Wednesday, September 24, 2008

MBV - Kevin Shields on high

I waited 20 years to finally see My Bloody Valentine. There were a couple of chances in the early '90s but the struggle to procure a ride or the ticket price always seemed to impede us from getting to a show. Luckily for me, the "do-over" came last night(9/23) at Roseland here in NY. The band did not disappoint. It was without doubt one the greatest musical experiences I have ever had. I felt out of body at times - many times. It was beautiful and immense. I was flooded by memories of people and places in my past. I was reminded of how much of an impact Loveless had on all of us. How our whole dorm floor obsessed over this record, how it became a soundtrack to late nights and long drives on I-95. That sound protected us in some way and opened up passages within our psyches. As 19 year old students we were just discovering this new consciousness. Nothing had actually sounded like it before. It was singularly new, complete.

I even had some rare flashes that only artists understand. Points you remember while creating a work, trouble spots or successes that only you know. Experiments and accidents that may or may not be part of the final version, but stay with you in some physical memory bank of your body. I was remembering not just current works but stuff from 15 years ago as well. That was a catharsis I did not expect

The whole show was a sublime spectacle of the senses, from the incredible volume to an endless onslaught of light as you can see from the above video. The highlight for everyone in attendance was easily the finale of You Made Me Realise, one of the true classics from Creation Records.
What ensued was a blistering wall of sound for 20 - 30 minutes? It sounded like a herd of cyclones trampling a microphone. It was art.

Here are 2 of the better videos from last nights finale. The sound is compromised because nothing could really capture this. It's the best I could find to share. enjoy.


CAP said...


I hadn't realised MBV were still around, or maybe they reformed (?) anyways haven't seen/heard anything from them for a long time.

But I always loved their records - especially Soon.

All 3 Youtubes are still better for sound quality than when I saw them back in their heyday (late 80s? early 90s?... whenever).

It was a very small venue and the sound was so bad you couldn't hear any of the vocals (there were two female vocalists back then) or even separate the guitars/feedback! All you got was distant hissy drums and a wall of feedback.

I was so disappointed, afterward I asked a friend, a DJ who knew Kevin, and she assured me - "No! No! They always sound like that".

I concluded they were just one of those bands that didn't translate live - but now I see this was/is not so! And actually when you think about it, no band succeeds too far without being able to 'do it' live - even if it's just miming to playback.

My faith in the band restored (at last)


CJR said...


How much gear did Kevin have to tote onto the stage to produce his sound?

highlowbetween said...

CAP - they reformed for some tour dates in the UK and these 2night sin NY. They also did something called All Tomorrow's Parties which is sort of an outdoor event/retreat where the headlining band curates other bands to participate in a "closed door" environment for a weekend.
They sounded so good and alive, you have to wonder if some new songs might come about. They seemed to be having fun on stage. But yeah, they are a real band and not just a studio phenomena. I was really taken with drumming as well. Hitting really hard. All are very capable musicians to say the least. I think they've gotten through their drug problems so what we saw was a focused unit for sure.

CJR - he probably had 100 pedals from waht i read. Apparently they went and bought all new equipment as soon as they got paid! now that's a band.

Steven LaRose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven LaRose said...

When we meet face to face, remind me to tell you about Jimmy Shields, Kevin's little brother, who lived in Chicago when I did.

highlowbetween said...

weird, another friend just informed me his wife is friends with the Shields sister.