It was loud, but I’m sure anyone even slightly familiar with MBV will already realize that it was going to be loud. If you’ve only ever heard their recorded music, you might not necessarily get the impression that they’re the loudest band on the planet (no lie, this has been measured!). Yes there are vocals, no you really can’t hear them. Yes everything sounds noisy and distorted, yes that’s on purpose and that’s why we like it. Yes they do the lights like that on purpose where you don’t really see the band as much as they’re putting lights just out on the crowd and the venue. It’s supposed to signify some sort of greater meaning that it’s not about the band, it’s about the music so just enjoy the experience and don’t worry about trying to see the band.
Oh and yes for the last 20 minutes they’re doing to assault you with a sheath of pure noise and distortion. Phil Spector may have made his Wall of Sound famous for layering all sorts of goodness, MBV created the Wall of Noise. It’s not that it’s not sound, but really the impression you get is that it’s glorifying all that is considered to not be Sound and that which is totally undesirable in music. It’s turning the entire idea of music on its ass and saying “this is beautiful too, embrace it” as a sort of grand statement on how we view music. (is this idea too pretentious?). When you experience it (and I don’t think a recording truly does it justice), you’re being bombarded by light, sound and even feeling because the rush of air from the speakers is even as intense as the music itself. It literally (and I’m not making exaggerations here I don’t think) feels like you’re standing a few feet away from a jet plane engine that’s in the midst of takeoff, except for a slight problem: Superman is holding the front of the plane and it can’t move. It’s stuck in a perpetual acceleration, and you are hanging out in the exhaust. It’s louder than anything you’ve ever experienced, the strobe lights and other things are going nuts, and the wind and vibration are just something that I personally have never felt at a show before. Sometimes you get the occasional really bassy moment and you feel it in every part of your body… go ahead and imagine this happening for 20 solid minutes.
And yes, they hand out earplugs at the door. I feel deeply sorry for anyone who didn’t use them or bring their own.
The sound at the venue wasn’t the best to start with, it’s really a terrible place for concerts and I don’t know why they’ve started a big trend of having them there on a regular basis, but the recording sounds good otherwise.
- 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
- download the whole show as a .zip file
- download the show in 24-bit lossless FLAC via Dimeadozen (registration required)