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I have not been too many Dinosaur Jr. concerts. But the best one was the first one! I suppose it actually sucked, but I really enjoyed it.
Eighth Route Army record release concert.
Location: Third floor ballroom of some arts center in Northampton Mass.
Opening: Dinosaur and the Melarians.
I did not even know this concert was happening until I bumped into the band in Northampton that day and they offered to get me (and about 12 others) in free. J was mostly hanging out with his friend Arty. I think the cover of the first Dinosaur album has a picture of Arty on it (I may be wrong about that.) Arty was said to be special because he had an almost perfectly square head (not really, but that was what everybody said.) Maybe that is also his face on the BBC sessions CD…
J was wearing around this very nasty old parka with sort of artificial rat fur around the edge of the hood. Lous’ distinctive clothing included this dumb blue touch football vest with little ties at the sides.
J thought the concert location was cool because if you did not want to pay to get in you could just hang around out side the back door and look through the windows. He looked forward to doing this at future concerts. J and Arty were both offered an intoxicating beverage cleverly hidden in an orange juice carton but they politely refused. Well that’s just more for the rest of us I thought.
I had heard some of the Dinosaur album on the college radio stations in the area. I asked J if I should buy his album. He said: "Naaahhh…" He seemed pretty confident it was not going to make any money.
Anyway we all barged inside the ball room place saying: "We’re with the band!"
So the band gets on stage and ready to go. Lou starts yelling something at the top of his lungs. It sounds like he’s yelling "Party!!!!" "PAAAARRTYYYY!!!!" over and over. After a while Arty stumbles up on stage and sits down in front of the drum riser with the bass drum right behind him. Lou introduces Arty.
As usual everyone got all nice and crowded around in front of the stage.
I can’t remember the song order or anything. It was all stuff from the first album. I remember "does it float" was done pretty nicely. At some point the PA got turned off. It’s not that they were too loud or anything. This is J, before he got a Marshall. I think they must have offended the sound guy or something. But Lou can scream loud enough that he doesn’t really need a PA!
At the end J and Lou started running around the stage. Then they fell over and let their instruments feedback while Pat just kept drumming away. It was about a 1/2 hour set. I think they got discouraged because the PA was cut off. Or maybe they were told to quit…
The other bands sucked. The Melarians were a sort of retro/twist band specializing in "96 Tears." They ought to have been good but, well, I was not very open minded to that type of thing at the time, so maybe they were not too bad. Eighth Route Army, who also sucked, were a sort of punk/Areosmith wanna-be type band who mostly did covers. I knew the bass player at a later time and he is cool (for a guy who digs Areosmith any way.)
But forget them! J stood in a prominent place while the other bands played, jaw slacked, with this freaky look on his face. I think he was trying to get someone in the other bands to crack and make some embarrassing mistake. He has a very disconcerting stare. But it didn’t work… Too bad as it would have been entertaining to see the other bands screw up…
Well… It was free and I enjoyed myself. But I had to hang out in the basement of the art center tying to keep away from those stupid Areosmith tunes because friends I was getting a ride home with were (GASP!) Eighth Route Army fans! It was tolerable because I got to hang out down there and commiserate with some guys who are now sort of famous…