My Bloody Valentine at Verizon Theatre, 8/17/13: Review
My Bloody Valentine | New Fumes
Saturday, August 17, 2013
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.