Hello again! This is Jason.
I might have mentioned this before, but before cameras, and before computers, my first love was music. It’s always been a part of my life. Be it when I was a child in a child seat in my Mom’s car on our way to somewhere, or now actively listening to a favorite album. It’s something I couldn’t imagine living without.
One of my favorite bands is called My Bloody Valentine. In 1991 they released an album called Loveless that in my opinion pushed guitar music years progressively forward. Sadly, with the exception of a few EPs and reunion tours, they never came anywhere near where I lived or was willing to travel, so I never got to see them live.
Last summer there was talk about a new album, but I mostly ignored it except they also announced a Japanese Tour. They are playing 3 shows here in Tokyo, but it was sold out in less than 10 minutes. My friend and I decided to buy tickets to the Osaka concert not knowing if we would be able to go or not because of work, but it was worth spending the money anyway. Come December band member Kevin Shields made an announcement that the album was done and mastering it was finished. At that point I was very excited! Then last week they released the entire album for download on their website and their website crashed over and over again for hours. They then decided to put the album up for free listening on YouTube. This was great as I got to listen before I would buy and it sold the album for me, so when the site became stable, I pre-ordered a copy.
Tuesday morning I boarded the Nozomi Shinkansen and headed to Osaka. We got there early, so we shopped around and hanged out with friends in Osaka. It should be noted that Osaka has really great record stores. I found one selling a band from my hometown called Guided By Voices. I didn’t expect to see that there.
Finally it was time for the concert. After standing out in the cold in the most ridiculous way to get everyone inside, we were finally in and the show was about to begin. I had received my complimentary earplugs and was good to go.
The show began and was kind of what I expected. They played mostly old material, some stuff that wasn’t on the album and a song from the new album. Now I’ve heard that this is the loudest band ever, but it seemed pretty par for the course. Then came their finale. The last 30 minutes was double the volume of the previous songs and was just colorful noise as if they turned on every effect pedal they owned and cranked the volume up to 11. This was set to a video that played in the background which was interesting, but in my opinion not 30 minutes interesting, but worth it for the first time. After the show I was really happy I had earplugs. The volume was so loud at the end that I could feel my clothes, and hair blowing as well as my forehead vibrating. The rest of the sight I had strange feelings of sinus pressure releasing. Not doubt caused by the inhuman volumes I just experienced.
In the end it was a concert I will never forget. I’ve always been a fan of the Shoegaze genre and getting to finally see the masters of the genre play live was unforgettable experience. If you got the cash you can surely find somebody online selling tickets for the shows here in Tokyo that start tonight, tomorrow, and then the day after tomorrow. It’s well worth the cash.