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Filter Grade: 87%
by Kyle Lemmon | 10.02.2008

You don’t hear a My Bloody Valentine concert you feel it, deep inside your intestines. It’s a primordial experience for sure – in an utter state of beautiful entropy. When my editor asked me how the first night of the Irish shoegazer’s two-night stint in Santa Monica went, I replied the only way I could, “They shook up my unborn children.” Sure, it’s a graphic and ludicrous approximation of the long-dormant Irish shoegazing quartet’s return but such a visceral and enchanting concert experience requires a singular critique.

It’s been almost twenty years since Loveless (1991) ripped our hearts and minds apart. Now it feels decidedly perfect that MBV is slowly making their comeback a reality. Lead songwriter, Kevin Shields, said the follow-up to Loveless was supposed to be three quarters of the way done last year. The perfectionist band started writing way back in 1996. During MBV’s first performance of a two-night stint at Santa Monica’s Civic Auditorium, the crowd didn’t mind the lack of new material in the slightest.

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Going back to MBV’s modus operandi: noise, we jut up against an interesting question. Would we appreciate Shield’s music more if it was delivered in a less dangerous way? I guess to truly appreciate what MBV is doing, you actually have to damage yourself, to jump off your safe pop nest and careen into the noisy void below. It’s a neat theory in concept and surely gets Shields points with his diehard fans. Supposedly the volume was at 132 decibels last night (the threshold for pain and eardrum damage is 130 dbs). Only ten decibels down and we could appreciate more of his devastating art. Before you paint me as a stick-in-the-mud, I digress. MBV’s aesthetic is wholly wrapped up in the idea of alienation. Most pop statements don’t create hard lines in the sand; at best they drool a squiggle and the seas of time wash it away in the morning.

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Setlist:
1) I Only Said
2) When You Sleep
3) You Never Should
4) (When You Wake) You’re Still In a Dream
5) Cigarette in Your Bed
6) Come In Alone
7) Only Shallow
8) Thorn
9) Nothing Much to Lose
10) To Here Knows When
11) Slow
12) Soon
13) Feed Me with Your Kiss
14) You Made Me Realize

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