Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dinosaur Jr. at Irving Plaza

J Mascis
While in high school in western Massachusetts in 1982, J Mascis and Lou Barlow played drums and guitar respectively in the hardcore punk band Deep Wound, but the band split in 1984. Mascis then enlisted Barlow, Deep Wound's vocalist and drummer Emmett "Murph" Murphy into an "ear-bleeding country" band called Mogo. After one concert, Mascis disbanded the group and a few days later invited Barlow and Murph to form a new trio, Dinosaur, with Mascis on guitar and vocals, Barlow on bass and vocals, and Murph on drums. Later renamed Dinosaur Jr., the trio succeeded in the alternative rock world but disbanded in 1997. The original lineup reformed in 2005, and the band's 11th and most recent album, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, was released on August 5, 2016.

On the first of two headlining nights at Irving Plaza tonight, Dinosaur Jr. was a cross between a classic power trio rock band and a noisy jam band. Mascis' trademark guitar sound was loud, fast, fluid and bordering distortion for most of the set. The rhythm section powered the songs recklessly behind him like the Who, usually providing fireworks rather than nuance. As usual, Mascis' drawling, melodic, country-flavored vocals stood in contrast to the unleashed chaos surrounding them. Mascis' extended guitar jams remained forefront, mystically commanding attention through inventive, squalling leads and effects-laden dissonance. Furthering the level of crash and burn, Dinosaur Jr. invited former Negative Approach frontman John Brannon to scream throughout "Don't." (Brannon's new band, Easy Action, opened the concert.) Yes, there is such a thing as good noise.

Visit Dinosaur Jr. at

  1. The Lung
  2. In a Jar
  3. Goin Down
  4. I Told Everyone /12
  5. Love Is...
  6. The Wagon
  7. Watch the Corners
  8. Tiny
  9. Feel the Pain
  10. Little Fury Things
  11. Knocked Around
  12. Start Choppin
  13. I Walk for Miles
  14. Freak Scene
  15. Gargoyle
  16. Encore:
  17. Out There
  18. Don't