Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Saw MY BLOODY VALENTINE in Concert and All I Got Was This Pair of Earplugs

So last night finally happened! My Bloody Valentine graced Dallas with their presence. Why? I have no idea. But I'm glad they came 'cause I never did catch them in their heyday all those many years ago.

Upon arriving at Palladium Ballroom I was surprised to find that the usual screening for metal objects was NOT taking place. Oh no...instead the staff was handing each concertgoer a pair of earplugs. I took my complimentary earplugs and scoffed at the idea of actually using them.

Now I had heard all about how My Bloody Valentine closes their shows with the coda from the EP You Made Me Realise. And everyone was unanimous that this was quite possibly the loudest thing they had ever experienced at a concert. Accounts differed when it came to the actual length of the coda. Thirty to forty-five minutes seemed to be the most common estimates.

Having arrived late I missed the first of the opening acts - Josh T. Pearson of Lift to Experience. I did catch very brief bits of the second opener. Kurt Easley was armed with nothing more than his presumed charm and an acoustic guitar. Quite the juxtaposition from what was to follow.

At about 9:40 My Bloody Valentine took the stage and launched into "I Only Said" from Loveless. The wall of sound washing over the assembled mass was the perfect antidote to the seizure-inducing light show onstage. "When You Sleep" [also from Loveless] followed. During the course of an hour MBV took the audience on a tour of their various recordings: "Nothing Much to Lose" and "(When You Wake) You're Still in a Dream" from the album Isn't Anything as well as other songs from Loveless.

At roughly 10:40 the moment had arrived. And let me tell you, no amount of warning could have possibly prepared for just how LOUD the You Made Me Realise coda would be when performed live. It was pure white noise played at ear bleeding volume. About five minutes in it got even louder. Holy hell! The earth was shaking. You could feel the sound against your skin. People were checking to make sure that, yes indeed, their earplugs were still in their ears. Only a few of us remained sans some form of hearing protection. We were in it for the long haul. This coda was going to be an endurance event.

Ultimately the coda was only performed for around 15 minutes. And as loud as it was the board engineers seemed to squeeze out a few more decibels every couple of minutes. Then it was over. But the noise remained in my head. It was at that moment that I realized that my ears were going to be fucked!

So here I sit just a few hours later and I'm happy to report that my hearing has returned to normal. But as stupid as it sounds I would do it all over again. It was akin to riding the Judge Roy Scream. You fear that the car will hop the tracks plunging you to your death, but it doesn't happen. You feel more alive than you've ever felt in your life. And you're ready to ride it all over again.

And someday I hope to!

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