The Breeders @ Webster Hall

May 6th, 2013

If you're a member of Generation X, you know "Last Splash" from the Breeders.  Released in 1993, this alt-rock classic turns 20 this year, making those of us who loved it as teenagers feel officially old.  The album, thanks to alternative going mainstream at the time, achieved platinum status.  Kim and Kelley Deal, the identical twin sisters from Ohio who fronted the band, were sexy tomboys who rocked out without their twats out.  Crafted with a loose, DIY, slightly unfinished sound, the record shot them to the top.  Their singles, especially "Cannonball", were all over the radio and their videos got heavy rotation on a channel that was once Music Television.  I saw them perform at the peak of their popularity when they hit the main stage at Lollapalooza on Randall's Island in 1994, along with the Beastie Boys, L7, & the Smashing Pumpkins.  In a stacked lineup, they more than held their own.  Sadly, after that summer's tour, other projects and substance abuse issues splintered the band.  Now, two decades later, Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs, Jim MacPherson, and Carrie Bradley, Last Splash's birth parents, have reunited for a series of shows in which they play the entire album from front to back.  I joined a crowd of my peers in a sold out Webster Hall for a trip down memory lane.

The band took the stage to raucous applause.  They greeted the crowd.  Moments later the opening notes of "New Year" rung out from Kelley's guitar.  The packed house filled with a collective roar, Kim sung the first line and the song kicked in. With that the show was rolling.  As promised, one by one they worked their way through all 15 songs.  Highlights for me were Kelley belting out "I Just Wanna Get Along" and the forever great "Divine Hammer".  

The crowd was loudest at the beginning and ending of songs, but rather subdued besides that.  I'm guessing many in attendance were being transported to younger days and enjoying flashbacks behind their glazed eyes.  They hadn't come to make a new memory as much as they'd come to remember.  This was what made this show so special.  Great bands make an impact and leave touchstones we use to remember periods of time in our brief lives.  The Breeders greatness is affirmed by "Last Splash", an enormous touchstone for countless members of my generation.  

After wrapping up the set with Roi's Reprise, they took a brief break backstage before returning for a lengthy encore of covers and other songs from their catalog.  When the show finally came to a close, Kim and her comrades walked off to shouts of "Love you" and "Thank you".  Couldn't have said it better myself. 

Upcoming Tour Dates

May 9
Royale Nightclub Boston, MA
May 11
Danforth Music Hall Toronto, ONT Canada
May 12
Majestic Theatre Detroit, MI
May 14
Cannery Ballroom Nashville, TN
May 15
Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
May 17
Hangout Festival Gulf Shores, AL
May 24
Primavera Sound 2013 Barcelona, Spain
May 25
This is Not A Love Song Festival Nimes, France
May 27
Le Bikini Toulouse, France
May 28
Le Rocher De Palmer Bordeaux, France
May 30
Primavera Sound 2013 Porto, Portugal
June 1
Le Trianon Paris, France
June 2
Ancienne Belgique Brussels, Belgium
June 3
Paradiso Amsterdam, Holland
June 14
Vicar Street Dublin, Ireland
June 15
The Limelight Belfast, Ireland
June 17
ABC Glasgow, Scotland
June 18
Ritz Manchester, England
June 19
Forum London, England
June 21
ATP Festival Camber Sands, UK
July 20
Pitchfork Music Festival Chicago, IL
Aug 3
Osheaga Festival Montreal, QC CANADA
Aug 26
Rio Theatre Santa Cruz, CA
Aug 27
The Fillmore San Francisco, CA
Aug 30
Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR
Aug 31
Commodore Ballroom Vancouver, BC
Sept 1
Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival Seattle Center, Seattle, WA
Sept 7
Hopscotch Music Festival Raleigh, NC
Oct 26
All Tomorrow's Parties Altona North, Melbourne, Australia
Oct 28
Enmore theatre Sydney, Australia
Oct 29
Tivoli theatre Brisbane, Australia
Oct 31
Astor Theatre Perth, Australia