So here we are back at home after our weekend in Melbourne in which we did many delightful things. We stayed with my brother and nephew, visited a still very new baby with beautiful eyes and a look of great amazement and had lunch at the Ringwood RSL with my grandpa who is nearly 90, but you would never guess it.
But mostly what we did was go to see the Pixies play Doolittle live at Festival Hall with quite a lot of other people who look like they were more used to listening to music in their living rooms, actually. Possibly including the band. Despite a dogged lack of showmanship from the band, it was a fantastic show. The music didn't really need any extra faff, and someone had put together a great series of animations and films and bits to screen behind, which made things visually interesting, but also somehow domestic (see lounge rooms above).
Kim Deal made a bit of an effort to introduce sections of the show, and she looked extremely chuffed at the adoration and excitement of the crowd. She beamed, in fact. Which made the crowd like her even more and created a little charm feedback loop. Which always makes for the funnest nights out, I think.
They started with B-sides, which I didn't know being a strictly album girl when it comes to the Pixies. Then they played singalong versions of all the tracks on Doolittle, with highlights (as you would expect) being Debaser, Wave of Mutilation, I Bleed and Here Comes Your Man. Everyone was dancing and singing and waving arms in the air in the approved fashion. In these non-smoking days the appearance of the lighter was very limited.
Festival Hall came into its own when the main set finished. The Pixies (or someone else) had choreographed a very mumsy and pleasing Big Goodbye, where they all stood at different parts of the stage waving like a parent whose kid was off to camp for the first time (see below).
Something I had forgotten, but remembered immediately, was the fabulously resonant roar that stamping on the floor makes at Festival Hall when calling for an encore. It would never work at the Tennis Centre or the MCG. So they came back and played the slow version of Wave of Mutilation and finished in a blast of light and smoke and disappeared without saying a second Big Goodbye. And some people left, but everyone else stomped some more and back they came again, but they had run out of Doolittle songs, so they played Velouria and Planet of Sound and finished with Gigantic, and there was indeed a big, big love and the house lights were on and everyone went home.
Or caught the tram to Thornbury, because even though it was a good long set, it wasn't too late for public transport.