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Black Francis / Mark Waldoch
High Noon Saloon
Madison, WI
July 11, 2009
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Review and photos by Matt Schwenke

Filling in the gaps of his Grand Duchy tour schedule with solo performances as Black Francis, and leading up to a European tour with his most popular gig as part of The Pixies later this year, Frank Black welcomed a full house at the High Noon Saloon to an early evening appearance he called a matinee show, "for the children." Despite the tongue-in-cheek announcement, it was not an all-ages show and the college crowd was outnumbered by the middle-aged and older, Black commanded an intimate setting akin to a storyteller at a campfire.

With just his guitar, the occasional harmonica and a bottle of wine wheeled out to him on stage, Black began the show with some early solo material in "Los Angeles," playing a stripped-down version that traded in scathing guitars for a loose folk feel, and "Brackish Boy," which featured Black gradually raising the intensity with his voice. Refusing to play crowd requests for "Sister Isabel," though somewhat apologetically talking about the song, Black delved into a gritty folk persona for most of the evening with tunes like "Bullet" and Gary Green's "That Burnt Out Rock and Roll," while still delivering the popular Pixies tune "Wave of Mutilation" and a crooning-by-comparison performance of "Manitoba." All the while, the crowd remained quietly and intently focused on the enigmatic musician while in song or offering some insight to the inspiration behind a song and applauded every number he chose to play.

Also performing solo, opener Mark Waldoch of the Milwaukee-based rock outfit Celebrated Workingman was not as fortunate with the early evening start-- his powerful voiced echoed through the venue to a gathering crowd somewhat absentmindedly shuffling in and about-- but with Morrissey-like passion mixed with 90s rock angst, Waldoch captivated a share of the early arrivals with a dynamic display in voice, incorporating punk energy in "Love Is Getting Your Way," and booming vibrato in "Island," as well as refined control in his take on Edith Piaf's "La Vie En Rose."
Black Francis 7/11/09 setlist:

Los Angeles
The Water
Brackish Boy
Crackity Jones
Two Reelers
That Burnt Out Rock 'n' Roll
Wave of Mutilation
Angels Come To Comfort You
Holiday Song
I Burn Today
Massif Centrale
Humboldt County Massacre
All Around The World
When They Come To Murder Me
Robert Onion
I Heard Ramona Sing
Nimrod's Son
She Took All The Money

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Black Francis Black Francis Black Francis
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Mark Waldoch
Mark Waldoch
Mark Waldoch
Mark Waldoch
Mark Waldoch

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