by Matt Kelchner
With bellies full and Black Friday shopping trips over, people came out en masse for Dinosaur Jr.’s concert at Union Transfer on Saturday. The show had sold out days in advance and walking around the venue that night, that much was clear. Fans were packed in shoulder to shoulder seemingly in every corner, taking on the fuzzed out wall of sound together with one another. J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph gave those who came out 17 more things to be thankful for that weekend.
Back in August, Dinosaur Jr. released their 11th studio album, Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not, via Jagjaguwar. The well received record was the fourth since Mascis returned with the group’s original lineup with Barlow and Murph, and continued the stretch of fantastic releases since reuniting. A good portion of Saturday night was devoted to showing off the group’s new songs to their eagerly awaiting fanbase. At the same time, it also served as a career spanning roll through the band’s extensive discography as nine out of their eleven records were represented.
The night kicked off with “Tarpit” from 1987’s You’re Living All Over Me and “Get Me” from 1993’s Where You Been before getting into a block of new material that included “Goin’ Down”, and “Love Is…”. Hopping between decades worth of songs demonstrated just how well this new batch of songs such as “I Walk For Miles” fit right in with classics like “Feel The Pain” and “Start Choppin’”.
Stage banter was kept to a bare minimum as Mascis and company powered through fuzzed out hit after hit. With the exception of Barlow’s mini physics lesson that came in response to a fan’s complaint of not being able to hear the vocals so close to the stage, the trio let the music do all of the talking. The lack of chatter was made up in the form of effortless guitar solos, bouncing locks of hair and pounding beats.
One of the most impressive examples of dancing along the strings of a guitar neck came towards the end of the final song before the encore, “Gargoyle”. Standing behind the mountainous tower of amps, Mascis ripped a solo that felt just as long as the song itself before walking off stage alongside his two bandmates. After a short break, Dinosaur Jr. came out for two final older jams, “Budge” followed with “Sludgefeast” (the latter of which contained an equally jaw dropping solo as the one during “Gargoyle”).
As they push towards almost 35 years since their formation, Dinosaur Jr. showed no signs of slowing down Saturday night. Sure the albums might not come as frequently as with most bands and the tours following suit, but the trio of Mascis, Barlow and Murph gave another example in their long and celebrated career that backs their influential status on American alternative rock.