Thursday, April 02, 2009

Loud, Loud, Loud

MILFORD — After the screeching sludge of "Bulbs of Passion" concluded, Dinosaur Jr. bassist Lou Barlow addressed the crowd Wednesday evening. "We're not playing any new stuff tonight. We're gonna play the new old album, or the old new album."

With a record due to drop on Jagjaguwar in June, you could have expected the packed audience at Daniel Street to think the Sebadoh and Folk Impolosion frontman was simply playing an April Fool's Day joke. Yet, that wasn't the case at all, and it was proven as the legendary indie band then launched into the rest of a solid-if-not-surprising 15-song set that wasn't very different from the one the band delivered in September at Toad's Place.

Playing on a stage too small to handle the sheer monstrosity that is singer/guitarist J Mascis' rig, Barlow and drummer Murph were forced onto one small portion of the stage and numerous times caused each other technical difficulties, something that happened multiple times throughout the set. Barlow's bass head went dead during an encore, forcing the trio to end the show a song or two, presumably, early. Mascis also had a few issues with his guitar at various points during the performance.

Despite these problems, though, Dinosaur played on and gave the rowdy bunch of fans in attendance plenty of choice songs to mosh along to throughout the night. It was a very good show. If I had to give it a star rating, out of five, I'd three, maybe three and a half.

Some noticeable things:

1. The way Daniel Street is set up is just not that ideal for a show featuring such a loud, loud band. The sound got muddied at points, mostly because of the way Mascis employs such a brutally loud guitar sound, one with high gain and liberal use of feedback. That said, the concert was highly enjoyable.

2. Maybe I'm getting too old, but it always makes me mad when people mosh at a concert, especially one by a band that is on record as being against moshing. I'm no Billy Corgan fan, but I've always enjoyed how he mocks and kicks out fans who do this. At one point, someone ran from the pit with tons of blood pouring down their face. Really? There were also plenty of bro-guys in the audience, making fist motions like you'd see at a Nickelback show, which is somewhat unusual for Djr gig. Is this because we were in Milford?

3. I wish Daniel Street was selling alcohol last night. There was maybe 15 people under 21 at the show. The venue would have made a whole lot more selling booze and making the gig 21+.

4. I am happy to say I got my free 7-inch and it sounds great.

5. The performer playing an acoustic set at Cafe Atlantique next door sounded like a dying cow. That's not a good thing.

6. This may sound more negative than I'd like. If I could see Djr five days a week, I would.

1. Bulbs of Passion
2. Tarpit
3. Back to Your Heart
4. Repulsion
5. Been There All The Time
6. Little Fury Things
7. Out There
8. Feel The Pain
9. Crumble
10. The Wagon
11. Freak Scene
12. Gargoyle
1. Does It Float
2. Kracked
3. Sludgefeast


brian said...

Looks very similar to the Toads show, minus "Almost Ready" (my favorite from the last album) and the Cure song. Still, kind of wish I went out and got a sonic jolt rather than crashing at home.

I'm kind of surprised they didn't play at least one new song though.

Pat Ferrucci said...

Honestly, it's really disappointing that we didn't get any new songs. You'd think that's what a tour like this is supposed to accomplish.

Of course, Djr is an older band, and many fear the record will get out there on the world wide hyper intraweb. It's an irrational fear because it's going to happen anyway, but ...


kwhitehead said...

Why the mandatory jab at Milford? Have you ever seen York St. on a Saturday night?

And why the crack at the performer next door? WTF?

A sorry excuse for a review. If you have nothing to say, why bother.

Anonymous said...

It was a great show. It was better than when I saw them at Toad's right after they reunited. And by the way, it's impossible for D-Street to have an all ages show with booze in the room due to the venues' size...and I thought the sound was amazing.

Pat Ferrucci said...

Wow, people are coming to the defense of the venue blindly.

