ACL Live Review: Breeders

Alt-rock icons’ classic lineup delivers the cannonball

Commencing with the lead single from universally-lauded new album All Nerve, “Wait in the Car” pulled the Breeders into their mid-afternoon ACL slot at mid-tempo, layering corrosive guitars and co-leader Kim Deal’s plaintive vocal on top.

Photo by John Anderson

Whirring behind the Nineties alt-rock icons: projections of Warhol-style pop art of a concrete building block in grainy black & white Xerox, splashed in bright colors, decomposed in various ways, with the song’s “Good Morning” hook intermittently flashed semi-subliminally. Standing before them: multiple generations of fans, parents with a closetful of flannel shirts introducing their kids to the band they loved when they were their age.

Thus it went for the next hour. Kim and twin Kelley, bassist Josephine Wiggs, and drummer Jim Macpherson – the classic Breeders lineup – stayed mid-tempo for the entire set, rarely speeding up or slowing down. That brick kept decomposing endlessly behind them.

The guitars stayed nice and raw, and the generations received them politely. Yes, Kim's banter was charmingly, wittily awkward. Wiggs got to sing a song as well, while Kim played bass to remind the crowd she was once the Pixies’ Mrs. John Murphy. And yes, they covered her Pixies nugget “Gigantic.”

That excited the crowd. Not as much as the appearance of “Cannonball” three-quarters of the way through. That ignited a wave of pogoing.

Then it was right back to that mid-tempo groove, that decomposing pop art brick. The Breeders put on a master class in staying the musical course.

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Breeders, ACL Fest 2018, ACL Music Fest 2018, Kim Deal, Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs, Jim Macpherson, Pixies

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