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My Bloody Valentine, Spectrum @ The Concourse, 9/30/08

October 1, 2008

It was supposed to be the show of the year.

After a 16 year hiatus, My Bloody Valentine was coming to make many a San Franciscan’s high school dreams come true. The anticipation was great.

I had never been to The Concourse for a show before, and yes, I knew of the bad reviews. But I’m a I’ll-try-anything-once-I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it kind of girl. Well, this place is not a concert hall, it is concert hell.

Unless you are in the very front or along the ‘balcony’ rails, you will not see the band. Mind you, this place holds 10,000 or something, so that is leaving a lot of people viewless. And the sound- while probably great for many bands- it was great for the opener- was obscene for MBV. I loves me some loud, but this was like I wanna tear my hair out and kill people loud.

Spectrum opened, and while they sounded nice, I was too distracted about the horrible venue to give a shit. And when I was able to catch a glimpse of the stage, I saw that the guitarist sits down to play. Uh-uh.

I only enjoyed MBV’s first song, ‘I Only Said’, and that was probably pure adrenaline/anticipation. And then maybe ‘Only Shallow’. I’ve never seen so many people bail on a show before. They passed out earplugs at the door, but that was not enough. I know it is supposed to be loud, but this was stupid. Perhaps if you were in the very center you could escape, but it was even ridiculous in the back where the band looked like ants. The strobe lights were also really strong, so the combination was nausea inducing. And the band has no stage energy- and I didn’t expect them to, they are shoegaze- so just standing there with this onslaught of noise and light is an interesting dichotomy. But apparently it’s one that pisses me right off. And that masturbatory 20 minute drone session at the end? I didn’t find that interesting or impressive. It wasn’t dynamic enough to go on for 2 minutes.

At $50, this show felt like a money hungry reunion tour. To quote Saul Williams, “I want my money back”. If they just wanted to punish their fans, they narrowly missed the Folsom Street Fair.

SF Weekly calls it the best show of the year? Hahahahahahaha.

Presumed Setlist:
I Only Said
When You Sleep
You Never Should
(When You Wake) You’re Still In a Dream
Cigarette In Your Bed
Come In Alone
Only Shallow
Nothing Much to Lose
To Here Knows When
Feed Me With Your Kiss
You Made Me Realise, with 20 minutes of crap drone

MBV performance: 3/10
Spectrum performance: 5/10
venue (The Concourse): -1 trillion/10
crowd/scene: 9.5/10
value ($50/ticket): 1/10
memorable: 8/10


  1. Had this show been at The Fillmore, it could have been EPIC, but unfortunately it will go down as one of the worst shows {at least for me} of ’08. I blame the venue for about 80% of why this show sucked. I did very much enjoy the last 20 minutes of noise however. The Concourse should stick to hosting Bridal Fairs and Baseball Card Conventions. And fuck the Weekly, just a bunch of poser wannabe music critics!

  2. Okay do any of you actually like my bloody valentine? Because if you did you would have been blown away by one of the most strong, passionate, and all around kick-ass sets ive seen. I was at the concourse last night and maybe it was because im smart and got a good spot (a couple rows from the front on the right in front of kevin) but i thought it sounded boss!! and the lights were too much for you?! … ur weak.. i thought the strobe light projector shit was trippy awsome! and as for the noise its mbv wat do u expect?!i thought the bass was of perfect bone shattering intensity. it was a sick show and anyone who knows or likes mbv would have thought so.. they played with passion.. belinda is a supermodel.. kevin is pure evil but its great … oh and bass guitarist debbie is a badass .. yeah im still high off the concert n its been 24 hours. people need to stop over-analyzing this concert, im pissed its getting a bad wrap.. they rocked the house.

  3. Jamie –
    I almost think you were too nice 🙂 As for Ben’s comment – I do understand where you are coming from, my boyfriend is a mega fan who hung on the stage in the front row… BUT there was NO way the entire audience could of enjoyed this show. Not everyone can get a spot of front.. and it should still be enjoyable. I saw radiohead at OSL and was NOT EVEN CLOSE to the band, but at least the sound was good.

    I almost got sick at this show from the lights/noise combo. I dont care how much I love a band… nothing is worth that feeling. At least not to me.

  4. yeah, um, anyone who knows anything about MBV would know what to expect. i’d seen them in 1992 so i knew there was a 20 minute noise jam at the end of the show during “you made me realise” and i enjoyed every minute of it. oh, and it was really NOT that loud. i only had earplugs in for about 15% of the show. the venue sucked, yeah, but they sounded much, much better than they did in 1992 although their set hasn’t changed much. heh.

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