The 'Last Splash'-era Breeders line-up in 2013 is as improbable as sex after marriage.

That's how the quote goes, right?


Anyways, here we are and here they are, on the final leg of a year-long global tour celebrating an album that clogs up every dollar bin in every remaining record store on said globe. The mere idea would have been absurd just over 12 months ago - frankly, it still kind of is - but if we've learned anything over these past 20 years, it's this: never count Kim Deal out.

So on this third round of shows in New York City over 9 months, KelleyKimJosephineJim(andCarrie) have brought some new tricks. 'Last Splash' - from opening chimes of "New Year" to the final feedback squall of "Roi (Reprise)" - still leads the proceedings and it's still fucking glorious.

It's important not to gloss over this, as the tour has dulled the excitement just a tad. All fifteen songs are here and we still love every note. The start of "New Year" will always send chills down my spine; I will never, ever, EVER tire of "Cannonball" - twenty years worth of listens later it's still a thrill, conventional fan-wisdom that the overplayed hit is no good be damned; "Do You Love Me Now?" with KelleyKimCarrie harmonies melts hearts; "I Just Wanna Get Along" should still be played twice in a row. The two highlights remain, though: "Mad Lucas" is impossibly delicate and gorgeous and mother.fucking. "Roi". Three letters, so simple, so powerful.

Anyways, "Glorious" you say? 'Pod' has come along for the ride this time. "We have another record, it's like 20 minutes long. It's called 'Pod'. We're going to play it."

"Da da da da da da da." I knew it was coming, but nothing could prepare for it actually happening. "Glorious" is just that, and we're off. Eight shows and eleven years later, I finally get "Doe" and it is worth the wait and then some. "Happiness is a Warm Gun" and "Oh!" return from the earlier legs - again, not to understate this as it's the Breeders with Carrie playing "Oh!" - but then we get on to some newbies. I last heard "Hellbound" on the 2002 tour and it's a welcome, rockin' return. I've never heard "When I Was A Painter" live and it's done a little slow, but we'll forgive 'em. "Fortunately Gone" always seems pretty but slight, though "Iris" is a fucking beast tonight: Kim wailing at the top of her lungs and Jo and Kelley making an unholy racket behind her. Honestly it's never been a favorite on the album but tonight it's a massive impact and begins a final run of pure joy.

Next: "Opened". "Opened". "OPENED". There are no words. "Only in 3's" is also a little slow but we'll still forgive 'em. "Lime House" returns from the earlier leg and it's still absolutely wonderful.

And now: motherfucking "Metal Man". It was a totally left-field surprise in 2009, but even seeing it coming 12 songs away tonight it still bowls one over, especially that 15 seconds where it gets all loud and shit.

Did I mention balloons?

They leave again, but come back for one more treat: "Walking With A Killer". Introduced as a new song, it adds fuel to the "new album from this line up coming in 2014" rumor that can easily be written off as fan wishful thinking, but then again maybe not. It is absolutely lovely. 

And then they're gone. As before, they seem as surprised as we are that they can pull this off, and the thank yous and appreciation pours out of them all night. All five linger near the front of the stage before walking off, shaking hands and giving out picks and set lists and handshakes, soaking us in as much as we're soaking them in.

...and I get to do it all again tonight.

The Breeders: LSXX & PodXXIII at Webster Hall, December 19th 2013:

'Last Splash':
New Year / Cannonball / Invisible Man / No Aloha / Roi / Do You Love Me Now? / Flipside / I Just Wanna Get Along / Mad Lucas / Divine Hammer / S.O.S. / Hag / Saints / Drivin' on 9 / Roi (Reprise)

Glorious / Doe / Happiness is a Warm Gun / Oh! / Hellbound / When I Was A Painter / Fortunately Gone / Iris / Opened / Only in 3's / Lime House / Metal Man

Walking With A Killer