Posted in music | pictures on December 2, 2012

words by Phillip Pantuso, photos by Gretchen Robinette

J. Mascis / Frank Black
Dinosaur Jr.
Dinosaur Jr.

Throughout the 90s and the first half of the 2000s, Dinosaur Jr. was one of the last rock groups you would have expected to get the old band back together, go on tour, and record new music--not to mention new music that's every bit as good as anything the original lineup made in the 80s. When J Mascis unceremoniously kicked out Lou Barlow, his high school friend and longtime bandmate, in 1989, it seemed like a mercy killing of the original lineup, which had devolved into a psychodramatic mess, marred by lack of communication and irreconcilable personality difference between Mascis and Barlow. ("It makes me sick that I spent six or seven years putting my heart and soul into that band," Barlow told Cut zine in 1990. "They're sleazebag snob pigs like no one I have met in my entire life. J's always been an asshole.") Mascis and Murph, and then just Mascis, went on to record a string of major-label records throughout the 90s that, though inconsistent, contain some of Dinosaur Jr.'s best and most well-known songs.

When Mascis killed Dinosaur Jr. in 1997, it seemed inconceivable that, a decade later, Mascis, Barlow and Murph would reunite. Time heals all wounds, I guess. It's perhaps less surprising that the band would be able to ably reprise their sprawling, melodic, blitzkrieg guitar-rock sound. Three records in to the latter-day reign of Dinosaur Jr., the band sounds as good as they ever have.

On Saturday at Terminal 5, Dinosaur Jr. celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of You're Living All Over Me, their second album and the one that made nonchalance cool, made the extended guitar solo cool (again), and wedded melodic tendencies with noise and feedback in a theretofore unheard of fashion in the indie rock underground. The band opened their set with "Thumb," from 1991's Green Mind, with Suzanne Thorp of Mercury Rev guesting on flute, before Mascis matter-of-factly announced that now they'd be playing You're Living All Over Me in full.

A sleepy-looking Lee Ranaldo came out to share vocals with J on "Little Fury Things." Guests, some announced ahead of time, would be a recurring theme throughout the night, but not until later. Dinosaur Jr. ripped through the songs on their best album as if it were 1987 all over again. "Sludgefeast" was a punishing onslaught of guitar and staccato, gunfire drums, with Mascis's high lonesome whine cutting through the gain and distortion. "Tarpit" set off joyous dancing, propelled by Barlow's chunky bass chords and a deafening roar from Mascis's Jazzmaster that threatened to draw blood from the ears.

Watching Barlow and Mascis play on stage, it's not hard to extrapolate the personality differences that created their rift. Barlow, with his black Rickenbacker slung low, literally bounces from one foot to the other when playing, the joy at doing just this very thing--playing to an audience--so evident. He smiles, he cracks jokes, he acts as if he's living through the music. Mascis, on the other hand, with his laconic, slowhands style and deadpan announcements ("All right. Thanks a lot. That was side one."), plays as if the music lives through him. He's the hermetic savant tuned in to a frequency no one else can hear.

Barlow brought out a ukulele for "Poledo," the "awkward end to the amazing record," in his words. The cavernous space of Terminal 5 made the strident desolation of the song even more acute.

The second half of the show is the stuff legendary bootlegs are made of. A succession of guests filed onstage to help Dinosaur Jr. play their songs, or to transform them into other bands entirely. The first was Frank Black, who sang and played guitar on "Almost Fare," from this year's I Bet On Sky. Next, the band plus Black covered one of Black's songs--"Tame," from The Pixies' Doolittle. Black roared the chorus, tossed a painting into the first rows of the crowd, and exited. Kurt Vile, whose band opened the show, and Al Cisneros from Sleep were next. Cisneros took over bass duties from Barlow for a couple of songs, including the doom metal glazer "Alone" from 1997's Hand It Over. Harvey Milk's Kyle Spence took the drums for that one.

