Live Review: Frank Black at The Catalyst
Forgive me, Lord, for I have sinned. I never liked The Pixies. If the last sentence hits close to home for you, it still doesn’t mean that you can’t love Frank Black, aka Black Francis, founder of The Pixies. In fact, loving this man will be your saving grace.
The show at the Catalyst was marked a “sit down show,” however, the event calendar didn’t specify a couple of important details. No one knew who the opener was, which was unimportant since they canceled. The fill-in was a gray haired guy who started his set playing two toy, electronic guitars, one of which was complete with Sesame Street voice snippets. This was mildly amusing of course until the audience realized that they were watching a comedy, one-man band and not just a soloist with a quirky opening.
The second detail undisclosed to the audience was that Black would be performing sans band and electric guitar – just a legend with his acoustic. This was truly a treat to the flock of aging, art-geeks populating the venue.
Black immediately opened with “Los Angeles” with a flubbed-up ending explaining “I’ve been playing that song since ’92 and I still don’t know how it ends.” He also graced the patrons with some classic Pixies’ songs including “Where Is My Mind?” Keeping the banter to a minimum, Black only paused sparsely throughout the show to joke about how all his songs end in a dramatic minor chord.
His command of the room was unbelievable given that really all people were watching was a tubby little man and a guitar. Yet his energy was ferociously welcoming and casual, his voice a nasally siren’s song.
Black alone could be one of the great American songwriters and performers right up there with Neil Young and the show at the Catalyst was perfectly evident of that.
- Review submitted by Briana Hernandez.