Dinosaur Jr’s set at Stylus was remarkable to say the least. The fact the band are still able to combine such a playful accessibility with their excessive volume and experiments with noise, especially in a live setting, is a testament to how truly dedicated to their craft they are.
The shoegaze forefathers took to the stage shortly after an experimental drone artist, and somehow they immediately set themselves out as the weirder band for the evening, with lush waves of guitar noise creeping in, seemingly from all directions, seemingly at all times. Their set was mainly made up of their more radio-friendly crowd-pleasers, but this didn’t stop them from creating those thick walls of guitar that the fans have always adored. Indeed most, if not all, of the tracks were actually significantly improved by their complementary waves of noise, creating a sound which bordered almost on psychedelia.
Perhaps the only thing better than Dinosaur Jr’s composition skills, however, is their raw instrumental talent. Indeed, the trio’s creative playing methods are as much a breath of fresh air now, in an era of a stagnant Alternative Rock scene, as they were back in the late 1980s, when they were helping to pioneer the genre. Always unpredictable, yet always rewarding, the solos of vocalist and guitarist J Mascis were possibly the highlight of the evening; through layers upon layers of pedal effects, one could make out some of the most creative, erratic playing in rock music, shifting seamlessly through so many different styles that it was honestly hard to keep up with it.
Overall, Dinosaur Jr are a band that I would recommend for anyone who is interested not just in seeing an excellent performance, but in seeing refreshing, creative, and at times, mind-blowing, alternative rock music. They were superb.
Image: [The Guardian]