Summer Concerts

This summer is gone but the memories of three great shows two bands from the early 90s made it a memorable time. Tricky and My Bloody Valentine were these bands that influenced many people's lives (as well as mine) but unfortunately demonstrated that good music is often found in the past.

Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood September 12

Tricky, whose 1995 debut album Maxinquaye put trip-hop in the map, visited SMC last Spring to talk about his new documentary named, just like his label, Brown Punk. I had the misfortune of missing that opportunity to meet the man, but now I had the chance to see him live.

Tricky took the stage after a disappointing opening band called Sonny, whose young fans left after their long set. The dark stage lit up as soon as Tricky took stage, and did some lighting up of his own playing a set that included his new singles "puppy toy" and "council state" from his new album Knowle West Boy.

But most of the songs came from the rest of his albums, showcasing his different musical styles and performing them flawlessly. Seeing Tricky in concert is an experience, he doesn't sing, he delivers the lyrics with intensity and feeling that makes the listener understand the meaning of the often personal songs he not only writes but produces.

Tricky has a habit of changing the style of the old songs depending on the new album's sound, but this time the songs sounded just as like the record(s). 'Aftermath', 'Black Steel', 'You Don't Wanna' were impeccable, as well as the two covers performed, The Cure's 'Lovecats' and XTC's 'Dear God'.

His tour vocalist Veronika Coassolo's voice was a perfect choice, delivering perfect renditions of Tricky's other featured singers flawlessly. "He's the best black performer there is" writer and part-time projectionist Marc Dyson said. "He brings black African voodoo culture to the stage." To say that he doesn't give more than his 110% is an understatement.

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium October 1

When I heard that a reunion was in place for My Bloody Valentine, the British "shoegaze" band from the early '90s I knew that I had to go. The first of two sold out nights had an enthusiastic crowd, screaming and cheering as soon as My Bloody came on stage. Nobody could resist their sounds as people moved their bodies in tune with the music.

The opening song, 'When She Sleeps', sent chills went through my body. Their music uses "tremolo effects heavily, a blend of reverse reverb and an extended tremolo bar on his [singer/guitarist Kevin Shields] guitar, and of course different types of distortion." Said Michael Cameron, a big fan of MBV and also the man behind the band Waterlaso.

MVB's performance was everything that I expected and more, surpassing live recordings from "back in the day" downloaded online. There was only a minor issue with guitarist/singer Bilinda Butcher's mic that added some feedback, but otherwise the show was one of the best I've seen, the band delivering their energy to the audience with their loud and relentlessly loud performance.

SMC alumni and photography major Aida Daneshvar loved the show, "you could feel the ground vibrate under your feet during the entire show. the crazy lights & the hypnotic visuals added to the unreal feeling the music was already giving me."

I had read and hear from friends, and Daneshvar confirmed that MBV's shows were, as she said after the show "definitely the loudest show I've ever been to. I can't imagine anything being louder." The rumors were true. Their last song "you made me realise" features 15 minutes of distortion and noise produced by their guitars that caught many by surprise, those that didn't know what they were getting into.

But the rest of us enjoyed the "direct frontal attack on the ears, like listening to a sustained nuclear blast from ground zero that continued for 15 mins." As best expressed by Cameron. A noise that "was like sitting inside a jet engine."

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