The pride of Dayton, Ohio — The Breeders — took flight at Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club last weekend, playing their iconic 1993 release, Last Splash, in its entirety. Sisters Kim and Kelley Deal get most of the attention, but the crepuscular show featured Jim Macpherson’s muscular drumming, as undeniably rock and roll as any you’ll ever see.
The show got off to a bit of a soft start, but tightened quickly and showed off the diversity of an album that holds up very well over the years. Its diversity made this less stilted than some of the 2oth anniversary-themed shows that have been capitalizing on nostalgia the past few years, perhaps culminating in the alt-country inflected “Drivin’ on 9,” which features Kelley on lead vocals and Carrie Bradley on violin. The anniversary lineup also includes Josephine Wiggs on bass (and at least once on drums), she the originator of the iconic bass riff from “Cannonball” that is perhaps the best-known of any 90s bass riff.
For their encore, they pulled out a variety of their other material, including their cover of The Beatles‘ “Happiness is a Warm Gun.” For the mostly approaching middle-aged crowd in attendance, the performance was a reminder of the happiness The Breeders have been bringing their fans for more than two decades.
Photos: Erica Bruce