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Dinosaur Jr.


Dinosaur Jr.

July 15, 2005 @ Avalon

On a sticky weekend in Boston, Dinosaur Jr. played across the street from Fenway Park amidst the crowd of a late Yankees Red Sox game. As the drug-induced opening acts cleared the way for Dinosaur Jr., the band casually walked on stage as if they had just woken up. After a quick tuning and a few swigs of beer, they wasted no time, reassuring the crowd immediately with some loud and fast guitar, in classic style.

The set list mixed tracks from their entire discography of ten albums. Early albums like “Bug” and “You're Living All Over Me, ” to later works such as “Where You Been,” gave the crowd a broad sampling of Dinosaur Jr.’s long history. The band formed in 1983 during high school in Amherst, MA, when Joseph D. Mascis (“J.,” guitar/vocals) joined forces with bass player Lou Barlow. Mascis initially played drums, but switched to guitar when drummer Emmett Patrick Murphy (“Murph”) joined from local act All White Jury. The group soon became a regional cult favorite, releasing their debut album “Dinosaur” in 1985. The music was a counter-culture reaction to the electro-pop of the day. Their early sound marked the beginning of a new musical era, which came to include such greats as the Pixies, Nirvana and Sonic Youth.

The intricate guitar progressions in “Little Fury Things” and “Without a Sound” sounded great, but the vocals were muttered. It seems that years of performing have made their voices overly raspy, and at times it made the songs seem dull. The Cure cover “Just Like Heaven” was a nice addition, and seems to be a standard piece in their live shows. Many of their revolutionary hits from the early 1980’s like “Kracker” and “Feel the Pain” were left of the play list, which was a letdown to die hard fans. Missing too were fan-favorites “Severed Lips” and “Boy with the Thorn in his Side,” which would have made for a great acoustic performance.

Most of the songs featured a heavy bass sound, creating a wall of deep noise that obscured the intricate guitar riffs and drums. It seemed the bassist failed perform his duties as a member of the rhythm section, and at times the songs suffered. The guys are losing their edge a bit and seemed tired, leaving the stage after only 90 minutes. But it was nice to see the Boston fans come out and loyally support a local band that some critics have accused of being past their prime.

-Pratik R. Patel
© 2005 P. R. Patel


©2003-2005 Boston Beats





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