My Bloody Nostalgia
Reunion tours can be a conundrum: we all want the feeling music gave us in certain time points in our past, but time has a tricky way of changing those perceptions. No one frozen in amber, so will we and these bands interpret the past the same way? This is made even more perplexing with bands like My Bloody Valentine, who are a textbook case of a legendary band: make a few but incredibly influential albums, then breakup. The breakup was over 16 years ago. How will the music sound now?
If you’re taking the time to read this review, then you’re probably one of two types of people: you’re either a HUGE MBV fan and want to know if the reunion tour could possibly live up to any fan’s expectations, or you’ve heard MBV being name-checked by every band you’ve ever liked and now want to know what the big deal is. Well I don’t know if I have the answer, but I’ll give you my take of it:
Was it good? Yes
Did they play both albums and the EP? Yes. Almost everything.
Did it live up to expectations? Almost.
But was it completely engrossing? Well, not really, but what exactly was I expecting? Shimmering waves of euphoric nostalgia, probably, and I got some. That nostalgic magic was in the air – just not turned up to 11 like I dreamed it would be. Tracks like “Come in Alone” from Loveless and “Feed Me With Your Kiss” from Isn’t Anything had me staring mouth agape, but I must admit that my mind wandered during other numbers.
In true shoegazer form, Kevin Shields and crew barely moved the entire set. Only lips and hands moved, fingers gripping the whammy bar with every strum. This may have contributed to a desire for more, since I had just come from Bootsy Collin where everyone was moving. Also, I was carrying a heavy camera bag, so there was no way to navigate to the front of the Green Stage, which had been packed for nearly an hour before the show began. So I stood in the field where people stood languidly, barely swaying to the washes of feedback.
Then the feedback went to 11. Maybe 12. And then for twenty minutes, Shields let loose on the guitar, leaving the MBV’s tenuous grasp on song structure behind for a brain-shattering exercise in distortion. And then Shields and company left as they arrived, through a hissing cloud of noise.
Reported by Jason Jenkins (2008.07.26 / 15:23)