The Breeders aren’t necessarily a bucket-list band, but their connection to a group that is, the Pixies, makes their shows a can’t-miss when the opportunity arises, as it did Wednesday night in Kansas City.
Led by ex-Pixie Kim Deal and her twin sister, Kelley, about 200 fans filled the RecordBar, and for about 70 minutes they delivered their distinctive brand of hard and skewed indie rock.
The set list included several new songs, like “Skinhead No. 2,” “Launched” and “All Nerve,” but they also served up plenty of oldies and favorites, going all the way back to their debut album, “Pod,” now nearly nearly 25 years old.
They opened with “Off You,” a drone-y, ethereal track off the “Title TK” album, then “Saints,” a slab of heavy pop lacquered with the kind of harmonies only siblings can muster. They would play seven tracks off “Pod,” including their deranged cover of the Beatles’ “Happiness Is a Warm Gun,” the irresistibly poppy “Fortunately Gone” and “Doe,” a gust of unglued indie-pop.
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Kim Deal took lead vocals most of the night, but shared guitar duties with her sister. They were backed by drummer Jim Macpherson and bassist Josephine Wiggs, who maintained the same poker face all night.
The Deals didn’t have much to say, but they showed plenty of enthusiasm and expressed plenty of appreciation for a crowd that showered them with gales of affection. Their sound is clever and charmingly unhinged, at times on the verge of derailment from a groove that can get elusive when it isn’t serving the Deals’ off-kilter sense of pop.
The new songs got warm responses but the older tunes aroused ovations and sing-alongs, especially “Hag,” “Cannonball” and “Divine Hammer,” which closed the first set. They returned for a three-song encore that included “Irish,” another “Pod” track and another highlight of an evening that exceeded its promise.
Off You; Saints; Hag; Skinhead No. 2; S.O.S., Lime House; Simone; Doe; Hellbound; Walking With A Killer; Fortunately Gone; Happiness Is A Warm Gun; Launched; New Year; Cannonball; All Nerve; No Aloah; Divine Hammer. Encore: Glorious; Safari; Iris