Review: Shoegaze icons My Bloody Valentine’s return to Philly is mixed, but impressive

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My Bloody Valentine plays Philadelphia for the first time in 21 years | Photo by Abi Reimold | abireimoldphoto.com
My Bloody Valentine plays Philadelphia for the first time in 21 years | Photo by Abi Reimold | abireimoldphoto.com

Last night legendary Dublin shoegaze outfit My Bloody Valentine played in Philadelphia for the first time since a two night stint at the Trocadero Theater in 1992. Thousands of fans packed the Electric Factory and waited in reverent anticipation as a seemingly endless amount of instruments and pieces of equipment were checked and the stage was set.

After over an hour of preparation the letters “mbv” appeared projected above the stage and bright lights blinded the audience. As the lights shined, the members of the band appeared as silhouettes and took their place. Psychedelic patterns began projecting over the entire stage and singer/guitarist Kevin Shields began strumming the chords to “Sometimes” on a thunderously distorted and amplified acoustic guitar. The sound was ear-splittingly loud, meticulously crafted and seemed to paralyze most of the audience, who stood in awe of their heroes as they played a set of career-spanning songs including many new pieces from their most recent record mbv as well as fan favorites from the classic and untouchable Loveless and “You Made Me Me Realise”.

Unfortunately the show did not go off without a hitch. The set was plagued by technical difficulties and many songs needed to be restarted after Shields was unsatisfied by one thing or another. It was hard to tell from the audience exactly what was going wrong but Shields became increasingly frustrated as the night went on and more problems arose. His apologies were the only words he spoke to the audience for the duration of the show, except for the thank you and goodbye at the close of the set. Despite these issues, the performance was incredible and in my opinion the band certainly justified the high anticipation and hype surrounding their return. Check out photos in the gallery below, and videos of the set after the jump.

Setlist
Sometimes
I Only Said
When You Sleep
New You
You Never Should
Honey Power
Cigarette in Your Bed
Only Tomorrow
Come in Alone
Only Shallow
Thorn
Nothing Much to Lose
Who Sees You
To Here Knows When
Wonder 2
Soon
Feed Me With Your Kiss
You Made Me Realise

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  • Cynicor

    Did they allow cameras in? Going to see them in NYC tonight.

  • icepop77

    The sound could have been mixed better. The band, however, delivered.