Dinosaur Jr.: Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY 1/16/10

You can’t hear the vocals?!?  What fucking show do you think this is?!?!”

Lou Barlow sarcastically yelled this to an ill informed fan midway through Dinosaur Jr’s ass-kickingly-loud concert at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night in New York City…and really what the hell was that fan thinking?  This is Dinosaur Jr; beasts of feedback, lords of the distortion! 

After Kurt Vile’s engaging opening set (mental note, check this out more from this guy) J, Lou and Murph took their places on a stage that was decorated just like the Forest of Fangorn. Focusing heavily on their newest release, Farm, the trio put in their ear plugs and turned up the volume knobs ‘til they broke, then brought down the house. 

The opener “Thumb” stretched across decibels and styles with J strumming one measure cleanly, then kicking in the distortion and overdrive on the next before his shimmering wah-wah echoed out into the crowd.  His guitar acrobatics are awe inspiring and are clearly the main attraction when the group plays live; it’s true the vocals are secondary (or third…or fourth) but who cares?  The axe man can grind with unequaled vitality and experimentation.  Lou’s bass, which has been low in the mix during some past NYC shows, popped and glided easily while Murph kept things moving along at a brisk pace atop the skins. 

Besides the opener, other highlights were the 8+ minute sprawl of “Plans”, the buzz bin classic “Feel The Pain” and the newest gem in their sack of tunes “Over It”, with it’s blistering pacing and sonic seduction.  “The Wagon”, “Freakscene” and the night-closing “Mountain Man” eased old school ears while “Raisans” was this reporters pinnacle, but the whole set reverberated with immediate honesty and passion not to mention soul shattering volume…long may these Dino’s rumble and rock.


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