Believe it or not, The Breeders' iconic album Last Splash is 20 years old now. Widely regarded as one of the best and most influential rock albums of the 90s, LS stands the test of time, still getting regular play at my house (which is the metric by which all musicians gauge their success, I'm sure).
So 20 years later, the LS-era line-up of the Breeders are touring, playing all the songs from the album in order. Now, I'm not one for "reunion" type tours that resurrect long-forgotten acts in the name of a quick buck. But this wasn't some cheesy stadium tour of hair bands, where half the members are dead and have been replaced by someone you've never even heard of. This was the Breeders. Playing Last Splash. At the Variety Playhouse. Oh, come on. I wasn't about to miss that.
So how was the show? Uh, in a word, AWESOME. The band sounded fantastic, and the crowd was into it. Don't you hate it when the crowd just stands there, acting too cool to jump around or even clap? Whatev! That was not the case at this show. Everyone seemed genuinely thrilled to be there, many of them no doubt thinking what I was: "Holy crap! That's Kim Deal! She's. right. there!"
While the songs didn't feel dated at all, I couldn't help letting my mind wander to the time when the album was new. Coming home from a job I hated and flopping down on my bed to watch 120 Minutes and see videos like "Cannonball" and "Divine Hammer" were some of the bright spots in a pretty dismal period in my life. (And while "Cannonball" is now probably the better remembered of the two, I had forgotten until this show how much I was OBSESSED with "Divine Hammer" at the time.) When I moved to Atlanta, "Drivin' On 9" was on the mix I made for the trip, and the line "Drivin' on 9/ Lookin' out my windowsill/ Wonderin' if I want you still/ Wonderin' what's mine" always reminds of taking that huge leap as I left my old life and an ill-timed romance behind. Who knew I'd have the chance to see a show like this 20 years later? Life is full of fun surprises.
Special shout-out to local stars Deerhunter, who opened that night. While I'd never paid much attention to them before, they put on a great show and (thanks to my friend RSL playing their new album about 12 times in a row during a Cards Against Humanity marathon last weekend) it's now one of my favorite records of 2013 so far.