August 19, 2005 at 5:21 am #48359
This little quote is kinda a harsh take on the reunion, never meant to renew creativity, it was meant to celebrate the music..which by my count has been done to the max
If this were a truer reunion, dedicated to a rebirth of the music the trio made in the latter half of the ’80s, there would have been sparks of renewed creativity. Instead, the show came off as well-played nostalgia, ultimately hollow. And that’s a shame.
Concert review: Dinosaur Jr
Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:51 AM ET
By Darryl Morden
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – The reunited Dinosaur Jr. started out strong for Wednesday’s appearance at the Avalon in Hollywood, letting loose with a blast of "Gargoyle," followed by the tuneful "In a Jar." But as the night went it on, it became clear that though the trio can summon the power, there’s no real heart behind it.
The band’s current tour marks the first time in 15 years that the original members of one of the 1980s’ most defining alternative rock bands have performed together. Guitarist J. Mascis, his hair long and gray, looked like a younger cousin of Neil Young, and he played like one, too, with often fierce and entwining leads. Clean-cut, tousle-haired bassist Lou Barlow is still boyish, and bald and shirtless Emmett Jefferson "Murph" Murphy III looked like a bouncer taking over the drums.
The brisk set, just over an hour, focused on material from Dino’s first three albums, recently reissued by Merge Records. The full house, ranging from old fans to today’s younger indie rock set, wasn’t so much excitable as mesmerized, reveling in the torrential sonic downpour from guitar hero Mascis.
Musically, the trio was certainly on the money, yet something still seemed off. There was no apparent joy in this reunion, no sense of celebrating the rediscovery of old songs. Frequent stop-downs to tune or noodle with riffs or beats also derailed momentum. Little was said from the stage between songs, other than Mascis thanking everyone for coming and Barlow introducing several numbers as being from the band’s first album.
The group certainly gave the people what they wanted with high-volume doses awash in feedback-drenched melody. But Mascis’ vocals were detached — even more so than two decades ago — and clearly secondary for him. Barlow, at least, showed more passion when taking his turns to plaintively wail at the microphone.
The firepower in several tunes certainly hit the mark, especially in the surging "Raisans" and the big-beat snakedance of "Forget the Swan," with Barlow howling his head off. The group was most effective when keeping tunes tightly on course, while leaving room for Mascis’ jagged off-roading.
An encore brought the group’s cover of the Cure’s "Just Like Heaven," which ended in a dead stop as the band kicked into its own slice of pop-tinged crash-and-burn with "Kracked."
In another era, Dinosaur Jr. paved the way for modern rock that followed, so much so that today the band’s once left-of-center sound is closer to the rock mainstream. If this were a truer reunion, dedicated to a rebirth of the music the trio made in the latter half of the ’80s, there would have been sparks of renewed creativity. Instead, the show came off as well-played nostalgia, ultimately hollow. And that’s a shame.
Reuters/Hollywood ReporterAugust 19, 2005 at 7:27 am #112096
A little harsh but not overly so. Sounds like the writer still found the show good overall, just questioning the motives of the reunion. I wish I could see 10 more shows on this tour…August 19, 2005 at 9:23 am #112097
Well… Having to hear cover bands droning the same thing almost every f*&%! night–I can understand why it gets tiring after a while–it must be hard to always try to drudge up some emoAugust 19, 2005 at 11:32 am #112098
That show kicked ass.Ã‚ Fuck the piece of shit (journalist) that wrote this.Ã‚ The guy obviously had his head up his ass the whole time.Ã‚ They owned the crowd that night.Ã‚ One of the better LA shows I’ve seen in a long time.Ã‚ And for the record after "Just Like Heaven" they went right into "Freak Scene".
What a fucking moron!
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