Listen to My Bloody Valentine play Maxwell's on their debut east coast run in 1989 - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Amidst the late 80s cultural landscape where Public Enemy’s revolutionary beats echoed and The Cure’s atmospheric soundscapes echoes, there emerged My Bloody Valentine, hailing from Dublin, Ireland. Before their iconic album Loveless, they already stirred ripples with EPs like You Made Me Realise and Feed Me with Your Kiss, as well as their debut LP Isn’t Anything. Initially steeped in noise pop akin to influences like Joy Division and the Jesus and Mary Chain, their trajectory shifted dramatically when vocalist David Conway departed in ’87, making way for Bilinda Butcher’s ethereal vocals to intertwine with the band’s shimmering, jangly guitars, birthing a sound uniquely their own.

This transformation laid the foundation for what would become their hallmark style, a sound that not only defined them but also birthed an entire genre, influencing generations of musicians to come. Embarking on their first US tour from late fall ’88 through winter ’89, snapshots from this era are scarce but precious, capturing fleeting moments of the band’s journey—be it lounging in their tour bus or playing tourist in iconic spots like Disneyland and New York City.

Among these cherished memories lies a performance on June 2nd, 1989, at Maxwell’s Tavern in Hoboken, NJ, immortalized by the skilled hands of J Mascis, the Dinosaur Jr frontperson who, according to internet lore, was running the soundboard that night. While footage of the actual performance remains undiscovered, Pat Blashill’s lens captured snippets of the evening, along with candid shots in the days that followed, offering glimpses into the raw energy of the era; you can see a montage of those photos set to the recording of the concert in the YouTube video below.

My Bloody Valentine Maxwell's, Hoboken 2/6/1989 master live sound by J Mascis

The band’s tour continued a couple days later at Washington, D.C.’s legendary 9:30 club, and video of that show is streaming on YouTube. Both shows feature the majority of Isn’t Anything plus some selections from those early EPs.

My Bloody Valentine RARE live from VIMEO [4K upscale] at the 930 Club Washington, DC June 6, 1989
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