Before their set started, Dinosaur Jr. (or Irving Plaza) decided to show a set break visual of F-16 fighter jets and Tomahawk helicopters bombing and soaring from all different angles while Sonic Youth played over the house PA – Holy God, was this a harbinger for things to come.
Simply stated, this was the loudest-fucking-concert I have ever been too, trumping the Pantera/Sepultura/Biohazard triple bill from ’94 and countless hardcore club shows in the tinnitus-inducing years since. Dino pumped the seemingly endless array of amps up to 11, and 24 hours later the ears are still ringing…but feeling the pain was worth it, for it is better than feeling nothing. It is exciting to see the old guys invigorated, both on the stage and in the crowd as Dinosaur Jr. are riding a wave of late-career revival, having released one of their strongest albums, beyond, a few months ago. The new tunes were heavily focused on tonight beginning with an "Almost Ready" set opener, which was then backed up by one of the oldest tunes in the trio’s repertoire, Dino’s cover of the Cure’s "Just Like Heaven." executing a dynamite 1-2 punch to kick off the show. Vocals are not really J. Mascis’ strong-suit and tonight’s explosively loud mix didn’t help out for the first hour or so, but things improved as the volume roared. Sweating behind the drum kit Murph got "Been There All the Time" pumping and Lou confidently strode to the mic for "Back to Your Heart," as though these songs had been in the band’s setlist for years, as opposed to months.
The crowd started up the lost art of stage diving during the blistering "This Is All I Came to Do" and the moshing madness might have hit a high point with the unexpectedly played "Feel the Pain," I for one never thought that song would be performed by the original lineup but with the winning streak these guys have been on, anything seems possible. A toss back for the encore saw pure fury of the Your Living All Over Me gem "Raisans" end the night via ringing guitar wail and closing verse; "I’ll be down, I’ll be around/I’ll be hanging where eventually you’ll have to be/They’re not there, you’re standing there/Now you’ll have to decide the fate of my sanity." A perfect way to conclude amidst the feedback; wherever the trio are down and around, it will be loud as fuck, testing the fate of your sanity, but that’s a test worth taking again and again.