This Blu Ray is the merging of two previously released concert DVDs. One taking place in Boston comes from their reunion tours of recent years, and the other is an extremely rare acoustic appearance at the Newport Folk Festival. By having these combined into one package makes for a nice compare and contrast for both fans and newcomers of this highly influential, alternative rock band. Both setlists are enormous and ensure that this is a must buy for longtime fans.
The Boston “electric” show is much truer to the Pixies sound, as always orchestrated by frontman Black Francis (aka Frank Black; aka Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV). This show demonstrates the band in top form as they ease into the frenetic punk energy they’ve had since their 1980s debut. Meanwhile the acoustic show makes for an interesting experiment but I have a feeling that only true fans will be able to listen past the new arrangements and strange lead guitar changes to hear what they are meaning to play in all of their “classic” tunes.
No matter which show, the band is humourous and extremely casual with their onstage banter, and entertaining in one form or another.
Widescreen 1.78:1. The picture is far superior during the Boston club footage. Possibly because the sunny, natural light of the Newport Folk Fest was too bright for close-ups as said close-ups can be a touch fuzzy. Either way, both pictures are decent but only the Boston show demonstrates some proper Blu Ray level crispness and sharp defined lines. Not that any of that is needed for a concert show with literally no production aside from spotlights on the musicians…but you sure can see them sweat in HD as they play.
Available in DTS HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1 and LPCM Stereo. For those that have read the few concert DVDs reviews I have on this site, you all know I’m a total stickler for how the Audio quality should come first and foremost. Here, the sound is a fine example of how a concert blu ray can be. Every pop, every mistake, every buzzed guitar string, every missed note, and everything that they nail just right is clearer than being there live. There seemed to be a pesky issue with syncing during the Boston show…but perhaps I was watching the drummer too intently.
Fly on the wall Featurette: This mini-documentary peers into the Pixies’ time rehearsing for their acoustic debut. This can be surprisingly engrossing as we witness the band attempt to rearrange their songs so that they lose some of their harshness and can appeal to a “folk” audience (all the while a tad tongue-in-cheek about this whole process). As well, we see bootleg footage of their secret live dress rehearsal where they make their true acoustic debut before making their “official” debut a couple days later in Newport.
TT and Bear’s: This is a 12 song long concert filmed in 1986. All filmed on a cheap camcorder, the band appears in fine form. A nice glimpse into the band’s early club days.
Photo Gallery: This feature was broken on my copy and simply looped me right back to the main menu.
Ultimately this is a great service for hardcore Pixies fans; a highest quality compilation of their two most recent DVD releases.