My Bloody Valentine at Verizon Theatre, 8/17/13: Review

Categories: Show Reviews

My_Bloody_Valentine-aaron.jpg
Aaron Ortega
My Bloody Valentine | New Fumes
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Verizon Theatre

There is a universal truth about My Bloody Valentine, agreed upon by nearly everything ever written about them. They play ridiculously loud.

It was at about two thirds of their way into "A New You," a soft poppy gem by their standards, that I thought I might be able to attend a MBV performance without the use of ear plugs and live to tell about it. But then came the five minute-plus earth-shattering one-note break down at the end of "Feed Me With Your Kiss," which was the probably the single most loudest moment at a live performance I have ever witnessed. That thunderous moment of sound was like your average helicopter landing and then exploding. To those of you who were at ground zero, on the floor space just under the deafening performance, I hope you're OK.

So the reviews are true. This weekend was my first time witnessing their extreme volume first-hand, and the tinnitus I will be experiencing for the very forseeable future is an unpleasant physical testament to that.

However, MBV's unrelenting volume shouldn't be their sole defining live characteristic. Once you get past their brutality of their artistically crafted noise, they also happen to put on a rather amazing show. Let's not forget Kevin Shields' romantically dazzling songwriting. And as a band, a My Bloody Valentine has a unique style of energy all their own.

The chaotic song, "Only Shallow," split the show at its halfway point with full, deafening joy. Teetering between gorgeous melodic verses and a tumultuous chorus, this song may have encapsulated the general vibe of the entire show. And the energy of the band was evident. Despite the downward gazing that took place, there was plenty of head bobbing and guitar wailing happening among band members. A My Bloody Valentine show indeed has energy, it's just a different classification of energy than many other bands.

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7 comments
SpacemanT.
SpacemanT.

Dude, alright.  I'm that guy!  1992 drove half way across the states to see the very elusive MBV in Los Angeles, only to find this was their last live performance for 15 years so the 2009 show at the Palladium had it's fair share of anticipation.  They put out a new record after 22 years, that was really all I wanted to hear but 'Wonder 2' was delicious!!  Colm stepped off the drums to join the guitarmy they had on stage, vocals - smocals the night before at Austin Music Hall sounded much better because they were in a more compressed space otherwise I think Verizon has a tendency to make the music sound 'flat'.  Also it's a really awful venue for rock music.  $ 17 bucks for 2 bottles or water and a pack of Starbursts is soo un rock ' n roll, can't believe they though this band would fill a 6k person venue and Wolfgang Puck had nothing to do with it except showing up on my credit card.  What a joke!  Admittedly Belinda's vocals were clear, Kevin's were non-existent and who is this 5th band member playing KEYBOARDS! Belinda just stood there, as pretty as she is but your in the band "Keith" you have to play the guitar sometimes.  Probably tendinitis but what are we doing here!  I have the same problem now that I did in 1992. My favorite weird guitar band are really a studio project as they play as a great big rhythm section with a sampler/keyboard, right! Which is all digital.  For Kevin to haul that kind of gear across the planet, you'd think he'd do better than play 3 chords which was the majority of the set and I agree they missed a lot of highlights.  Now to the writers!  Every single article sounds like the kid in class who skimmed over the cliff notes.  The noise section is known by all MBV fans as the 'apocalypse" at the end of "You Made Me Realize", this is commonly known as the highlight of the show lasting 20 minutes where your body chemistry is rearranged by the end of it. However we only got 7 minutes and in Austin only 5:30 minutes so I guess they broke out of being the one trick pony they really are which is why the lack of playing new songs really baffled me.  If you read interviews that is all they fixate on then we got 3 of the 9 they put out that crashed their website.   Unfortunately reissuing old records isn't as sexy as she used to be after 15 years, entire musical movements have come and gone.  MBV are priceless but damn Jimmy, get off that one note and lets hear what you can really do.  What was most surprising to me is that the silence between songs was DEAFENING !!  You could cut the tension with a knife, it was nice to be able to sit wherever you wanted but any other venue would have been much more intimate.  The New Fumes could have been anyone, but Josh T. Pearson of Lift to Experience was right there in the lobby, largely unnoticed until he held the door for my wife.  Truly a Country Gentlemen and really made the 2009 show unforgettable.  Fumes not so much! 

SpacemanT.
SpacemanT.

You guys at the Observer kill me!  Every review is like when your in class and obviously someone read the cliff notes or just part of them then wrote this rambling bit of....literature.  1st off I'm that Guy! 1992 drove half way across the country to see MBV in Los Angeles only to find it was their last live performance for 15 years.  I agree the 2009 show had a bit more energy, I think it was the anticipation really just to see if the could still do it and the 20 minutes of noise is called "The Apolcalypse" at the end of "You Made Me Realize" is what is known to all MBV fans as the highlight of the show only lasted 7 minutes.  The night before in Austin Music Call came in at 5:30 but are we there to listen to one note?  NO ! They put out a new record after 22 years, I prayed that would be all they played and 'Wonder 2' was delicious.  Colm stepped off the drums, was wailing on the guitarmy they had on stage and Kevin showed his audio prowness is just meditating on the lead notes.  With that said, I have the exact same impression I did back in 1992, with all that music gear he can do more than bang out 3 chords which was the majority of the set.  I think the real problem is that Belinda just stood there, notice band member #5 who I assume is a daughter or very lucky roadie to play KEYBOARDS!  Might as well have had a disco ball too.  My favorite guitar band makes all the weird noises with a f%^&king key board. So all in all they are a great big rhythm section with a sampler who only know their own songs right ?  Not to be Debbie downer but in 1992 the venue instantly checked the speakers once they finished, sounding like a jet airliner has it's perks but in a smaller venue for sure.  I can't stand Verizon, seen some good music there but it costs $ 17 bucks for Wolfgang Puck to sell me a 2 bottles of water and a pack of Starbursts, none of which he prepared or really had anything to do with except show up on my credit card.  You like beer? Well not there you don't and try a mixed drink at $ 17 bucks.   The new fumes might as well been someone's lil brother with a speak n' spell, what was that crap and Josh Peterson (Life to Experience anyone) is out in the lobby...largely unrecognized except when he held the door for my wife.   Is that rock n' roll, is that justice, is that proper?  I'm positive the band lost money on this gig, the venue are probably whores in that respect as well and you got to be kidding me that Verizon really thought they would fill that venue at $ 55 bucks a seat.  Southside Music Hall was much better and yes, they were louder than Motorhead !!  As for the writers, same deal with Camper Van Beethoven/Cracker review, it's like you guys never heard of them after 30 years.  Disappointing.

