Live Review: Black Francis at Symphony Space

Photos: Michael Bleggi

Last Friday, Black Francis played a fairly unique show at a fairly unique New York venue. Performing at Symphony Space, a place that looks more appropriate for off-off Broadway theater, the Pixies frontman came out with a guitar, an amp and no setlist, improvising a wide-ranging selection of songs that spanned his entire career from old Pixies favorites to nuggets from his career fronting Frank Black and the Catholics to cult favorites from his numerous solo records. Joining him for most of the set was the wheelchair-bound multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Dubs who spent the set keeping a steady beat behind the drum kit.

Frequent Francis collaborator Reid Paley opened and joined in for an encore of jointly-penned tunes, mostly from the “Paley & Francis” album the two released together in 2011. Not a great deal of performer-to-audience banter was present outside of an explanation of the Latin boyband Menudo who are referenced in the Frank Black classic “I Heard Ramona Sing,” but Francis made up for that with a lengthy set that ran just over two hours.

Check out some pictures we got from the show below and check out our recent interview with the alt-rock legend here