After all these years, last night's show at Musica in Akron was my first time catching Dinosaur Jr. First observation: Louder than hell.
Guitarist J Mascis, a guy who really wrote the booking on drawling vocal melodies overlaid with thick layers of distortion, was in fine and extremely laid-back form throughout the show. Opening with "Bulbs of Passion" — a personal favorite — he and Lou and Murph dove deep into a heavy set of classics. The Marshall stacks surrounding the musicians oozed ear-shattering walls of sound. The fans, packed in like eager sardines, stayed excited all night.
Dinosaur Jr. has been laying down really great shows for years, existing more and more on the nostalgic fringes of rock 'n' roll. The band's ability to zig-zag through unexpected — at times, bizarre — song structures, all while gliding across the often-serene vocals from J Mascis, is something that's kept them unique and enticing. Their last two albums, from which the band picked only a few tunes for the setlist, are among the best in their catalog.
This was also my first time at Musica after all these years — not that I'm in Akron too often, but it was really great to hang there for a night. Cool spot, and, for being sort of an oblong room, the sound was terrific.
Bulbs of Passion
Back to Your Heart
Watch the Corners
Feel the Pain
Training Ground (Deep Wound cover)
Just Like Heaven (The Cure cover)