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Dinosaur Jr. wrapped up their two-night stay at Irving Plaza (pics, setlist, review)

Dinosaur Jr. wrapped up their two-night BV-presented stint at Irving Plaza last night (12/1) and delivered the packed-but-comfortable house a career-spanning onslaught of sonic riffery so dense you felt like you could reach out and touch the noise. Last night was also my first live experience with the band; with ample opportunities to see them live in the 90s, and again after their reunion in 2005, Dinosaur Jr. has always been in my periphery. Yet, up until last night, I had made no effort to actually see them live. For this blunder, I am retroactively slamming my head against the pavement. Speaking of which, I’ve never seen Pavement either. Anyways.

Dinosaur Jr. hit the stage at 9 PM and brought the stank with an 18-song, 90+ minute set. They ignited the evening with 1985’s “Bulbs of Passion,” 1992’s “Get Me,” which was followed by “Goin Down,” from the band’s most recent release Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not. The setlist was banger after banger (full setlist below). Their cover of the Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” was an absolute scorcher, and their execution of the 7-inch version of “The Wagon,” complete with extra guitar player, was another highlight as was their cover of Deep Wound’s “Training Ground”.

Mascis, nestled in a dorm of Marshall stacks, was an absolute guitar god, deftly navigating the fretboards of a variety of guitars with his eyes closed as he whined-out the lyrics. Lou Barlow was a true sight to behold as well. To me he is like the Keith Moon of bass players; he is a whirling, flailing, pummeling, head-banging tornado who assaults his bass as opposed to playing it. But in all his mayhem, there he is, hitting all the right notes, staying perfectly in sync with Mascis and drummer Murph. There is a great deal of sonic chaos but the trio always manage to stay in the same lane.

From 1991 to 1994, while on Sire Records and while I was a metalhead/punk rock/hardcore hybrid child, Dinosaur Jr put out three records and heavily influenced a lot of my buddies at the time. I couldn’t go a day without hearing them or seeing a Dino t-shirt or poster. At the time their sound never resonated with me; my brain just couldn’t shoehorn what they were doing into what was, at the time, really floating my boat. In retrospect, because of that, I up and missed out on seeing one of the best live bands ever dozens of times. Last night should not have been my first Dinosaur Jr. live experience but it certainly won’t be my last.

J Mascis’ son Rory was at the merch booth making/selling Sharpie drawings. Check out one of those, along with the Night 2 setlist, below. (Night 1 pics are here.)  Pics from the merch booth, as well as ones of openers Luluc and more of J, Lou and Murph, are in the gallery above.

SETLIST: Dinosaur Jr. @ Irving Plaza, December 1, 2016
Bulbs of Passion
Get Me
Goin Down
I Told Everyone /12
Love Is…
The Wagon
Watch the Corners
Feel the Pain
Knocked Around
Start Choppin
I Walk for Miles
Freak Scene
Training Ground (Deep Wound cover)
Just Like Heaven(The Cure cover)
Mountain Man

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