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An Evening With Dinosaur Jr

When your first response after a live performance of a band is “Ow! My ears”, that typically means one of two things:

A. The band was so utterly horrendous that no form of corrective eardrum repair and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-esque memory erasing surgery could make you forget about the traumatizing moment you have just gone through.

B. The band was so face-meltingly awesome that you would have to be a fool to try and forget about their performance.

Luckily, Dinosaur Jr‘s performance at Lulu’s Nightspot last night fell into the latter category. The first band of the evening, Awesome Color (from “somewhere in Michigan”, according to the guitarist), took the stage at 7:30 and played half an hour of blistering, high energy noisy rock. At a few points, their guitarist, known only as AWESOME DEREK, brought a mini amp up to his guitar’s pickups to get a sweet noisy feedback that worked well with their sound. Definitely a band to check out.

Read the rest of the review after the jump.

After Awesome Color was Illinois, a band from Bucks County, PA. They managed to use drum machines, acoustic and electric guitars, and an electric banjo to blend rock, folk, and even dance and funk. Their performance was top notch and they had an excellent stage presence. Many of the audience members seemed to be familiar with Illinois, too, as they were singing along with a bunch of their songs.

Finally, the main attraction of the night, Dinosaur Jr, took the stage at around 9:30, after a long and arduous process of setting up. To say they were loud would be like saying that Hitler was kind of rude. J Mascis, their guitarist and lead singer, had a triple stack of Marshall amps that were taller than him. It didn’t help out at all that the Massachussetts-based trio played a high energy, high volume mix of punk, grunge, rock, and indie with a ton of distortion and feedback for the entirety of their 90 minute set.

Despite the loudness (or maybe because of it?), Dinosaur Jr’s set was phenomenal. They played a nice mix of material from their older albums, such as You’re Living All Over Me, in addition to recent tracks from their latest release, Beyond. Of course, they performed their most popular songs, such as Feel The Pain and Freak Scene, but the setlist was varied and spanned the majority of their 20+ year career.

All in all, a great night and well worth the temporary deafness and the permanent hearing damage. Go see Dinosaur Jr if you ever get a chance. And pick up their upcoming album, Farm, set to be released this June. If last night’s show was any indication of their upcoming album’s quality, then it should be a modern classic.

About the Author

Evan Kalikow

Evan Kalikow co-founded Onward State in November 2008 with Davis Shaver and Eli Glazier. Having previously served as a Writer, Editor, Standards Editor, and Community Manager, Evan is now a proud alumnus of both Onward State and Penn State. He was also named "Person of the Year" by Time Magazine in 2006.


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