My Bloody Valentine @ Roseland

Walking out of the Roseland Ballroom last Tuesday night, I felt blind, deaf and dumbfounded – and I’m not the only one. We had just stood through an assault on our eyes, ears, and patience, but it was an amazing show.

Ear plugs were handed out on the way in, and I jammed them in as far as they would go – but, I’m not sure it was enough. It was certainly the loudest show I’ve ever witnessed.

And it wasn’t enough for the light show to be trippy and beautiful, but it also had to burn out your retinas. Lisa made the point that there were more lights pointed out at the crowd than at the band themselves. Still, the bright pink glow was exactly the perfect accompaniment for the band that recorded Loveless.

Sold Out

Both Roseland shows were sold out. Photo by Lisa.

I realize that most people have no idea who the hell MBV is, but I’ve waited fifteen years to see them perform. Loveless was one of my favorite albums as a teenager – not only is that LP a modern rock masterpiece, but it also was the centerpiece of the whole shoegaze scene in the early 90s.

Last week, MBV front-man Kevin Shields told the Times about the likelihood of new material, and that the band made quite an investment for the reunion tour:

The band spent £200,000, about $366,000, on equipment for the tour, and Mr. Shields laughed when asked how many effects pedals he owned. “Hundreds,” he said. He only uses 30 onstage, he added.

I wouldn’t know what to do with 30 pedals, let alone hundreds. But the result was incredibly loud and layered, but still very faithful to the albums.

There is quite a bit of video from the Roseland shows, but most of it is near worthless because of the volume level. This one is probably the best out there, though it still doesn’t do the show justice… judge for yourself:

My Bloody Valentine performing “Soon” at Roseland Ballroom in New York City. Video by risekevin.

We were so far in the back though, that I didn’t realize how stunning Belinda Butcher is these days… lovely.

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