There are some things in life that just don’t reflect well on me. Many of them came together last night. I always try and make it in time to check out support bands, ‘cos you never know who you might discover. I may have already seen the Computers before, but I’m always keen for a gig and it seemed like a shame to miss them last night. They’re not quite my thing, but kinda make me think of a tight, psycho-billy style band.
But this is the bit that really shames me. I don’t own any Dinosaur Jr stuff. This despite being a massive fan of everythuing else Lou Barlow has been involved with (Sebadoh, the Folk Implosion, his solo Loobiecore stuff, and this amazing cover of Ryan Adams’ Two), I’ve somehow never got round to buying Dinosaur Jr’s stuff. And I know I’m missing out – I saw them at Reading about 3 years ago and they were amazing. For shame.
The band were great last night – J Mascis was silent, brooding and intense. Everyone knows he’ll rip it up on the guitar (which he did), whilst also playing insanely loud from a massive stack.
Lou Barlow occasionally did the banter (including introducing himself as Phil), and Murph smashed the drums. His bass doubled as a rhythm guitar a lot of the time, which was occasionally distorted and raggedly strummed, with notes rarely plucked. This was ideal because it filled any spaces that occured when J was soloing.
Murph hit the drums hard, with most fills being machine gun snare fills, which were tight as hell. He looked sharp.
Lately I’ve seen lots of bands that have been sculpted live performers, whose sets are perfectly managed. What was striking about Dinosaur Jr is that the punk ethos came through from the fact that they didn’t care about that – there were occasionally gaps between songs when nobody spoke. J tuned his guitar without muting it. They didn’t tell Cardiff that we were amazing people (but they did notice they’d never played here before). But everyone still went mental. Cos songs like Don’t Pretend You Didn’t know are just that good that they speak for themselves.
PS. They also did an ace cover of the Cure’s Just Like Heaven that’s well worth checking out.