Dinosaur Jr – Live in 2016

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Dinosaur Jr : Live

Dinosaur Jr : Live

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Click here for photos from this show in the QRO Concert Photo Gallery

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at 2017 Project Pabst Atlanta in Atlanta, GA

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at 2017 Riot Fest in Chicago, IL

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, ON, Canada on March 10th, 2017

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at 2016 Wrecking Ball in Atlanta, GA

QRO’s review of Dinosaur Jr at Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago, IL on July 28th, 2016

QRO’s review of Dinosaur Jr at House of Vans in Brooklyn, NY on July 12th, 2016

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at 2015 FYF Fest in Los Angeles, CA

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at JBL Live at Pier 97 in New York, NY on July 30th, 2015

QRO’s review of Dinosaur Jr at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY on May 28th, 2014

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at 2014 Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, TX

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at 2014 4Knots Fest in New York, NY

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at 2013 Riot Fest

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at 2013 Riot Fest Toronto in Toronto, ON, Canada

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at 2013 Governors Ball in New York, NY

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at 2013 Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Spain

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at Lee’s Palace in Toronto, ON, Canada on September 25th, 2012

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at Music Fest NW 2012 in Portland, OR

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at 2012 FYF Fest

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at 2012 LouFest in St. Louis, MO

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at 2012 80/35 Festival in Des Moines, IA

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at SXSW 2012 in Austin, TX

QRO’s review of Dinosaur J. at Music Hall of Williamsburg on January 17th, 2010

QRO’s review of Dinosaur Jr at Central Park SummerStage in New York, NY on August 16th, 2009

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at SXSW 2009

QRO’s review of Dinosaur Jr at Webster Hall in New York, NY on September 3rd, 2007

Photos of Dinosaur Jr at Irving Plaza on June 6th, 2007

Even among all the reunions and rehashes, and not just the musical ones, Dinosaur Jr’s stands out. Their break-up was a true break-up, with first bassist Lou Barlow and then drummer Murph splitting with bad feelings from singer/guitarist J Mascis (read their chapter in Michael Azerrad’s Our Band Could Be Your Life, or listen to Barlow’s post-Dinosaur Sebadoh song, “The Freed Pig”). They were not some also ran but highly influential in their alt-grunge day – Dinosaur Jr t-shirts, with their characteristic drawings, were a staple once upon a time, and their sound can be heard today in everything from heavy to indie. Their 2005 reunion was an early one, compared to their peers, at first just playing re-released old material, then bringing out brand-spanking new records Beyond (QRO review), Farm (QRO review), I Bet On Sky (QRO review), and this year Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not (QRO review) – which have been as good anything they released in the twentieth century. And they came behind their latest for a two-night stretch at New York’s Irving Plaza (QRO review), concluding on Thursday, December 1st.

MurphCame back, for it was just under a decade ago that Dinosaur Jr played Irving Plaza (QRO photos), touring behind Beyond – and exactly a decade ago that they played NYC previewing that material. Some reunions wear out their welcome, start repeating themselves, or descend into something less (for all three, see Dinosaur Jr’s Massachusetts contemporaries Pixies). But Dinosaur Jr are as vital as ever, whether on new material, old new material, the classics, and more.

Lou BarlowYes, Glimpse held the lion’s share of the set list at six songs (out of eighteen), but there were cheers from the crowd when Mascis announced that they were gonna play some new stuff, like “Goin Down” or “Tiny”. The other two-thirds of the set was drawn from across the band’s discography, starting with their first record, self-titled Dinosaur (back before a lawsuit forced them to add the “Jr”) with opener “Bulbs of Passion”. There were eighties alt-singles like “The Wagon” and “Freak Scene” – the former done “seven-inch style” with an additional guitarist – and even from their early nineties post-Barlow grunge era commercial success, “Get Me”, “Start Choppin’”, and “Feel the Pain”. Beyond’s “Crumble” and I Bet On Sky’s “Watch the Corners” fit in nicely (though none from Farm). For their encore, there was “Training Ground” from Barlow & Mascis’ pre-Dinosaur Amherst band Deep Wound (with the great shouted chorus, “I never went to college!”), their ultra-classic cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven”, and growly “Mountain Man” finish.

J MascisMascis, with his trademark long grey, Gandalf-like locks, was positioned in front of his circle of amps, wailing just the right amount on his guitar – skilled and impressive (and loud) without being self-indulgent. Barlow was bouncing like a madman, his own curly black hair going every which way, yet was somehow still able to keep time with (bald) Murph, whose drum kit was positioned right up front. Barlow also played in socks, which is somehow the most Lou Barlow thing ever.

Irving Plaza was packed, pushing fans back thanks to heavy jackets, heavier fans, and the venue’s unfortunate new VIP/paid upgrade restricted standing areas (like the entire balcony), though it’s not like you couldn’t hear band. Yes, the crowd was older, though not as male-heavy as one might have expected. Likely most-to-near-all had seen Dinosaur Jr before, and this show wasn’t revelatory to those who had, but instead just another great show from a band that’s being consistently great.

Dinosaur Jr

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