The Pixies returned to the stage on April 13, 2004, to a sold-out audience in Minneapolis, MN, to deliver this blistering 27-song comeback performance, 12 years after their untimely demise. Recorded live at the Fine Line Music Cafe, the intimate show feels every bit as special as it should, with an eager audience eating up each and every track as the band barrel through a set list very much in favor of their early catalog. "The Pixies are back!" hollers one rabid fan as they head into "Holiday Song" -- a chilling reminder of just how long it'd been since any fan could say the same. Surprises come in the form of "La La Love You" -- which had amazingly never been performed live -- with drummer David Lovering dedicating it to "all you lovely ladies," while Kim Deal's raspy sweetness on "Gigantic" heralds a time that has forgotten the bitter feuds of yesteryear. Additionally, "Nimrod's Son" has been injected with some new flair that helps to separate the nostalgic set from being simply a retread. The years have once again found Joey Santiago expertly weaving in and out of each song with the ease and grace that had catapulted him into guitar reverence, as evidenced in his patented piercing squeals on "Vamos." Additionally, with the howl of "Tame" and "Something Against You" reverberating like it was 1989, there's no doubt that the big man on the mike has still got it, whether he calls himself Black Francis anymore or not. For all the grandiose excitement, there's a charming awkwardness that lends itself to a bit of fumbling throughout the set -- Deal misfires more than once as do the guys on one or two guitar cues, but with the help of the stalwart timekeeper Lovering, everything stays in line and gels in just the right moments. Between the roar of the crowd and the nervous intensity coming off the stage, the recording is an intoxicating experience that longtime fans will flip over if they can find it. Gone are the synths and added guitarist found in the lineup before the split; this is the Pixies back to basics as the four-piece that everyone knows and loves. By the time Deal takes the vocals on a pared-down version of "In Heaven" (a track usually reserved for Black), the listener is handed a brilliant new moment of solid gold that leads directly into a duet on the "U.K. Surf" version of "Wave of Mutilation" and concludes with a satisfying end that doesn't so much blow the roof off as much as it caps a full evening of restored memories. Those who were in attendance had the opportunity to buy a portion of these Disc Live discs, with the rest of the limited 1,000 pressings selling out within minutes on the company's website. Similar discs were also manufactured for the rest of the band's North American warm-up dates leading up to their appearance at the Coachella Festival in May of 2004.
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AllMusic Review by Jeremy Wheeler
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2