OK, here's the deal. I don't know why the use of the "mandatory" was necessary. Did I have to make a crack about Milford? Nope. But, more to the point, yeah, I have seen Crown Street (a much better example than York) on a Saturday night. I've just never seen those people at a Dinosaur Jr. show. And there were a bunch. It was a joke.

The crack at the performer next door was essential. He stunk. If you're going to play badly on purpose, at least tune your guitar. It only takes a minute and will prevent some headaches. I mean, really, there's nothing funny about someone trying to sound bad. It's just annoying. Unless you're in first grade of course.

Dinosaur Jr. never played Toad's "right after they reunited." They played Toad's about 18 months after they first reunited. And, if you remember, that show was a day after all their equipment got stolen. It was an odd concert. Heck, Lou Barlow's bass still had the price tag on it.

I'm not sure which one of those two was the better show, but the set list at Daniel Street was far better because "Beyond" is out and they've returned to playing tunes from when Lou was not in the band.

As for Wednesday vs. the last night at Toad's, the one last September. It's not close. Toad's was just a better show. And that's no fault of the venue. It was a better setlist, there were no technical difficulties and the band didn't have a new record done, but refused to play anything on it.

I am not knocking Daniel Street at all in this sort-of review. I like the venue a lot. I wrote great things about the show on Tuesday. But there were tons of technical difficulties last night. J's guitar had issues if you were listening closely and anyone who was there knows the show was cut short because of Lou's bass head. Also, the stage was too small for J's rig. And with exposed brick walls (which are cool looking), you're going to get a muddied sound when it's really, really loud. It's just the way it is.

As for alcohol thing. I understand this. Although, there are ways around it with random, moveable walls, etc. But the point is, and what I said, was that I would have made the show 21+. You can disagree; that's cool. But there were maybe 10-20 people there under 21, and a lot more money would have been made from the bar. (I know the show was a rental). Dinosaur Jr. is not a band that attracts many under 21 people. I would imagine the no alcohol thing kept some away, sadly. But, more importantly, we wouldn't have gotten most of that silly moshing. That was the most unfortunate part of the show and something that didn't happen at either of the two Toad's shows (it started twice and security stopped it) - or any of the seven or eight other times I've seen the band post-reunion. (It never happened pre-reunion either, but there were never many people at those shows.)I mean, do we really need kids rushing to the back of the venue with blood running down their faces? That happened Wednesday.

That's it. Take this for what it's worth. But some of you guys just have these weird notions that a negative comment about anything at Daniel Street means I've mocking Milford or saying the worst things in the world. I'm not. I'm giving you the opinion of someone who's been to way more concerts than you have and seen Djr or J way more than you have (25+ times).


Anonymous said...

Do you have a favorite Dinosaur Jr. record?

Anonymous said...

People need to understand something.

This is a blog.

YOUR blog.

You are entitled to state your opinion, just as they are.

Inasmuch as this is YOUR blog, it is good of you to publish opinions other than your own, an act which you are under no obligation to uphold.

Likewise, as it is YOUR blog, you should feel no compunction to apologize or even explain your opinions. They are your own. Those who choose to flame on in vehement disagreement with you are welcome to set up their own blog and rail against you and anyone else whose opinion they choose to disagree.

In the meantime, proceed on fearlessly, Ferrucci.

Pat Ferrucci said...

You know, as far as a favorite record, I would probably say "Green Mind," but "Beyond" may be the band's most cohesive, overall best disc. One of those two, although forced to choose, I say "Green Mind."

ben erickson said...

hey pat- all those dino concerts have messed up your ears, bro! Cows have deep voices- I sing more like a dying goat! Yours truly, - Ben Erickson

P.S. U2 Sucks!

Pat Ferrucci said...

That was you Ben? You know what's sad? I've seen you live and I really enjoyed it. No more Guns N' Roses OK?

So, I will correct myself and say dying goat from now on.

And, yeah, U2 does suck.


ben erickson said...

yeah I used up all my good covers in the first hour! plus the free PBR... LOL - Ben