Review: My Bloody Valentine at the House of Blues Boston 11-07-2013

After giving some serious thought to flying to London back in March for My Bloody Valentine’s 2 shows at Hammersmith Apollo, I was surprised to hear that they were going to do a small US tour and actually shocked that Boston was one of the stops on this tour. The only downside was that it was taking place at the House of Blues, a venue I personally boycott due to the ridiculous security which takes away from any enjoyment of actually seeing a show there. I managed to put that aside on this night (to be fair, it wasn’t as bad this time, but when one of the people with us wanted to lean against the rail because her foot hurt and security yelled at her, I remembered why I hate this venue).

I left early enough, but got stuck on the green line where we sat in a holding pattern for 15 minutes, which in turn caused me to miss the opening band, Dumb Numbers. The consensus via text messages from my friends who were already there, was that I didn’t miss much. I arrived at the House of Blues and immediately got a Harpoon UFO White, then tried to find my friends amongst the large crowd. Once I found them, we caught up a bit and waited patiently for the band to go on.

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My Bloody Valentine

As Kevin Shields and the rest of the band walked on stage, the sold out crowd erupted with cheers and applause. Kicking things off with “Sometimes” and going into “I Only Said“, the band sounded amazing. It seemed as if Shields switched guitars for every song, including acoustic guitars amongst the many electric ones. He pretty much stayed on his side of the stage, flanked by a tower of speakers that he seemed to be playing to at times. Songs like “Only Shallow” and “To Here Knows When” sounded incredible live, although bassist Bilinda Butcher’s vocals were kind of hard to hear over all of the other sounds going on. When they went into “Wonder 2“, from the mbv album released earlier this year, it felt as if there really was a jet engine running in the building.

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My Bloody Valentine

They ended the night with “You Made Me Realize” and it’s famed middle section that consists purely of sonic noise, which is also known as the “holocaust”. I took out my earplugs briefly which gave it an entirely different sound, as in you could almost make out the guitars as opposed to just hearing noise and yeah, it was LOUD! I was excited to finally experience this in person and I’m not really sure how long it lasted, but we guessed that it was somewhere around 8 minutes.

After playing for what was probably the fastest hour and a half of my life, the band was done and walked off stage to an extremely appreciative audience. All of the conversations I overheard agreed with my thoughts of this being an amazing show, and perhaps show of the year. It really was more of an experience rather than just another concert. I’m still seeing the swirling visuals that were projected behind the band in my head. I don’t know if it was just me or what, but I expected this to be a much louder show than it actually was, which is not to say that you should go without earplugs, because it was still tinitus inducing loud.

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My Bloody Valentine

The only bummer of the night was that I didn’t pick up a long desired mbv shirt because I didn’t realize there was a merch table and only found out about after I met up with friends outside. Now, if only someone could get a Ride reunion to happen!

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