Last year, Kevin Shields sent tremors throughout the music world by actually delivering on the long-awaited followup to _Loveless_, and then playing a good chunk of shows in support of that record. The shoegaze world was similarly set abuzz when an official band website materalized out of nowhere, hinting of a reunion that would break a twenty year silence. Early reports from Primavera and later Pitchfork were full of rapturous swooning, word of mouth that helped sell out this (and most) shows quickly. And thirty shows in, the band is wielding a aural scalpel, expertly flaying open the ears, hearts and minds of the audience with an alternately pounding and carressing sonic swirl. Kicking off with a nod to their earliest roots, the woozy chords of "Slowdive" that Neil Halstead and Christian Savill created set the mood, and the soft vocals of Halstead and Rachel Goswell floated on overhead. "Avalyn" and "Catch The Breeze" couldn't have completed a greater trifecta; bliss was the order of the evening, and it never let up. The band's added a couple of additional songs as they've made their way, with "Dagger" preceding "Alison," though Halstead nearly jumped the gun until Goswell gently chided him. The projected visuals, clouds of haze, and perfect sound really made for an immaculate production, and I can't imagine anyone walking out of the venue disappointed. Not that music is meant for comparison, but this show left a much deeper impression on than last year's MBV show.
Opener Asobi Seksu broke a two year hiatus by coming out for this one-off show, as tour support Low took the night off according to their religious views and Slowdive asked them to pinch hit. Yuki Chikudate's vocals were the puffy, airy complement to the static and dirt kicked up by guitarist James Hanna.
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