June 27, 2004 at 12:52 am #47116
I saw J live for the first time just over a year ago, and was completely blown away. I have read about and listened to everything to do with J over the last year, to the point of obsession. I couldn’t believe my luck in being able to see him again so soon, if ever; but this time I blew it.
I thought my build up was just right; did all the research, got the ticket in plenty of time, a sense of eager anticipation steadily growing. Except, at 8.45 last night, I lost control.
J was great, fantastic, the second best concert I’ve ever been to. Sad that his time was rather limited, but we got pretty much the whole experience, just truncated in parts. I’ve listened to so many of his performances (thanks so much FreesoFree for all your great work), read so many set lists that in the cold light of day it’s hard to recall precisely what he played last night, and in any case I’m no good at identifying and remembering more than about 3 songs.
He certainly played Ammaring, and finished with a fabulous version of Alone. Pretty sure it was on Little Fury Things that Lee Ronaldo joined on stage for vocals (Lee’s a really neat guy, so friendly, wanting to shake everyone’s hand; I hoped SY might have reciprocated by bringing J back later, but no such luck).
Probably Freak Scene and Get Me, possibly Waistin, as many of the usual favourites and gems as you can fit into 40 minutes or so – with one terrible exception.
When I saw J last year, the set started melodically and quietly, until about the 4th song – Sameday. On the first chorus J flicked a switch and the whole thing just went ballistic; a defining moment in all my years of listening to music. It still sets off the hairs on my neck when I hear similar live versions. And damn me if last night I didn’t shout out at J to play Sameday; I just couldn’t help myself. And he didn’t. Possibly wouldn’t on principle.
Later on I suddenly realised he was wearing a green shirt. When he came back on to pack up his gear after he’d finished playing, I called out and asked if it was the same shirt he wore in the Greenshirt video. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but now I can’t believe how dumb it was, because:-
a) that video is nearly 4 years old
b) J can probably manage more than 1 green shirt
c) I’ve since looked at the video and, apart from the colour, the shirts are not even similar.
J looked a bit startled and confused. Here was some 47 year old, stubble-headed banker (and I have spelt that right) talking about shirts? From the way I was gesticulating he might have thought I wanted to swap shirts. He packed up real quick.
What could I do to explain my devotion, as only a 47 year old fool can do to their hero, but by shouting illogically. It’s so hard to sound cool when you shout, hard to say in 5 seconds all the things you’ve wanted to say for the past year. But more than anything, the day after, I realise that for all I know about J, for all the closeness I imagine this knowledge brings, last night I was just another over-enthusiastic (some might say dickhead) admirer that J had never met, and is not likely to see again.
So J, if you ever check this out, just know that you are totally awesome, you have a lot of very loyal and devoted fans in NZ who would really love you to play here again soon, either with or without The Fog. We admire your standards which meant you retuned mid-song a couple of times, and the way you purse your lips in concentration.
And I did leave with a new shirt, not green but black, not Sonic Youth but Free so Free.
And for all you devotees of meaningless detail:-
J also wore purple sneakers with orange stripes, Adidas I think.
He brought on 2 bottles of water, which were untouched. Gotta keep up your fluids, J.
From where I stood, front centre, it didn’t seem so loud. I could hear wheelie bins of bottles being emptied nearby early in the set.
Photographs were taken, and I asked that they be published. Here’s hoping.June 27, 2004 at 5:17 am #103345
Wow, it is 5:30 in the morning and my 5 year old just woke me up because she had a bad dream. Now she sleeps soundly and I will be up for the rest of today.
DS, you opened up a great can of worms for me with the Green Shirt Video. I have posted a mention of it here before but now is the best time to bring it up, because I am awake and can’t go outside to work because it is still dark.
I want so badly to get a video of my children watching the Green shirt video (found on Anthony’s site) We have watched it many times, my son has autism and has been in a school that offers him special education, because of his intense therapy and the fact that his autism is more of the "Aspergers" type, his IQ tests very high. Anyway, he was in a class with two other tourette syndrome boys, one older, one same age. For some reason when that fan makes that crazy sound and J comments with a chuckle and says "Tourette Syndrome" it makes my son fall over in a fit of giggles. He understands that J has made a joke and it is one that he understands very well, then as he gains composure we hear someone shout out "Play a Song" to which J responds "Play a Song, Play a Song" in a funny voice and this sends my son over the edge in a giggle fit again. When he gets control he says to me " I wish J had said to that guy, "Hey, Why don’t you play a song smartie." This never fails, even after repeated viewings.
