Live Review: My Bloody Valentine @ WaMu Theater in Seattle, WA (April 27th, 2009)


So, I will start this out by saying that no words that I use to describe this show can give anywhere near an apt description of what My Bloody Valentine is really like live. You seriously can’t understand unless you have been there. But since this is a review I am going to try (and fail) to describe it anyways. I will start out by stating the obvious: yes it was (insert your expletive here)-ing LOUD! I took off my earplugs for a few songs and the shear mass of the noise was pulverizing. My Bloody Valentine are huge, they are loud, and you come away feeling like you have just been punched in the stomach multiple times by Debbie’s bass and then beat over the head by Kevin Shields and Belinda Butcher’s guitars and loved every minute of it.  It was a physically taxing experience, one I would gladly relive in a second.

By now everyone has heard of the holocaust section of “You Made Me Realise” that ends their shows and let me tell you, it far surpasses anything you have ever heard about it. Again descriptions will fail no matter what here but I am going to try. During it, time stops.  Seriously I have no idea how long it lasted. I would not be surprised if it lasted 10 minutes or 40 minutes. While it is going on you have so many different contradictory emotions. It’s like sex. It’s like the end of the world It’s like standing next to a rocket launch (as more than one person has said). It’s like having sex next to a rocket that is taking off at the end of the world. And that is still not even close to what it felt like. At one point I thought I heard a large group of kids on my right screaming, but that was just my disoriented mind and the wall of impenetrable noise playing tricks on me. It was the definition of a religious experience, something that you had to be there to understand.

The rest of the set was spectacular as well. “I Only Said” was a great opener, “To Here Knows When” and “Come In Alone” were like breathing under water that’s made up of sonic goodness, and “Cigarette in Your Bed” and “Slow” were surprising set highlights for me. It seemed like the set got louder as it went on. I don’t really know if that was the case or if my ears (and body) where just feeling the toll of an hour’s plus worth of pulverizing noise beating down on me but during “Soon” (the third from last song), I felt like not only my jeans, but my cheeks were flapping in the wind created by the volume of noise. Kevin Shields and Belinda Butcher were a sight to see as well as they just stood there looking down, dreamily strumming their guitars, completely oblivious to the mountain of noise that was crashing down around us.

So in case anyone still has their doubts, My Bloody Valentine still have it after all of these years (and yes, Belinda Butcher is still hot after all these years too). I could probably say more but that would just be in vain. My suggestion would be to just go see them while you can, then you will know why no review (or bootleg or youtube video) can ever do them justice.