Words and photos by Brooke Forrest
The Breeders from Dayton, Ohio preformed a very memorable show last night for the 30th anniversary of their breakout album Last Splash at The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. On a beautiful night the outdoor show opened with Horsegirl from Chicago who performed recently in Cleveland at The Grog Shop where they were joined by Dummy from LA and Northeast Ohio group Angelhair. I caught them at that Grog show and this was an equally enjoyable set from the young alt rock group.
The outdoor Union Home Mortgage Plaza was filled with an impressive range of ages and styles including lots of people in Pixies shirts, lead singer Kim Deal’s former band. The goal for the Last Splash anniversary show was to play the entire album from front to back. From the moment the band took the stage the crowd was highly energetic, thrilled for each song. Unsurprisingly, at the first few notes of “Cannonball” arguably the group’s biggest hit, massive cheers erupted. The band seemed to be having a blast and making jokes between songs including vamping while switching up instruments in order to keep things in order of their studio album.
Sisters Kim and Kelley Deal playfully bantered while making their way to side two of the album and switching off singing duty. Drummer Jim MacPherson even popped on mic for a moment to talk about the Rock Hall requesting any instruments they could donate for display from the making of Last Splash. But as MacPherson told them, “they’re still using all that stuff!”
As the show carried on the weather started to turn and it began to rain pretty heavily. It didn’t dissuaded the audience much but as it got worse and windier the band started to speed things along wrapping up before reaching the close of the album. Not wanting to ruin their equipment or put themselves in danger the band had to call it quits once Kim Deal’s peddle was in a puddle. Prior to hopping off stage they told the story of another beloved Last Splash song “Drivin’ on 9”. While at this point a pretty well known Breeder’s song it was originally written and recorded by a band with Youngstown roots called Ed’s Redeeming Qualities. Family members of the original songwriter were in the crowd and Kim Deal made sure to shout them out while telling the story of the song’s Ohio origins. But shortly after had to head off the stage while much of the crowd headed inside the rock hall to dry off and see if things would continue.
While the stage was cleared outside members of the band made their way indoors to put on an acoustic finale for those that stuck around. While the show didn’t fit in the full Last Splash we got one last song with a very special performance of “Drivin’ on 9” much to the joy of the crowd and the songwriter’s family.