March 1, 2019
Dinosaur Jr. is one of those trios the mere mention of elicits goose bumps from folks devotedly invested in independent music.
While the distortion riddled mothership can turn up the volume quite a bit when it comes to dishing out riffage of gargantuan proportions, the solo explorations of their driving force, i.e. J Mascis, are channelled in more relaxed and laid-back acoustic waters. J Mascis’ sophisticated song-writing craftmanship shines through each of his refined folk-rock tunes, even more because of the deliberately low-key acoustic arrangements.
Incarnating in a live environment, J Mascis instantaneously evokes a tangible and soothing intimacy. It feels like every note coming from the man is meant to sound exactly the way it does and results from a long genesis that he has labourated about.
Distress and heartache might have always been key ingredients of Dinosaur Jr’s oeuvre, but it hardly felt rawer than tonight. While there is an overarching coherent red thread, each song feels like a plaintive microcosm of its own contributing to a whole that is much bigger than merely the sum of its visible constituents.
Stripped back in nature, the precision with which Mascis operates becomes prevalent and the way he picks and plucks, which is at times still framed by a bit of distortion, is a sight to behold.
For the ones who would not guess it or have not witnessed Mascis in the flesh, stage banter is certainly not his forte and it does not have to be as the music speaks for itself.
A memorable and immensely enjoyable apart from the fact that I will never not be delighted to witness one of the original members of one of my favourite bands ever, i.e. Deep Wound, secretly hoping to witness again what happened in 2004 after a Mascis gig when a song of their Radiobeat vinyl 7” from 1983 was performed as an unexpected encore.
Image courtesy of Feel Presents