Home Forums Dinosaur Related Discussions Dinosaur/J News & Discussions show review: NYC Wetlands, April 11, 2001

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    Was looking for a review of the recent shows in London…no luck yet and found this show review. Great review of show that included Asheton…

    All Apologies if this has been posted already

    The Wetlands, New York City
    April 11, 2001

    In today’s systematic Rock and Roll machinery rarely are there magical evenings. Yet on April 11th at the Wetlands in New York City, magic came to life as J Mascis and his all star band the Fog let it all hang out. The Fog, this night at least, was comprised of some heavy hitters in the history of loud rock music. Mike Watt of the Minutemen and fIREHOSE fame was on bass and has been playing regularly with Mascis now for over a year and semi regularly for over a decade. Complimenting each other like two old Jazz players they are easily the best collaborators their glory days of days SST Records. Along with a drummer, this power trio played a set of Dinosaur Jr./J Mascis material (including a cool version of Dino Jr. oldie "In A Jar").

    2000’s More Light, his first solo album of new songs, was well represented by high end overdriven guitar squalls that sounded like the love child between an air raid siren and Jimi Hendrix. Using his effects pedals like power-boosters ensured that Mascis was the loudest thing in a two-block radius. The Wetlands was oversold to the max and anyone who was enjoying the AC/DC cover band in the basement lounge was rudely welcomed when the Fog hit the stage leaving no room anywhere to see or hear the music properly.

    One pleasant and unexpected surprise of the first set was Mascis working in a wild cover of "Everything Flows" the first single by fellow big guitars and feedback alterna-rock veterans Teenage Fanclub. It worked brilliantly as he punctuated the noisy sections of the song with bended notes and searing tones. Coming out of the white noise blizzard he dropped in the chorus of Pavement’s "Range Life," just to make things more sublime. The combination of seeing a revitalized Mascis playing indie rock songs of yesteryear was like stepping into a portal to 1992. After 45 minutes they called out Rock and Roll living legend, former Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton. Obviously much older, fatter and less dangerous he donned his tinted shades and wielded his guitar like a machine gun. At this point they also called out Lemonhead Evan Dando who lead off the Stooges set with first album gems "Real Cool Time," "No Fun" and "1969." Hearing the Stooges songs with a two-guitar attack makes one wonder what would they would have been like with if Asheton had not been shoved to bass for Raw Power when James Williamson joined. The energy level in the room doubled like the volume. Mascis alone playing through his double Marshall stack rig is loud but add sonic terrorist Asheton to the mix with his own Marshall stack and it’s disturbing. It was the kind of loud that when the feedback reached dog whistle pitch levels, your head actually begins to swim, your knees knock and nausea sets in. It’s like an alien attack. The exodus from the front began in earnest as the hippies there to see Mascis "jam" quickly headed for the back, the onslaught had begun. Just like on the Stooges first album the songs were cut with heavy distorted wah- wah pedal guitar that attacked your eardrums like police taser guns. Dando as usual was a tad goofy but he pulled it off by obviously being moved by the once in a lifetime opportunity to perform punk rock karaoke with this kind of powerhouse band. No stranger to nihlism, Dando’s own weird death trip worked in making him an Iggy ghost for his stint leading the band.

    Watt took over the mike with the classic "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and the energy kicked in even higher. Watt, not the greatest singer usually, was like a man possessed with his pipes, let alone the mastery of his machine. Imagine the playing of John Entwhistle with the passion of Iggy. The rest of the songs were from Funhouse including "Loose" and the scorching finale "TV Eye." The obvious reference for the songs, Mascis admitted recently in an issue of Mojo Magazine that Funhouse is his favorite record of all time, made the performance genuine. It was apparent that Watt and Mascis were as tickled to be playing with Asheton and treated it like the privilege it was. And Asheton, obviously grateful for the opportunity to play and tour with these guys gave an inspired performance. A cynical view could have called the evening an old timer with two has-beens but the rock-starved fans in attendance for this unique show have the bleeding eardrums to prove otherwise.

    — Chris Larry —

    More Light Review

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