Smiths and Modest Mouse guitarist Johnny Marr and Broken Social Scene guru Kevin Drew emerged to play "The Wagon" with J, Lou and Murph. Then they covered Smiths track "The Boy With the Thorn In His Side," the words to which J was, uh, a little unsure of. Melvins drummer Dale Crover relieved Murph behind the kit for a skin-searing rendition of "Training Ground," a song by Mascis and Barlow's pre-Dinosaur hardcore band, Deep Wound. Don Fleming of Gumball and Dante Ferrando of Iron Cross helped the band cover "Crucified," and Kim Gordon gave a tempestuous performance on "Don't", Barlow's song from Bug that directly addresses the fractured relationship between him and Mascis. Gordon screamed, bellowed and cooed the song's one lyric ("Why don't you like me?") over and over again, dropping to her knees and falling to the stage like she was having an exorcism. It was intense. If Sonic Youth is over, she should start a hardcore band.

The encore began with a cover of the Stooges classic, "T.V. Eye," with Tommy Stinson on bass and Fred Armisen (whose show, Portlandia, will feature an appearance from J Mascis in its upcoming third season) on drums. Dinosaur Jr. closed with two classics: "Start Choppin" and "Freak Scene," the song that invented the slacker generation. It was a poignant, circle-closing moment. "Because when I need a friend," J sang, "it's still you," we all responded. The night was an amazing tribute to a great band, 25 years removed from their (so-far) signature achievement and, improbably, still going strong.

More pictures, some videos, and the setlist from the show (which also counted John Petkovic of Death of Samantha as a guest), below...

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Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Lee Ranaldo

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Frank Black

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Johnny Marr

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Kim Gordon

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr. - "Little Fury Things" w/ Lee Ranaldo at Terminal 5 - 12/1/12

DInosaur Jr. - "Kracked"/"Sludgefeast" at Terminal 5 - 12/1/12

Frank Black and Dinosaur Jr. - "Tame" (Pixies song) at Terminal 5 - 12/1/12

Dinosaur Jr. at Terminal 5 - 12/1/12 Setlist:
Thumb (with Suzanne Thorpe of Mercury Rev)

'You're Living All Over Me' in its entirety
Little Fury Things (with Lee Ranaldo)
Kracked
Sludgefeast
The Lung
Raisans
Tarpit
In a Jar
Lose
Poledo

Second Set
Almost Fare (with Frank Black)
Tame (Pixies cover) (with Frank Black)
Alone (with Kurt Vile, Al Cisneros, Kyle Spence)
Don't Pretend You Didn't Know
Watch the Corners
The Wagon (with Kevin Drew, Dale Crover, Johnny Marr)
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side (The Smiths cover) (with Johnny Marr, Kevin Drew, Dale Crover)
Training Ground (Deep Wound song) (with Dale Crover)
Gargoyle
Crucified (Iron Cross cover) (with Don Fleming)
Don't (with Kim Gordon)

Encore:
T.V. Eye (The Stooges cover) (with Tommy Stinson, Fred Armisen)
Start Choppin (with Kevin Drew, Tommy Stinson)
Freak Scene (with Kevin Drew, Tommy Stinson)

(setlist via Setlist.fm and Rolling Stone)

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Comments (57)

This show was so great that I forgot about how horrible of a venue Terminal 5 is

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 6:24 PM

When all is said and done, let it be known that Dino did a solid by it's fans.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 6:44 PM

Dinosaur Jr have sounded great the last two times I saw them at T5. I think J's guitars are so loud that it balances out the fact that venue normally eats them up.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 6:44 PM

a special warning for all future terminal 5 concertgoers:

partake of whatever *ahem* substance-based indulgences you might fancy BEFORE you make your way to the long/unpleasant security line + search. i received a full pat-down/confiscation of some items of mine and was ejected from the line last night. luckily i managed to get back in the line with some friends and avoided the security guard that had chucked my stash, but it was a pretty huge drag and amounted to a not-insignificant financial loss (not to mention if i'd just left with my tail between my legs and voided the $30 ticket).

i should have known better obviously, and realize that it's their job to be uncool, but if someone had told me beforehand that, unlike at webster hall, a blind eye was not turned to this sort of thing, it would have saved me some money/hassle.

so yeah, animal collective fans, get your shit in order beforehand this week.

stay high.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 7:04 PM

I don't remember ever seeing a bigger bunch of such mean kids like those ones at the front last night. High school level bullies, praying only on the small and weak, chickening of fighting real men.
That's the face of america in a nutshell.

