Comparing Guns N’ Roses figurehead Axl Rose to My Bloody Valentine mastermind Kevin Shields may be blasphemous to many – especially fans of the latter – but there are surely similarities between the two.
In the late '80s and early '90s, both Rose and Shields propelled their respective bands to great critical acclaim and, in the case of Rose and Roses, tens of millions of record sales. Both released landmark sets in 1991, Guns N’ Roses with the ambitious two “Use Your Illusion” albums and My Bloody Valentine with the timeless “Loveless,” before going M.I.A. in terms of a proper follow-up.
It took Rose until 2008 – and years of mystery, speculation and undelivered promises - to release the long-awaited “Chinese Democracy,” which hindsight has shown to be a hard rock “Heaven’s Gate.” A similar amount of anxious waiting and speculation shrouded Shields’ and Co. between “Loveless” and the release of this year’s “m.b.v.,” but, in the two decades-plus between the sets, both band and “Loveless” have become iconic with past and present generations of music fans, while Guns and their “Illusions” are time-stamped in their era and, in many circles, deemed relics.
And unlike Guns’ “Democracy,” “m.b.v.” is hardly a long-gestated dud.
Joined by “Loveless” co-conspirators Bilinda Butcher on guitar and vocals, bassist Debbie Googe and drummer Colm O’ Ciosoig, “m.b.v.” was unleashed on the Internet in February. Shields, both as a songsmith and a guitarist, picks up where he left off on both fronts on “Loveless,” and, taken as a whole, “m.b.v.” is as much of a proper follow-up to “Loveless” in 2013 as it would’ve been in 1993 or 1994, and this is surprisingly a bonus.
With “m.b.v.” now in Shields’ rearview, here’s hoping he can keep up the momentum and not leave another two decades-plus gap between original offerings.
My Bloody Valentine, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3, Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago. $43.50. FYI (773) 561-9500, JAMUSA.COM
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For more information, contact the venues or ticket sales agencies listed below. Unless otherwise indicated, all shows are all-ages.
The Pixies, Feb. 9, Riviera Theatre (18 and older, JAMUSA.COM)
The Breeders, Dec. 14, Metro (18 and older, METROCHICAGO.COM)
Jake Bugg, Jan. 18, Riviera Theatre (JAMUSA.COM)
Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Dec. 5, City Winery (21 and older, CITYWINERY.COM)
George Strait, Vince Gill, March 8, Allstate Arena (ALLSTATEARENA.COM)
Roky Erickson, Dec. 30-3, Beat Kitchen (17 and older, BEATKITCHEN.COM)
Imagine Dragons, March 13, Allstate Arena (ALLSTATEARENA.COM)
Keller Williams, Jan. 17, Park West (18 and older, JAMUSA.COM)
English Beat, Dec. 3, City Winery (21 and older, CITYWINERY.COM)
Cate Le Bon, Jan. 23, Schubas (21 and older, SCHUBAS.COM)
J. Roddy Walston and the Business, Nov. 12, House of Blues (HOB.COM)
The opinions expressed solely are those of the writer. He can be reached at T.firstname.lastname@example.org.