Pixies Parade with Cats and Mice

With a cool wind blowing in off the Long Island Sound, the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater in Bridgeport, CT, witnessed a diverse trio of bands attracting young and old fans alike. The contrasting lineup, featuring the soulful sounds of Cat Power, the indie rock stylings of Modest Mouse, and the iconic alt-rock of the Pixies, made for a night of music that catered to a wide range of tastes while appealing on some level to them all.

Cat Power – A Passionate Prelude

As the sun began to set, the enchanting voice of Cat Power (Chan Marshall) took center stage, opening the concert with a set that was both soothing and electrifying. With a mix of covers and original tracks, Cat Power’s performance set the perfect tone for the night. The haunting rendition of The Rolling Stones‘ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” sent chills through the audience, followed by the mesmerizing duo of “Cross Bones Style” and “Nude as the News.” Marshall’s rendition of “Good Woman” was a poignant moment, her voice evoking raw emotion. The covers continued to captivate the crowd, with a soul-stirring version of Kitty Wells’ “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” and a dreamy take on Bob Dylan‘s “Mr. Tambourine Man.” Cat Power’s unique ability to infuse each song with her signature style. It’d been nearly 27 years since first seeing Chan in Harkness House at Oberlin College. Upon completion of her set within the beautiful but massive 5700+ capacity venue I began to envision what was quite a juxtaposition of performance spaces. In the late fall of 1996 with only her black and white 59 Danelectro guitar, a single mic, and shadeless lamp as lighting, Marshall played to 20-30 college kids in a dingy dorm basement. It was easily the most memorable, not to mention profoundly haunting and beautiful, set I’d ever witnessed of hers and the many iterations of her band.

Modest Mouse – A Spirited Interlude

Following Cat Power’s performance, Modest Mouse took the stage with a burst of energy that upped the overall atmosphere. Isaac Brock’s distinct vocals resonated through the amphitheater as the band launched into “The World at Large,” setting the stage for an indie rock journey that traversed both introspection and exuberance. A larger crowd gathered, swaying and singing along to just about every word as Modest Mouse played a selection of their hits. “Dramamine” brought a wave of nostalgia, while “Dashboard” had dedicated fans dancing with joy in the aisles. The band flawlessly transitioned between tracks like “Gravity Rides Everything” and “Night on the Sun,” showcasing their musical prowess and dynamic range. The anthemic “Float On” united the audience in a collective celebration, while the raw energy of “Doin’ the Cockroach” had everyone on their feet, absorbed in the music. Despite often playing the role of headliners, Brock and company put on a spirited performance that fit the energy and enthusiasm of a headlining act.

Pixies – Big Big Love

As the night grew darker, the anticipation for the Pixies reached its peak. The iconic band, with original members Black Francis, Joey Santiago, and David Lovering, along with Paz Lenchantin, now a decades long member with the band, on bass launched into the classic “Wave of Mutilation,” instantly captivating the crowd. The Pixies’ distinctive blend of punk and alternative rock filled the amphitheater, drawing the audience into their world.

A standout moment was their rendition of The Jesus and Mary Chain‘s “Head On,” which paid homage to their influences while infusing their signature sound. “Monkey Gone to Heaven” and “Here Comes Your Man” ignited a frenzy of cheers, showcasing the timelessness of the Pixies’ music. The band’s energy was infectious as they powered through classics like “Nimrod’s Son” and “Debaser.” The night reached its zenith with the ethereal “Where Is My Mind?” as the crowd sang along in unison, creating an almost magical moment of unity. The evening marked a night of musical excellence at the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater. Cat Power, Modest Mouse, and the Pixies each brought their unique styles and energies to the stage, weaving a tapestry of sounds that resonated with the audience. The eclectic mix of genres and the impeccable performances left concertgoers with a sense of fulfillment and a shared memory that will endure for years to come.


Modest Mouse

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