Last Shot: My Bloody Valentine Helps Me Forget the Pain of Cancer

Categories: Last Shot

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Lindsey Best
Andrew Youssef
[Editor's Note: Long-time concert photographer Andrew Youssef found out two years ago that he had stage IV colon cancer. In that time, he has continued to shoot tons of music events, on top of other freelance work and working a day job at a hospital, of all places. As he continues to fight for his life, this series allows him to tell his story in his own words.]

These last couple of weeks have been difficult to say the least. It was painful to miss writing my column as I was basically bedridden for most of the week dealing with managing my pain and controlling my nausea and vomiting. I'm still losing weight which isn't a good sign and it feels like my resolve is weakening along with my body. It is very easy to lie in bed and take pain pills to mask the mental as well as physical pain.

See Also: Last Shot: A Concert Photographer's Battle With Cancer

On one of the more particularly difficult days, I was restless and tired yet couldn't manage to get comfortable. It was absolutely horrible. Definitely one of the lower days in my journey since my diagnosis. Luckily, the fog of feeling horrible subsided and some semblance of strength started to take form. Approaching fast on the horizon was the FYF Festival held at the Los Angeles Historic Park which had one of my favorite bands, My Bloody Valentine, playing the headline slot.

In the pantheon of guitar based bands, My Bloody Valentine are one of my favorites. Kevin Shields is simply masterful in the way he sculpts gigantic washes of fuzz guitars. Armed with an assortment of Fender Jazzmasters and at least thirty guitar pedals that serve as the sonic bricks to his wall of noise, Shields's guitar work is out of this world in that it transports me immediately into a heavenly place.

Having seen the Saturday headliners Yeah Yeah Yeahs recently at Outside Lands, I opted to rest at home on that particular day and save my energy for Sunday when My Bloody Valentine headlined. The high temperatures and the lung-paralyzing coats of dust that permeated the grounds had me show up right before Beach House, who played an intoxicating set.

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