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Gig review of Dinosaur Jr

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Reviewed on 28th October 2016.

 
 

Dinosaur Jr

Live at Stylus on Wednesday, 26th October 2016

Somehow competing with the Bake Off final, stylus was jam-packed with barely standing room only (we're guessing the Venn diagram of Bake Off and J Mascis fans is pretty dilute).

The buzz was palpable, further stoked when a roadie came on to tinker with the colossal Marshall amps - surely the gates to guitar heaven. Then again, a lot of people have waited a long time to see US indie-punk trio Dinosaur Jr in action following their reformation in 2005.

With no intro - a sign of things to come - the band ambled on stage, riffed up and embarked on an ear-shreddingly loud opener. Those stacks had been turned up to 11.5, apparently.

With still no hello, the band unleashed another punk-fuelled track. 'Louder,' shouted a heckler in irony, we presume, as the volume was cranked so loud, we retreated to the merchandise stall and invested in a set of plugs at a pound.

And then J Mascis, the guitar demi-god people were here to worship, finally spoke. 'Thanks for coming, we're going to play a new one.'

With the sound properly mixed, it proved an early highlight before the band segued into 2007 hit 'I See You' and 2012's 'Watch The Corners,' two melodic, aching and beautiful tracks that powerfully countered the earlier onslaught.

Normal service quickly resumed as 'On The Way' sparked the first mosh pit of the evening, as middle-aged men bounced and bent their way around Stylus, rapidly exceeding their steps quota for the week.

Following a brief interlude to tune his guitar - seriously needed after the Herculean levels of thrash - J uttered his second sentence (well, 3 words): 'Another new one.' Punky and poppier - in the loosest sense of the word - it had a guitar line we're still humming two days later, and saw hirsute bassist Lou Barlow thrash out some seriously groovy basslines as he bounced like a brown haired Dulux dog on Ritalin.

With the crowd well and truly warmed up, the Jurassic trio took a short detour down memory lane. First came the stop start punk of 1994's 'Feel The Pain,' before a still fresh and vibrant 'Freak Scene' snuck in mid-set, its socially aware lyrics still resonating with the crowd some 28 years (!) after release.

The encore was another epic wall of sound, as they created a dense, viscous mass of wired bass and electric guitar married in a hurried, perfect race with the drums to the end. Come the last dying echo of reverb, 1000 guitar heroes sauntered home very happy (and a little bit deaf).

 

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Dinosaur Jr

Dinosaur Jr. is an American rock band formed in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1984

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