Sunday night was the final evening of KCRW’s World Festival, which every summer has various eclectic groupings of artists play together on Sunday evenings at the Hollywood Bowl. It was certainly an eclectic group this Sunday, but it worked. Cat Power provided a sultry, slow session to relax everyone’s troubles away, Gogol Bordello then encouraged everyone to get up and dance until the crowd was ready to embrace their inner rock sprite with a surprisingly spry Pixies.
While Kim Deal is no longer bassist for the Pixies, the crowd could have easily mistaken Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, for the alternative rock goddess. Cat Power was adorned with a flannel shirt and jeans giving off a serious ’90s grunge vibe as she sported Deal-like short, jet black hair. While Marshall’s voice was sweet and sultry, her face and movements were slightly off as she talked with the audience saying she was, “As sober as a good judge.” Although she seemed to be drinking from a large wine bottle filled with water, the audience whispers guessed it was vodka. Marshall went on after another song or two to talk about how good she was performing despite not being professional, and how much happier she is with her good performances when they aren’t professional.
Gogol Bordello were confusing as well, but in a very different way, with their think accents and scat-like lyrics. But what no one was confused about was that they should be having fun, as people finally started to make their way out of their seats and into the aisles to dance. Lead singer Eugene Hutz and percussionist Pedro Erazo were the perfect hype men constantly engaging the crowd and getting them to sing and shake parts of their bodies they forgot about.
Next up, those alt-rock gods. New Pixie Paz Lenchantin held her own, and seemed a little more assured than the perky, coy new addition she was at Coachella this year. The star of the set though was David Lovering who, aside from just drumming his heart out, gave an amazing vocal performance during La La Love You. After the song, Lovering pointed out how the evening was the 27th anniversary, to the day, of the Pixies’ first album, Come On Pilgrim. For Vamos, guitarist Joey Santiago performed an epic guitar solo in which he played his guitar from around his back, placed it on a stand and messed with his pedals, caught a drum stick perfectly thrown by Lovering to play the strings with it and continued to shock everyone (maybe even himself, literally) as he flipped it in every which way to make different sounds. At one point, Santiago even placed his guitar cord’s tip in his mouth to create an unearthly electric noise as Francis Black finished out the song.
The lights came up after the band finished Where Is My Mind? but the crowd demanded an encore. So it was disappointing when the Pixies came back to play only one more song, Planet Of Sound, but the Hollywood Bowl is in the middle of a residential area and has strict curfew policies.
Photos by Annie Lesser.