The call went out early in the day, Dinosaur Jr. would be shooting a video at the House of Vans in Brooklyn for their new album Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not. Shortly after, the announcement broke that the band would be playing a surprise free show that same night at the same venue. The lines formed early and were long with lots of fans looking to get into the hot warehouse/club to see some of the best powerful guitar based rock and roll going today.
Beginning the night was the New Brunswick, NJ based trio Screaming Females who match up perfectly with the headliner as they are also a trio who shine live. Marissa Paternoster on guitar and vocals, Jarrett Dougherty on drums, and Mike Abbate on bass blasted out of the gate with “Pretty OK”. To end the tune Paternoster soloed and played with feedback as the group wound it’s way directly into “Ripe” off of their recent record, Rose Mountain. While Paternoster gutturally sang about “Peeling The Skin Raw” Abbate delivered engaging bass runs and Dougherty propelled the group upward. The set was a powerful demonstration of their talents as tracks like “Empty Head” rang out in the packed sweaty house.
When the headlining trio took the stage the crowd was more than ready. J Mascis on guitar, Lou Barlow on bass and Murph on drums dropped right into the groove, opening with “The Lung” from their stone cold classic You’re Living All Over Me. Barlow took over vocals for a run through “Back To Your Heart” before newer tracks “Pieces” and “Tiny” shot out like lasers from Mascis Fender Jazzmaster.
With Murphs heavy hand and dexterous rhythm on the skins the group turned to some old favorites with a trio of tracks, “Out There”, “Feel The Pain” and the glorious riffs of “Start Choppin’”. As the punk vibe was clearly established the group moved into the hardcore realm as they covered an older version of themselves with Deep Wound’s “Training Ground”.
Unfortunately the night was a short one, as the group wrapped up their playing with “Freak Scene” an ode to friendships. The choice of song was both fitting and an amazing testament that this group is still touring, still on good terms, and still creating some of the best music of their career.