SpacemanT.
SpacemanT.

You guys at the Observer kill me!  Every review is like when your in class and obviously someone read the cliff notes or just part of them then wrote this rambling bit of....literature.  1st off I'm that Guy! 1992 drove half way across the country to see MBV in Los Angeles only to find it was their last live performance for 15 years.  I agree the 2009 show had a bit more energy, I think it was the anticipation really just to see if the could still do it and the 20 minutes of noise is called "The Apolcalypse" at the end of "You Made Me Realize" is what is known to all MBV fans as the highlight of the show only lasted 7 minutes.  The night before in Austin Music Call came in at 5:30 but are we there to listen to one note?  NO ! They put out a new record after 22 years, I prayed that would be all they played and 'Wonder 2' was delicious.  Colm stepped off the drums, was wailing on the guitarmy they had on stage and Kevin showed his audio prowness is just meditating on the lead notes.  With that said, I have the exact same impression I did back in 1992, with all that music gear he can do more than bang out 3 chords which was the majority of the set.  I think the real problem is that Belinda just stood there, notice band member #5 who I assume is a daughter or very lucky roadie to play KEYBOARDS!  Might as well have had a disco ball too.  My favorite guitar band makes all the weird noises with a f%^&king key board. So all in all they are a great big rhythm section with a sampler who only know their own songs right ?  Not to be Debbie downer but in 1992 the venue instantly checked the speakers once they finished, sounding like a jet airliner has it's perks but in a smaller venue for sure.  I can't stand Verizon, seen some good music there but it costs $ 17 bucks for Wolfgang Puck to sell me a 2 bottles of water and a pack of Starbursts, none of which he prepared or really had anything to do with except show up on my credit card.  You like beer? Well not there you don't and try a mixed drink at $ 17 bucks.   The new fumes might as well been someone's lil brother with a speak n' spell, what was that crap and Josh Peterson (Life to Experience anyone) is out in the lobby...largely unrecognized except when he held the door for my wife.   Is that rock n' roll, is that justice, is that proper?  I'm positive the band lost money on this gig, the venue are probably whores in that respect as well and you got to be kidding me that Verizon really thought they would fill that venue at $ 55 bucks a seat.  Southside Music Hall was much better and yes, they were louder than Motorhead !!  As for the writers, same deal with Camper Van Beethoven/Cracker review, it's like you guys never heard of them after 30 years.  Disappointing.

Goodrobn51
Goodrobn51

Catch up! " " They play FEEDBACK, It's mean't to Be FKING LOUD! They mean to make you feel, lost in Surreal ACID experience, " Love em, Or Drop em. 

TheRealFJM
TheRealFJM

Wow, totally not the same show I saw.  My only other MBV show was at the Palladium in 2009 and I am a fan.  That night was an amazing sonic experience.  This show was...boring.  Maybe it was because when I drove up, there was ample parking 10 minutes before the show.  Maybe it was because the curtain was pulled on the balcony and DFW was only to throw 2,000 bodies (being generous here)  into a 6,000 seat theater.  Maybe it was the FOH mix that took the vocals to inaudible low level (even for a MBV concert).  What was saddest of all was the dead crowd.  Yes, I know that we are all supposed to be staring at the floor.  But the 2009 show had an energy that was sucked into the vacuum that is Verizon and left it dead. 

centrifuges4peace
centrifuges4peace

@TheRealFJM You're absolutely right about the crowd, and yeah, the vocals were buried - a bit disappointing, but not a deal-breaker.  Aside from that, I thought it was an amazing show. The Palladium has a better vibe as a venue, but the acoustics are not very good there, and the 2009 MBV show sounded like mush compared to this time. The main thing is, the energy level and the overall quality of playing was incredible at this show. In fact, having seen the 2009 show, and watching various YouTube videos of the current tour, I was trying to keep my expectations down, and it ended up being far better than I could've imagined.  Forget all the peripheral stuff, the music more than made up for it.  I hope MBV noticed that some of us were really appreciating it and having a great time. They're only playing a few US dates on this tour, and we were really lucky to get them again.

ootybitch
ootybitch

@centrifuges4peace @TheRealFJM I saw MBV maybe 5 years ago and it was excellent, their soundman was true to their sound and actually had the vocals to an audible level but still "in the music" of course as their sound is. I saw them this summer and it was abysmal. The new soundman was totally inept and even on the quietest parts you could hear absolutely ZERO voice therefore rendering half their melodies redundant. Kevin really needs to step out with a wireless rig on and listen to the mix cause this soundman is useless and he has an ego to boot. 

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