A large multi-generational crowd weathered the mid-afternoon heat to watch this veteran alternative band. The Boston-area group opened their set with an ode to front-man Black Francis’ college, “U-Mass.” This crunchy track from the group’s 1991 release Trompe Le Monde set the stage for a loud performance of guitar-driven New Wave such as “Wave of Mutilation.”
Francis alternated between acoustic and electric guitars while singing bawdy but learned lyrics such as “You are the son of a motherf**ker” from the track “Nimrod’s Son”, a reference to the incestuous behaviour of that biblical character. The group also introduced a new song during the set, which mainly seemed to consist of Francis yelling out “I’m a super!” repeatedly.
The position of bassist, held originally by Breeders ‘ front-woman Kim Deal, has been filled by Paz Lechantin from A Perfect Circle since late 2013. The group may no longer be performing songs where Kim sang lead, but Paz does supply background vocals on several numbers.
While the material bordered on punk at times, some tunes near the end of the set were a bit more melodic. But what might have seemed to be a lead-in for the group’s best-known single, “Here Comes Your Man” was not to be, as that song did not make this set-list. Like the lyrics say, “there is a wait so long” for a song that did not come. Surely the omission of a band’s biggest hit from a festival performance has to be the ultimate in party fouls.