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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