Since I was four years old when Doolittle came out (the Pixies second album, which the band will play in its entirety on this tour), I, like so many other twenty-somethings who discovered Doolittle approximately ten years too late, didn’t have an opportunity to see the band live until the band reunited in 2004. The Coachella music festival was one of the first stops on the Pixies’ reunion tour – their first since the band broke up eleven years prior – and with three weeks until school let out, it seemed like the kind of adventure I could use. After shelling out for tickets, my friends and I were all broke as hell, so instead of borrowing my mom’s Land Rover, the five of us took a tiny Jetta that only one person could drive (it was a stick) and sat smashed together in the car for 22 hours straight just to get to Indio in time to get a couple hours of sleep before the first day of the festival. Aside from the music, the experience was hellish: the Empire Polo Field is easily the worst festival space I’ve ever seen, we had to wait in unbelievably long lines to be searched every time we returned to our campsite, and small bottles of water cost $2, which is highway robbery considering how hot it was outside and how few free water spigots were available to us. Maybe the Gorge has spoiled me, but the whole thing pissed me the fuck off, and by Pixies-o-clock, I had lost all of my friends and my cellular service. But I was determined to get a good spot for the band, so I shelled out for a bottle of water and set out alone, wriggling myself as close to the main stage as I could get. It was an agonizing, boring wait, but just before the Pixies were scheduled to come onstage, I was unceremoniously splattered by some drunk meathead’s regurgitated Coors. Worst of all, the asshole LA hipsters around me didn’t even bat an eyelash. Woodstock, this wasn’t. I was on my own. I momentarily entertained the notion of going to rinse my feet off at the free water spigot, but knew that the band could come on any second, and that I’d never be able to worm my way back in through the vast crowd that had amassed behind me. So I stayed. And while the Lord Jesus Himself would have to appear at Coachella to ever make me want to go back, hearing the band play my favorite Pixies song of all time -- “Gouge Away” -- live made the whole thing worth it. With Rain Machine Thursday and No Age Friday. All ages. Sold out. SARA BRICKNER

Thu., Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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