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    Concert review: Dinosaur Jr. show a blast
    Saturday, December 03, 2005

    By Scott Mervis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    By the time you read this, Dinosaur Jr. fans should be regaining at least most of their hearing.

    If you want to say that contemporaries Husker Du were after the land speed record, then Dino Jr. was dead set on breaking the sound barrier.

    The original band — J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph — brought its reunion tour to Mr. Small’s Thursday night, and to call them a power trio would be like calling Gravedigger an SUV.

    With his long (now) gray hair flying in his face, Mascis stood up there among the amps and distortion pedals like Zeus sending down thunderbolts.

    Earplugs, cotton, a roll of toilet paper, two big pillows — nothing was sufficient to hold off the awesome volume as Dinosaur Jr. roared through a set of songs from its first three albums.

    Not that Dinosaur Jr. shouldn’t be enjoyed loud, but at times it got in the way of music, whether it was on the intricate breaks during "Kracked," "Budge" or "The Lung," or the delicate melody of "Post." It also has a way of slowing the music down, keeping songs like "Freak Scene" from really taking off.

    But, wow, as the show was reaching its climax, the power of those multiple guitar amps on "Sludgefeast," Mascis’ shout-out to Black Sabbath, was metal nirvana (to evoke the name of band that ran with Dino’s ball and got the glory). Dino did find some of that land speed on "Raisans" and a euphoric finale of "The Wagon," the only post-Barlow song in the set.

    On this first tour back, Dinosaur Jr. didn’t really offer the full range of its dynamics, and fans of the later records may have been disappointed, but it’s not every day you see an aging band revisit music that’s 15 to 20 years old with so much raw power and intensity.



    I do agree that some of the songs have slowed down. I have seen them when their tempos were played very fast although I went to one eighties show and there was both slow and fast dynamics. They’ve always been fun!

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