Dinosaur Jr are one of the few remaining iconic 90’s alternative acts that still retain a semblance of credibility – and they proved it yet again in one of the most powerful gigs of the year so far. These guys don’t mess around: they take their craft very seriously and it is very, very much appreciated by fans.
Rock ‘n’ roll’s most laid-back yet completely professional guitarist J Mascis was a picture of cool tonight as he thrashed out tonnes of riffage without ever seemingly breaking a sweat. Lou Barlow took care of the talking, and skinsman Patrick Murphy was entirely focussed on his drumming, even tweaking his set a few times during the gig.
Now with 3 albums under their belt since their 2005 reformation, Dinosaur Jr’s arsenal is a little larger and they’re free to indulge themselves – the absolutely cracking new album I Bet On Sky was well represented. The jaw-dropping Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know had those up the front dancing like nutters, while those in the back knowingly nodded and stroked their chins. This is the good shit brothers and sisters.
Wrapping up the main set with the astounding double of Freak Scene and Forget The Swan set up high expectations for the inevitable encore. As expected, Dinosaur Jr exceeded those expectations, and it was a thing of beauty. Their cover of The Cures Just Like Heaven really does set the standard for anyone attempting to cover The Cure – partly because it’s quite unrecognisable to the original, but largely because it’s so damn good. It led straight into the twisted metal monster that is Sludgefeast to wrap up the night. And there was nothing left to do but say: “How fuckin’ good was that? Holy shit!”