Posted by ME | December 2, 2012 7:10 PM

"When all is said and done, let it be known that Dino did a solid by it's fans."

Agreed.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 7:51 PM

Agreed about some in the crowd on the floor.
I was standing on the rail on the balcony and saw a couple of guys that were just using the pit as an excuse for a fight.
There was one in particular that I was thinking back in the day he would have had his ass handed to him by someone in the crowd, but it was like folk didn't know how to deal with him.
Say what you will about security going inside, but he ended up getting tossed out of the venue by them. They actually went in to the crowd and grabbed him.

Also agreed about the show. I'm in my 50s.
I've seen a lot of shows.
This one was right up at the top start to finish.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 8:02 PM

Amazing show, but shitty crowd. Lots of teenage macho douchebags coupled with dorks up front who stood absolutely still and didn't so much as crack a smile the entire night. Weird vibe, should have been 18+.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 8:06 PM

7:10 / ME

Given the mean spirited, libelous and generally angry comments you leave around here daily, I have such a hate boner for you right now, that your precious bliss was shattered by those larger and more capable than you with the same shit you inflict around here. I really am glad to hear of your shitty time, you little troll. I hope that the mean high school boys broke your horn rims and strangled you with your fruity scarf.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 8:31 PM

"When all is said and done, let it be known that Dino did a solid by it's fans."
For sure.
Definitely in the top 2 shows I have been to!

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 8:34 PM

I don't know how anyone could follow T.V. Eye with anything but the house lights and some faint Perry Como music to get the crowd out.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 8:36 PM

J played the boy with the Thorn in his side on Martin and me

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 9:24 PM

I agree about the crowd. There was a girl next to me that showed up right before Dinosaur Jr went on. She spent the whole show trying to squeeze into the railing next to me. There was obviously no room.

If you are going to a show at T5 and aren't willing to show up early, don't even think you are getting a spot by the railing.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 9:43 PM

i am a security guard at t5. i get to keep all the drugs i confiscate at the door. thank you for your stash.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 9:45 PM

I was on the balcony and saw security throw that kid out. He somehow managed to fight his way back in then got tackled. He probably got a good beat down in the alley while "Boy With The Thorn In His Side" was being played.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 9:47 PM

Amazing show. But my god that crowd. I'm glad I was all the way in the front and didn't have to worry much about the pits and all that crowd surfing.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 10:12 PM

I used to bounce at this bar you may have heard of. We used to hope that we'd get some wise ass punk like that kid. If he fought back, all bets were off. I can guarantee that this person is not a happy camper today, and likely spent the night in Beth Israel.

If you are reading this and you ever find yourself being forcibly removed from an establishment and you don't want to suffer serious damage to your body, then don't fight back.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 10:25 PM

too bad it was at Terminal 5, the WORST venue on the entire east coast. Why bands continue to play there blows my mind, Even worse, people pay to go inside, all these years later. What a damn shame. F U Bowery Presents, Terminal 5 SUCKS

Posted by Abraham Lincoln | December 2, 2012 10:39 PM

Does anyone know the Kurt Vile setlist? I've never listened to him before but I remember really liking the third or fourth song.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 10:47 PM

Terminal 5's sound issues can be overcome when a band uses a competent sound team. Case in point, Dinosaur Jr sounded amazing last night.

If you go see a good band there, chances are they will sound fine.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 10:51 PM

Johnny Marr plays Smiths songs in concert?