As far as approaching J, I wouldn’t feel silly for asking J anything, this is his life, I am sure he is used to it, but I do wonder about something, Michael Stipe was sharing with me one of his greatest frustrations and that is men who approach him from behind and touch him on his back or those who come running up the side and grab his arm. It had just happened to him earlier in the evening. You would think he would be accustomed to it but it was still producing anxiety. Approaching women did not give him the same reaction. I am sure if I had fans and a web site devoted to me when I went out in public and strangers approached I would be on caution mode. Then I am sure that J must say to himself, just as I do when loading the dishwasher, oh, yeah, this is just part of my gig.June 27, 2004 at 11:15 am #103346
thanks so much for your review dinosaur sr … i think j thinks everyone’s crazy, so i wouldn’t meditate on that too much … :aliensmile:
what’s this green shirt video ? do you guys mean the camden underworld show or is it another one i haven’t heard of before ?June 27, 2004 at 1:46 pm #103347
Yes thats the video, great show
Thanks for the review Dinosaur SrJune 28, 2004 at 1:59 am #103348
procrastinator thati am…. missed the show. Got there @ 9.30pm- just in time 4 SY. am guttedJune 28, 2004 at 5:01 am #103349
You’re a wise lady, Annastefka. I’m sure J would be delighted to know his throwaway remarks also give great pleasure. This might even encourage more audience interaction.
For me, the audio of the Greenshirt concert is what keeps me sane as I trudge the supermarket aisles doing my hunter gatherer thing, headphones protecting me from the real world.
The local rag had this to say as part of the SY review:-
"Imported support J Mascis played the loudest acoustic guitar in the world on a bunch of his old songs.
The former Dinosaur Jr mainman showed that he is still much in love with the quiet-quiet-LOUD dynamic he helped invent for the grunge era, switching from gentle chords to searing lead-lines and back again with much the same hilarious effect Animal had playing drums in the Muppets.
That wasn’t his only trick with his effects boxes. Before lurching into the high-decibel stratosphere, he would play the rhythm guitar part and loop it as a backing track. It was occasionally brilliant, if oddly retrogressive. "
Full review here:-
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/entertainmentstorydisplay.cfm?storyID=3574997&thesection=entertainment&thesubsection=music&thesecondsubsection=reviews”>http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment … on=reviewsJune 28, 2004 at 5:45 pm #103350
hey Dinosaur Sr., thank you very much for your show review!
so great to hear that you got into J’s music at last year’s gig. I’ve seen J acoustic twice, and the first time I saw him playing acoustic in 2001, I didn’t know about the sound effects he’s using, and that show completly threw me over. so I know how impressing and amazing a J acoustic gig can be
great you had the chance to see a J show again only about 1 year later 🙂
I agree with the others, don’t think too much about that short communication. I think, J just wasn’t aware that the great video recording of the Canden show in 2000 is circulating under the "Green Shirt" moniker, although your association is very clear for those who know the video recording.
hey Annastefka, thanks a lot for sharing the "Green Shirt video" story. Too great that your little son got that conversation. I have to say, I didn’t understand so far what has been said, and I watched it more than onceJune 29, 2004 at 2:26 pm #103351
did he really play waistin? or did i read that wrong?June 30, 2004 at 4:47 am #103352
You read it right that he possibly played Waistin, but I wouldn’t swear to it. There was a period in the show where he played 2 or 3 songs together which aren’t quite my favourites, and thinking about it afterwards I figured that may well have been one of them. However, could equally have been auto-suggestion at play as mentioned in my first post above due to saturation of set lists over the last year.
What’s the one where he does the little hand drumming thing on the upper face of the guitar body? He certainly played that.
Oh, and the ticket is for Jay Mascis. I guess that could happen a lot.
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