The Breeders

Danforth Music Hall, Toronto ON, May 11

Photo: Fil Zuzarte

BY Cam LindsayPublished May 12, 2013

Most people wouldn't really know it, what with Kim Deal moonlighting in a series of Pixies reunion tours, but the Breeders have been going — not always strong, but going — since 1990. But their current tour is a reunion, in fact, of what would be their classic line-up: the four musicians who made 1993's platinum-selling album, Last Splash.

With drummer Jim Macpherson and bassist Josephine Wiggs re-joining long-time members Kim and Kelley Deal, the Breeders have gone all out for the album's 20th anniversary (dubbed LSXX), issuing a vault-clearing deluxe edition along with the tour. In true fashion, the band played Last Splash in full, front to back, an obvious draw considering the Danforth Music Hall doubles the size of the venue they played just four years ago.

But Last Splash was a big enough deal at the time to bring out all kinds of fans looking for that nostalgic fix. The Breeders seemed just as excited to perform the songs too, bringing along occasional member, multi-instrumentalist Carrie Bradley, to help execute some of the album's trickier bits. Showing an obligation to stay true to the material, they revisited the album just as they made it. "Cannonball," the band's biggest hit, saw Kim singing the distorted vocal parts into a makeshift second mic, just as you'd expect her too. Because Josephine played drums on "No Aloha," she swapped instruments with Jim, while Kelley took over lead vocals on "I Just Wanna Get Along."

They said they couldn't bring every piece of gear from the album on tour with them, but the original chimes were there beside Jim. Having Bradley, who'd been with the Breeders off and on since the beginning, was a real treat, as she added violin to "Do You Love Me Now," synth to "Flipside," and fiddle to "Drivin' On 9," a cover of her original band, Ed's Redeeming Qualities.

By the time "Roi (Reprise)" closed out the 45-minute album set, what would come next was a bit of a surprise. However, staying true to the line-up, the Breeders strictly stuck to what these members knew: debut album Pod, along with its successor, the Safari EP and post-LS EP Head to Toe. This meant shredding covers of Guided By Voice's "Shocker in Gloomtown" and the Beatles' "Happiness is a Warm Gun," along with stragglers like "Lime House," "Oh!" and closer "Don't Call Home."

When Kelley asked what song should they learn for future shows, one fan answered with "Iris" from the No Alternative comp. Judging by this, it sounds like the Breeders might be thinking of going strong once this commitment is fulfilled. But for now, they're just having fun reliving one of alt-rock's most lovable albums, and as every fan at the show can attest, the fun was infectious.

Latest Coverage