That makes me really, really happy.

Posted by Crosseyed Sniper | December 2, 2012 10:54 PM

Every band plays T5 cause they make so much money playing it. T5 supplies all PA equipment so bands dont have to rent. (ie bigger payroll for nyc shows).

SUCKS SO MUCH.

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 11:07 PM

Early on in the show that kid who got thrown out was thrusting himself onto me and my friend and tossing people around. in a break between songs he said to me "you're standing in a bad spot" so i got myself out of that pit but remained significantly disgusted by this asshole.

it's just pretty annoying when hyper-aggressive douche bags (who I doubt come for the music) ruin a show by starting fights. I think I'd prefer not to give up my spot so people like this can get some punches in. that's all

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2012 11:16 PM

Sounds like a real quality idiot crowd that Terminal 5 is known for or actually worse.
Why is there loser kids fighting acting like there at a Cro Mags\SOIA show, maybe Pantera when its Dinosaur Jr.?
Just so the reptile brains know Dinosaur Jr are not a metal or hardcore band and never were.

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 12:34 AM

Incredible line-up, they should've had Lou sing Boy With a Thorn in His Side, though! And no replacements covers with Tommy? But I'm seriously nit-picking...

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 12:34 AM

i have the Kurt Vile set list downstairs...too lazy to get it now, but he only played about 6 songs. short set.

incredible show. hard to say what the highlight was, but Kim Gordon absolutely ruling on "Don't" has to be way the fuck up there.

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 1:14 AM

terminal 5 always attracts the worst crowds

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 4:15 AM

Kurt Vile closed his set with 4 from Smoke Rings (I think that this is the correct order): Ghost Town, Jesus Fever, On Tour, Smoke Rings. Check out YouTube for which one you are thinking of, 10:47

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 7:55 AM

I've seen some tremendous shows at T5, this one being one of them. The T5 hate on this blog is tiresome, and I would be willing to bet $1000 cash that it is coming from a maximum of 3 people. Guys, we get it, you don't like the venue. Here's an idea you obviously haven't thought of - when an act comes to T5, don't go. That way (a) you won't have to suffer through such psychic pain, and (b) you'll be sending your message to The Man that you won't be taking any more of this venue. Vote with your wallet, grasshopper. Oh yeah, one more thing - fuck off now, kay?

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 8:02 AM

Highlights were:

1) THE ENTIRE SHOW!!!!!


Best Dinosaur Jr. performance I've ever seen!

Best concert of 2012!

Everyone there witnessed something special that you will never forget. Wow, just amazing!

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 8:43 AM

kurt set:
Hunchback
Monkey
Jesus Fever
On Tour
Ghost Town
Freeway
Smoke Ring For My Halo

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 8:48 AM

Dinosaur Jr
25th Anniversary of You’re Living All Over Me
Terminal 5, NYC
December 1, 2012

01-Thumb (with Suzanne Thorpe of Mercury Rev)
02-Little Fury Things (with Lee Ranaldo)
03-Kracked
04-Sludgefeast
05-The Lung
06-Raisans
07-Tarpit
08-In a Jar
09-Lose
10-Poledo
11-Almost Free (with Frank Black)
12-Tame (with Frank Black and Kyle Spence)
13-Alone (with Kurt Vile, Al Cisneros, and Kyle Spence)
14-Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know
15-Watch the Corners
16-The Wagon (with Kevin Drew and Johnny Marr)
17-The Boy with the Thorn in His Side (with Johnny Marr and Dale Crover)
18-Training Ground (with Dale Crover)
19-Gargoyle (with Dale Crover)
20-Crucified (with Don Fleming and Dante Ferrando)
21-Don’t (with Kim Gordon and Kurt Vile)

Encore:

22-T.V. Eye (with John Petrovic, Tommy Stinson and Fred Armisen)
23-Start Choppin
24-Freak Scene (with Kevin Drew)


Lineage: Stealth recorded and minimally produced by mrsaureus

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 9:10 AM

one of the greatest shows I've ever seen, and the best of 2012 hands fucking down. If you missed this one, man you missed something really special!

