the gig, save for frontman Frank Black announcing, "We're gonna do a pretty song here... maybe it's not that pretty," before 'Caribou'.

A spectacular lightshow played out alongside the high-energy, 23-song performance, the band bringing their own, lavish stage set to the venue, which included a host of polished stainless steel screens and huge lamps hanging from the ceiling of the small stage.

Pixies return to the Bowery Ballroom tonight (September 18). On Thursday they play a show at the intimate Music Hall Of Williamsburg before returning to the Bowery Ballroom on Friday, with support from Parquet Courts. They will appear on September 25 at London's Roundhouse as part of the iTunes Festival and they then tour the UK in October.

Pixies played:

'Big New Prinz'
'Head On'
'Crackity Jones'
'Something Against You'
'Distance Equals Rate Times Time'
'What Goes Boom'
'Indie Cindy'
'Broken Face'
'Isla De Encanta'
'Wave Of Mutilation'
'Blue Eyed Hexe'
'Planet Of Sound'
'Nimrod's Son'
'I've Been Tired'
'The Holiday Song'
'Where Is My Mind?'

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