November 6, 2000 at 6:45 pm #42926
Last Friday in Chicago was the first time I got to see J live, and I found it very different from hearing the songs on the albums – and to be honest, I prefer the latter. Although the songs can win in power and energy live, and it’s really great to see your favorite songs performed right in front of you, they seem to lose much of their subtleness and (so it seemed to me) emotional strength. For example, if you don’t already know the lyrics, it’s hard to understand a word of what J is singing.
And this may be just me, but I feel like the way J performs his songs live works very well for the "You’re living all over me" songs, but not for the "Green Mind" and later ones. Wouldn’t it be time for J to find a new way of performing live and electric? I would love to see J add a second guitarplayer, play less loud, and make sure that we can hear his voice clearly.
It seems to me that right now, J is sacrificing emotions to loudness and power, while I’m convinced (especially after hearing Built to Spill – "Live") that it is perfectly possible to perform live in a way that fully uses the emotional force of a song, and at the same time keep the energy that can make a live performance so special.
"Stop the sleep,
can’t vegetate no more.
Snap me out of it,
I’m done with my old friend."
– J Mascis
[This message has been edited by jasper (edited November 06, 2000).]November 6, 2000 at 7:48 pm #53138
Personally, I think this tour is especially loud. I saw J several times before and loved the shows – loud, but audible. This time, in Atlanta, it was so loud that even some people with earplugs were covering their ears at times. And, there was one song that neither my friend nor I could identify because it was so loud and distorted.
I love J and I love him loud, but I too wish this tour would have been a little less loud. I don’t want to HAVE to wear earplugs, but I think I will take a pair next time. I do know the show I saw this tour was in a smaller venue that the shows I saw before and I wonder if that had something to do with it, like he still has the volume on "big hall" or "outdoor festival".
Don’t get me wrong, I would rather see a too loud J concert than any other concert. His songs are just so beautiful that I would like to be able to appreciate them with less ear damage. Also, the melodies and lyrics can be so great and they just don’t come through at that volume.
November 6, 2000 at 8:32 pm #53139
I have heard this complaint before about J/Dino live and I totally disagree. I have seen over 10 Dino/J shows in my life. About 3-4 acoustic and the rest electric. Maybe you should try to see J. unplugged; you don’t need earplugs and can understand lyrics and hear melodies better, but to me it pales in comparison. To me, Dinosaur Jr. is ear-splitting guitar rock. I am Dinosaur, You’re Living All Over Me, Bug era fan. Love the later Dino and the New J. is amazing. I dig the studio work, but crave the live show. My stereo can’t make my shirt bounce of my body like a live J. show can. I was at the Chicago show, it was great!! My ears are still ringing (I think it was the loudest Dino show I have ever been to), they should be back to normal when and if J. comes to Chicago again. Keep it loud!!!!!!!!!!!November 7, 2000 at 11:06 am #53140
how close are you standing?? hang out by the sound guy, you’ll hear the show much better. i’ve tried moving up to the stage and i can’t handle the volume (for any group, not just J). but i’ve seen J/Dino a few times and been able to hear the words, solos, etc if i’m in a good spot. on the flip side, i’ve tried to get right in front to get a good look at the band and i haven’t been able to even tell which song they are playing!!!
November 8, 2000 at 11:52 pm #53141
I love the energy and power of J’s live show would not want to change a thing. I agree there is a loss of some emotional/subtleness with the difficulty hearing some of the vocals but the music is where I get most of that feeling from anyway. I love the pure visceral rush I get when the music washes over me….its amazing!!! Honestly I wouldn’t want J to change a thing about how he performs live, the direction his music is going….anything. I will pretty much be there for anything he puts out period.
Just my opinion,
November 9, 2000 at 11:01 am #53142
yeah, i’ll never forget hearing Sludgefeast for the first time live, it nearly knocked me on the ground!! after the song was over, my buddy (who wasn’t really into DinoJR) was just like "damn! what song was that?!"
November 11, 2000 at 1:24 am #53143
For the most part of the show I was standing on the balcony in The Metro, which I think is a pretty good place (not too close to the stage) to hear the show.
And don’t get me wrong, I thought it was a great show, and I can’t wait to see J again (I hope he has another tour early next year). My point is just that I don’t think louder is necessarily better. And wouldn’t it be great to have, say, Kurt Fedora as a second guitarplayer? I mean, there are other ways to perform non-acoustically for J than the formula "1 guitar + bass + drums = LOUD", which he has been using for the past fifteen years.
By the way, I certainly hope to see J play an acoustic show some time. I love Martin + Me, although I think he can do better than that acoustically. (Just listen to the "Thumb" on Quest.)
"The world is my lesbian wedding."
[This message has been edited by jasper (edited November 10, 2000).]November 13, 2000 at 11:21 am #53144
I just read Mike Watt’s Fog tour diary and it seems technical problems might have had a lot to do with my opinion of the show I saw this tour. Maybe it wasn’t so much the volume that blew the sound, but technical problems. It took forever before they came on and when they did, they still had to tune everything and then it really was too distorted and you couldn’t hear the guitar over the bass for a good part of the show. Only the third show on the tour, so I guess these things are bound to happen.
It made me feel better to read that these were actual problems in their minds also and not intentional in the sound. I was feeling really confused not totally enjoying seeing J play.
Still, I’d rather see J play a show that didn’t sound so good than anyone else’s best show. Just watching him and Watt play was worth the ticket price.
November 13, 2000 at 3:39 pm #53145
I went to the Seattle show at the Crocodile and I must agree that it was incredibly loud, my ears are still ringing. Of course I wanted to be as close as possible and that is the price you pay for being close. J. was great and did alot of new songs. I have seen him once before at the same venue (a great spot I might add) and he did an acoustic show that knocked my socks off. His fingers are magical and I will be at the next show, be it plugged in or unplugged. [img]http://www.freakscene.net/ubb/smilies/lookaround.gif[/img]<FONT>Text</FONT>November 13, 2000 at 4:25 pm #53146
While I agree that some of the "subtlety" of a studio recording is lost in translation, the power of live Dinosaur cannot be denied. I’ve seen J twice; the second time, when he took the stage to the monolithically sonic "raisins" in austin, texas was something I’ll never forget. I think it’s in the liner of "You’re Living All Over Me" where there’s a picture of a concert bill or something that describes early Dinosaur as "Loud Psychedelic Rock." The "loud" part has always been true, and I for one hope it always will be.
I can’t wait to see him this time in Dallas. I’m at an age now where perhaps discretion is the better part of valor, so this will be the first time I’ll ever wear earplugs to a show of any kind. In my youth, I might have ridiculed someone who took such precautions, but I would like one day to hear my grandchildren when they talk to me.
In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the subtlety of J’s records, and look forward to the rough though sure to be awe-inspiring sonic power of his live show November 22 (in pretty tight quarters, I might add, at the Gyspsy Tea Room).
November 14, 2000 at 7:28 pm #53147
Although loud isn’t necessarely great, I for one love the live performances. I mean, J is one of the greatest axe swingers of all time. For me the energy and intensity with which J plays, more than makes up for the occasional mumbling.
By the way. Rumour has it that the loudest concert ever in Norway was a Dino show in ’92/’93.
And when the day ended we were all happy. It had been fun and prizes for everyone.
[This message has been edited by Robert (edited November 14, 2000).]
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