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Dinosaur Jr, Concorde 2, Brighton, February 2
Does J Mascis have a deaf wish?
Given the Dinosaur Jr axeman was playing in front of three Marshall stacks you might think so.
The US grunge legends’ 90-minute show certainly wasn’t for the faint-hearted, as even at the back of the Concorde it felt like your ears were bleeding.
Mascis, bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph – the original line-up – played with a fire of a young band desperate to get signed.
Quite where their mix of squalling guitars and Neil Young-ish melodies fits in these days isn’t certain but it remains compelling.
Kicking off with early classics The Lung and The Wagon, the trio tore through a 16-song set that covered most of the hits – Freak Scene, Forget The Swan, Start Choppin’ – and showcased some pretty good new stuff from last year’s album I Bet On Sky.
Still, a few old niggles resurfaced. Mascis’s weedy voice remains their weak spot and occasionally the sheer power of the riffing buried the great melodies.
No one was complaining though. Most people were just pleased that the reunion of this most strife-torn of bands seems to be holding.
Indeed, at one point the mosh pit got so enthusiastic Barlow had to caution people to look after each other.
One Dinosaur that’s still a long way off extinction, then.