My Bloody Valentine Concert Review -- Unforgettable Two Night Event

Over two October nights at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, rock band My Bloody Valentine re-united and performed with Gemma Hayes and Spectrum in absolutely unforgettable evenings.   As the crowd there knows, it was a must-see for many reasons.

So, I already know what you're about to say. It's been nearly 15 years since My Bloody Valentine has been together. They literally dropped off the face of the earth, and even though they never technically broke up, no one ever expected them to return. However, if you have ever been a person that really appreciated My Bloody Valentine and/or the so-called “Shoegaze” movement, this was most likely an absolute dream come true for you. However, the real question is whether or not a band that hasn't been active since the early to mid 90's still has what it takes.

My Bloody Valentine has a history of perfectionism, how uncompromising they are, and how serious they are about their work. I can only say that their two shows in Los Angeles portrayed nothing but genius, endless thought, contemplation, and perfection. They definitely proved once again why they have become one of the most influential bands of all time, and that they still after all these years have found a way to still be as far ahead of their time as they always were before.

From the Start

Oddly enough, Spectrum, fronted by Peter Kember/Sonic Boom (formally of Spacemen 3), assembled an extremely special set that consisted of Spectrum songs and Spacemen 3 songs, sung by Pete without the complete original lineup, to open the show.

Spacemen 3
was a band that thrived and operated on simplicity and minimalism, holding true to the mentality that “minimal is maximal”. Considering that Spacemen 3 hasn't been together since the early 90's and that many of these songs have probably never been played in many years, this definitely added to how special this show really was.

The first night Spectrum played started out a little rocky at first. A few technical difficulties, and a couple strange outbursts . After the first couple of songs, everything suddenly came together quite well.

Their set the second night seemed much more relaxed and aligned with many precious moments not to be forgotten. Perhaps at first everyone wasn't as receptive to their “less is more” approach - or they simply weren't aware or affected by the extreme influence that Spacemen has had on music, and most likely My Bloody Valentine as well. However, there were countless people that were very excited to see anything that at least closely resembled Spacemen 3, and asked each other in anticipation, “Oh My God! Why are they selling Spacemen 3 shirts at the Merch table?”. I just about fainted from excitement and awe when I saw the shirts myself because of the fact that they were on the bill wasn't extremely publicized.

Once More Now

On the second night, Gemma Hayes (Singer/Songwriter from Ireland), was the second opening act. Greeting the crowd with only the simple word of “Hello”, she began her set with mixed feelings from the crowd, but quickly proved herself with a very powerful and unique set. Hayes is a far cry from most pretentious, atypical, 'recycled' singer/songwriters that exist today. Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine) also appeared as a guest on her last CD release as well. There is no doubt that she could have a very promising future if she doesn't already.

Bloody Bloody

As soon as My Bloody Valentine were about to take the stage, the crowd went more insane that I have seen in many years. Not to mention the show consisted of one of the most diverse crowds that you could imagine including nerds, punks, hippies with tie-dyed shirts, and even Grace Jones impersonators. Even before the first chord was struck and the simplistic but extremely intriguing visuals in the background began, the band already had the entire audience going completely insane and screaming chants like “I love you” and screaming song requests.

Both of My Bloody Valentine's sets consisted of a very diverse choice of songs instead of sticking to one particular album. Most of everyone's expectations and requests from their legendary album “Loveless” seemed to be met with great satisfaction along with such songs as “Feed Me With Your Kiss”, “Cigarette In Your Bed”, “Slow”, and “You Made Me Realise” which was accompanied by about Twenty minutes of quite possibly the most blissful, disturbing, sacred, and powerful 'noise holocaust' you could ever imagine. Twenty minutes that you were allowed to completely forget who you were, and perhaps forget why you even exist. At least until you realize that your ears are ringing, and will probably continue to be doing so for days.

The second night seemed a little more solid than the first night, but it was also a little shorter than the night before. The first night's set was about an hour and a half in length.  The second’s was the last show of their U.S. tour as well. Overall, it was an unforgettable experience.

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