The Pixies : June 24, 2023 @ The South Side Ballroom in Dallas, TX

A flower adorns Paz Lenchantin's headstock of her bass. Photo by Brian McLean

American alternative rockers The Pixies brought the back end of the second leg of their US Tour to South Side Ballroom on a sweltering Saturday night in Dallas. Along for the ride with only Austin left on the itinerary, main support Franz Ferdinand and Bully.

Temperatures reaching into the triple digits didn’t deter those who wanted to line up early for an advantage once inside. 

Doors were originally scheduled to open at 6:00 PM but an issue with handheld ticket scanners delayed entry by 12 minutes. 

Six handheld clickers were on reserve and ready to count heads but slowly the scanners were connecting one at a time.

As fans entered, it was apparent all three bands were pulling from all corners of the musical wardrobe spectrum. Goths, mohawks, metalheads and Gen Z tagging along with parents is just a sampling of the sold out crowd.

Bully fronted by singer and guitarist Alicia Bognanno led off the night’s ride. The band is touring in support of their latest release, Lucky for You. Bully delivered a smooth nine song set to an already packed floor but towards the end, Bognanno halted their performance. The house lights went up and the fan was assisted that was in need of medical attention. Once that was taken care, Bully finished out their set.

Even though the show was inside with a climate controlled environment, densely packed crowds can still have an effect.

Following Bully’s set, Glascow based Franz Ferdinand took on the task of carrying on the lively atmosphere set by the Nashville act.

The band reached back to their 2004 kicking off with “Jacqueline” from their self titled debut album.

Franz Ferdinand pulled material from throughout discography. The band even tossed in “Knock Knock” and “Build It Up”, newer material since their last studio album in 2018.

Vocalist and guitarist Alex Kapranos quickly became very active on stage. Whether kicks, jumps or pogoes on stage, Kapranos was working the crowd and the fans fed off it. As the set progressed, fan engagement continued to rise. The band earned every ounce of excitement and happiness from the crowd. 

Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos was extremely active for the band’s set.
Photo by Brian McLean
The Pixies frontman Black Francis. Photo by Brian McLean

Fronted by Black Francis, The Pixies calmly and cooly took to the stage while being back lit with bright green stage light. The packed crowd quickly approved as The Pixies smoothly went into 1989’s “Gouge Away.”

Greens, reds, blues backlit the band while white bright whites positioned on each side and behind the band dynamically illuminated the stage. The use of lighting and contrasting colors remained consistent through the band’s entire set.

A Pixies show is not just a normal stage routine that follows from city to city. For the tour, the band isn’t following a stagnate setlist. It differs from each stope and Dallas was no different. What may be the first several songs in one town may not be the same for the next. That was the case with Dallas. The band possesses an extensive catalog and utilized the material.

The Pixies are true veterans in the music world delivering a spot on, tight performance Saturday night in Dallas. It won’t be a surprise if newbies seeing The Pixies for the first time are converted to full fledged supporters.

The Pixieis Joey Santiago’s guitar sits next to a road case.
Photo by Brian McLean