Dinosaur Jr. at Headliners Music Hall (Louisville, KY 3/22/17)

Dinosaur Jr is one of those older bands I’ve always felt were very underappreciated. Formed in 1984 by front man and legend guitarist J Mascis, Dinosaur Jr has been rocking the world for decades without much recognition at all. Their biggest and most recognizable hit was “Feel the Pain” from 1994, debuting a whopping ten years after the band was formed. Despite only one major hit under their belt, Dinosaur Jr. has a massive amount of amazing undiscovered noise rock tracks in their repertoire. When I saw J Mascis and the rest of the band was coming to Louisville, I knew I had to get tickets.

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Opening with the beautiful yet seemingly heavy “Thumb”, it was quite obvious Dinosaur Jr came to rattle the whole entire venue. Once they finished playing the opening song, J Mascis decided to give the crowd a nice suite of four songs from their most recent release, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not. The next assortment of eleven songs were from a variety of their studio albums ranging from the early 80’s to newer material. The crowd roared in a loud frenzy when they played “Feel the Pain” as well as the fan favorite, “Start Choppin”. I was also super stoked when they played “Start Choppin” as well as “Little Fury Things”, as they are two of my absolute favorite Dinosaur Jr. songs.

The night was coming to a close, but they still wanted to rock out with us at Headliners Music Hall. Their main set closer was “Gargoyle”, a two-minute track off their debut album Dinosaur. Despite the studio version of it being very short, the band turned the whole song into an eight-minute jam including a massive guitar solo from J Mascis. It was quite possibly one of the most intense things I’ve ever seen at a concert. The one thing I wasn’t aware of before the concert was that Dinosaur Jr at heart is a complete jam band live. It seemed like every other song had a nice lengthy guitar solo from J Mascis, accompanied by the band jamming out as if it were simply second nature.

To begin the encore, the band came out and played “Kracked” off their 1987 album You’re Living All Over Me. To accompany it, they played “Sludgefeast” immediately after, which so happens to be the next song on the album. “Sludgefeast” was one of my favorite tunes of the night because of how well J’s soft smooth vocals contrast with the long droning guitar throughout the song. To close out the night, the band played a live debut cover of the song “TV Eye” by The Stooges. John Brannon, lead singer of the opening band Easy Action, accompanied J Mascis on vocals for a great end to a long hard-rocking night.

Overall, Dinosaur Jr was a pretty awesome way to start off my year for the concert season. My only complaint was that they couldn’t play longer. Despite playing eighteen songs, I wish the show was longer so they could have more time to play everything the fans wanted to hear. I definitely recommend seeing them if you don’t mind your face being melted off.

Setlist:

1.     Thumb
2.    Goin Down
3.    Lost All Day
4.    I Told Everyone
5.    Love Is...
6.    The Wagon
7.    Watch the Corners
8.    Tiny
9.    Out There
10.  Feel the Pain
11.  Knocked Around
12.  Start Choppin
13.  I Walk for Miles
14.  Freak Scene
15.  Gargoyle

Encore:

16.  Kracked
17.  Sludgefeast
18.  TV Eye (The Stooges cover) (live debut with John Brannon)

-Chatman