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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Bloody Valentine Last Night in San Francisco

posted by on October 1 at 16:16 PM

My Bloody Valentine @ Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco, 9/30/2008I flew down yesterday for the My Bloody Valentine show here in San Francisco since they weren’t coming up to Seattle. It was completely worth it, even with my post-Decibel fatigue.

The Concourse is a terrible venue, a huge ski lodge-esque box that someone decided to use as a concert space (there’s no way a competent architect designed that room for shows). I showed up in time to catch the tail end of D2 Affinity’s flute-drone, but there was too much shuffling about and getting settled to really pay much attention. Second opener Spectrum were similarly dull, matching the audience’s lack of inspiration, despite them playing some Spacemen 3 songs (there are S3 members in the band).

I was hoping that the crowd would come to life once MBV arrived on stage, but despite the strobe light blasts the crowd remained sedate, showing no signs of excitement over the reunion. My Bloody Valentine didn’t show much excitement either, only pausing twice to thank us for coming, but that’s their schtick, so no matter on that. They let the lights and the music do the talking, and holy hell, if they’ve lost a step in the last decade, they certainly made up for it with volume.

Musically, they played a “greatest hits” set, with plenty coming from Loveless, which still somehow wasn’t enough to get people excited. As expected, the mix was guitar-heavy, with the vocals almost an afterthought, forcing you to strain to hear anything over the guitars’ collective roar. As expected, the set closed with a lesson in how to build mountains out of decibels, with a deafening twenty minute steamroller of sound during “You Made Me Realise.” I alternated between thinking it was like being in the middle of a launching rocket or convinced it was the sound of the end of the world - it was truly epic. Some people couldn’t handle the noise and left, but the majority that remained were treated to the band coming back into the song to finish it out. The resulting applause was the most animated of the night, but still didn’t quite live up to the excitement I’d expected.

Another review with the setlist.

Short video of the wall of sound after the jump. A couple more (also short) vids and my pics are here.

RSS icon Comments


"showing no signs of excitement over the reunion"

WHAT?! Are they fucking insane? I'm sorry I missed it. Thanks for the recap, bummer about the venue.

Posted by joey Trimmer | October 1, 2008 8:25 PM

I also flew down and thought it was amazing. I noticed that I was one of the only ones bopping around excitedly in my area, too... hmmm. But, still, wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Posted by h.Lo | October 2, 2008 8:59 AM

Not to rub it in but I didn't want to miss it here in 92 at the Moore Theater. Ahhh the memories. What a memorable horror story of a performance. People cowering under the theater seats during " You Made Me Realised".
I was not even close to having the resources to travel down to San Francisco to see their regrouping. If they had played Seattle I would have made time.
I don't remember the Seattle set list but it doesn't look that different than the current one.
Not that they have a ton of material to draw upon.

Thanks for the review.

Posted by Biggie J | October 2, 2008 10:38 AM

I thought it was amazing beyond anythig i have experienced live. People were totally into it!!! there is not much moving around you can do when you are crammed tight and blown away by massive walls of sound. Everyone thought it was incredible. There were roars of cheers after every song and peope had ecstatic smies on there faces. It was more of a religous experience and less of a rock show.........
I loved it!!!!!!

Posted by ian welling | October 3, 2008 3:52 PM

i like them on my ipod, but i won't see them live again.

i think they should rename the band my bloody eardrum.

Posted by deafboy | October 3, 2008 3:54 PM

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