Lou Barlow turned 56 in July yet still plays with an energy and fervor that matches a man half his age. J. Mascis, Dinosaur Jr’s most of the time frontman, is still stoic which has always been one of his hallmarks but he surely hasn’t turned the amplifier down any. Dinosaur Jr. still remains one of the loudest live acts I have ever seen.
Dinosaur Jr.’s live show is somewhere between a band playing in a college basement and psychedelic theater. Even the most familiar Dinosaur Jr. songs get extended guitar solos filled with wah-wah pedal accompanied by longtime drummer, Murph’s steady hand and Barlow’s bass strumming. Nowhere is this more apparent than 1985 deep cut “Gargoyle.” The album version is a mere 2:10 but used as Dinosaur Jr.’s set closer, the track was drawn out to nearly 8 minutes crescendoing into a cacophony of noise and feedback.
While “Gargoyle” ended the main set, the band did saunter back out amongst cheers for an encore. The additional three songs was kicked off by “Kracked” and closed by a cover of the Cure‘s “Just Like Heaven” with “Sludgefeast” sandwiched between. While the encore was a bit more concise than the main set, “Just Like Heaven” did get a nice guitar solo while still stopping just as abruptly as the version on You’re Living All Over Me.