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 10:08 AM

Al played bass on Gargoyle too, and Lou just manned the mic.

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 10:49 AM

One of the best shows I've ever been to. Some corrections to your setlist, 9:10:

"Gargoyle" had Murph on drums, not Dale Crover
"Don't" had Don Fleming on second guitar
Kevin Drew was on "Start Choppin'"; don't think he was on "Freak Scene"

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 11:13 AM

Oh man, it was like "Don't" was made for Kim Gordon to sing. The whole show kicked ass.

And to the guy who got his stash taken, looks like you're not very good at it. You really don't have to hide it that hard to get it in.

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 12:00 PM

A++++++++++++ Holy Fuck!

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 12:26 PM

^That band Holy Fuck was never good.

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 12:42 PM

bummed that Mike Zanghi left the violators. they just don't sound the same w/o him. serious disappointment. he brought so much to the table within that band.

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 1:59 PM

^ I noticed that too, and was likewise bummed. Mike was the man.

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 2:14 PM

i can't

believe

i missed this.

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 2:48 PM

MURPH!

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 2:59 PM

Al was amazing, "Alone" was a personal highlight. Frank and Dino Jr also played the best version of "Tame" I've ever heard live!

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 4:47 PM

What, someone lend me a time machine quick so I can get tickets to this show.

Posted by Tin Veil | December 3, 2012 6:42 PM

@ 8:48 AM
Thank you so much for posting the Kurt list

I really can't imagine anything ever topping this show.

Posted by Anonymous | December 3, 2012 9:19 PM

This show absolutely KILLED. Ridiculously good on every level.

Posted by Anonymous | December 5, 2012 12:43 PM

The show would have been good had it not been at terminal 5. Epic fail.

Posted by Anonymous | December 5, 2012 12:49 PM

AMG ! fuck i missed this show but deep inside makes me think meh it was at Terminal 5

-Who the hell is the kid everyone is talking about?

Posted by Anonymous | December 5, 2012 4:36 PM

i'll never understand why so many people hate Terminal 5. the ONLY thing I don't like about it is the location. I've seen a bunch of shows there over the years, and most of them were excellent and some of my favorites I've seen in NYC (e.g. this Dinosaur jr show, LCD Soundsystem, the Kooks).

Some shows weren't great, but I put it more on the bands for not bringing much energy (Built To Spill, Spiritualized).

Posted by paul | December 10, 2012 11:38 AM

"they should've had Lou sing Boy With a Thorn in His Side, though!"

this

Posted by Paul | December 10, 2012 11:43 AM

Dinosaur Sr.

niggas mad old.

Posted by Anonymous | December 11, 2012 5:05 PM

Ever wonder how J Mascis ever got to bang Uma? And telling by those photos time must really have it in for him.

Posted by Anonymous | December 15, 2012 2:20 PM

J. Mascis is a total dick. I'd never pay to see him. Kurt Vile, on the other hand, rocks.

Posted by anon | January 2, 2013 1:10 PM

"The second half of the show is the stuff legendary bootlegs are made of."

Yup.
http://www.nyctaper.com/2012/12/dinosaur-jr-december-1-2012-terminal-5-flac-mp3-downloads-streaming-songs/

Posted by DP | July 16, 2013 11:40 AM

Put it this way ... Grohl tried to do it a few months later (Sound City), with an arguably higher level of talent at a better venue (Manhattan Center), and this show was still better.

Posted by Anonymous | July 16, 2013 1:04 PM

Boardwalk Residences will be accessible with Layar LRT Station as well as Sengkang Bus Interchange. It is also right beside Tampines Expressway(TPE). Boardwalk Residences is also near to Greenwich V and the Upcoming Seletar Mall.

Posted by boardwalk condo | January 10, 2014 4:40 AM

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