Review: Dinosaur Jr @ Plug

Never before have I been so disappointed by a crowd.

I mean, I get it. You’re an older generation and maybe flinging yourself from a balcony and cavorting on stage with the bassist whilst your shoe dangles from your ear (somehow) isn’t in your repertoire anymore but I mean, come on. This was Dinosaur fucking Jr.

How can you be gifted this biblical level of guitar majesty and divine musicianship and not even muster up the slightest hint of a head bang? How do you sleep at night? I imagine very, very, very, very, very still.

It affects the atmosphere. It affects the performance. But whatever.

This band was awesome. J Mascis, the lead singer and pink glittery Telecaster playing leader, is a wizard. Both in terms of appearance and ability. And so what if he doesn’t manage a smile or a thank you or any sort of churlish banter during the duration of the show? Who needs human emotion when you can make a guitar sound like the complete works of Shakespeare?

The Massachusetts three-piece, which has a second guitarist for live shows hidden behind the metropolis of Marshall amps, are as tight as a cat’s you-know-what throughout their expansive set. The jangly meets grunge glory of Start Choppin’ is a personal favourite. Its live prowess makes a profound impact on me that almost matches the time I played it to a bunch of wreck heads in the cool light of the morning of New Years Day whilst chilling on the balcony of my friend’s flat. Boy, that was a good way to see it in.

The quintessentially 90s sounding Feel the Pain and more recent powerhouse Watch The Corners are indicative of their unparalleled quality. A few numbers from their most recent release Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not suggests they’re far from finished and a delectable cover of The Cure’s Just Like Heaven sees out the show in style.

But it’s Mascis’ guitar playing, which I think I may have already mentioned, that leaves an indelible print on the memory. Watching his fingers glide over the fret board defy categorisation. Magical.

Oh, and PS: I don’t live in Sheffield anymore so don’t even consider trying to post dog shit through my letterbox.

Words: Charles Gray

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