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My Bloody Valentine Brings The Noise At ATP

Decibel levels ran into the red last night (Sept. 21) as My Bloody Valentine played its first U.S. concert in 16 years to bring the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival to an ear-splitting close in Monticello, N.Y.

The recently reunited quartet, led by feedback virtuoso Kevin Shields, pummeled ATP’s 3,000 attendees with a feedback-drenched concert at the Kutsher’s Country Resort. After a slow start (the band took the stage 45 minutes behind schedule), MBV tore through 90 minutes of ethereal, psychedelic songs, mostly from its landmark 1991 album “Loveless” and its 1988 debut “Isn’t Anything.”

True to form, Shields, guitarist/vocalist Belinda Butcher, bassist Debbie Googe and drummer Colm O Ciosoig, buried subtle melodies and barely audible vocals under dense, notoriously loud layers of guitar squalor and warbled tape loops. Velvet Underground-inspired images flashed on screens behind the band throughout the show, complimenting the sonic onslaught.

Though earplugs were passed out to fans upon entry into the venue, many in the packed room were seen covering their ears during the endurance-testing set, which peaked with a deafening, 20-minute wall of noise during closer “You Made Me Realise.” The band’s All Tomorrow’s Parties’ appearance marked the start of a six-city North American tour.

The set capped off a day of music that featured performances by 14 other underground artists, hand-picked by Shields himself. On the main stage, grunge godfathers Dinosaur Jr., epic instrumentalists Mogwai, indie darlings Yo La Tengo, hip-hop pioneers EPMD and upstate N.Y. locals Mercury Rev treated their audiences to tunes that ran the gamut from swirling guitar symphonies to head-rattling feedback experiments.

ATP’s second stage played host to a slew of up-and-coming and well-established indie acts, such as Brian Jonestown Massacre, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Lilys and Bob Mould, the latter of whom tore into a host of Husker Du songs at the end of his set.