Friday, June 24, 2011

Photos/Review: Dinosaur Jr. @ Terminal 5 (w/ OFF!, Fucked Up & Henry Rollins)

Dinosaur Jr. @ Terminal 5 6/23/11

Dinosaur Jr. performing Bug @ Terminal 5 - June 23rd, 2011
Photos: Chris; Review: Jennifer Harmon

Fans were mesmerized last night from the very first moment alt-rock trio Dinosaur Jr. hit the stage at Terminal 5 to perform Bug in its entirety. Luckily we were able to cover the performance in conjunction with Vancouver music blog, the Backstage Rider. Visit BSR for even more photos from last night's show.

Singer-guitarist J Mascis said he was glad to be back in New York, the place where the band has always felt the most at home. It was crystal clear the audience reciprocated the love for Mascis along with bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph.

The massive three-floor venue was packed with an eclectic crowd of young and old concertgoers, including preppy guys and plaid-clad fellows. Some couples even brought along their kids, also lovers of kick ass rock music, who sat with their legs dangling from beneath the balcony - probably one of the best views of the stage.

Over and over, the audience found comfort in hearing Mascis’ wailing guitar and its laid-back whine offset by Barlow’s powerful 4-string cords and Murph’s relentless pounding.

The live performances of “Freak Scene,” “No Bones,” and “Budge” demonstrated how the guitars magically fizz together with an urgency that’s both infectious and palpable. In “No Bones,” a shoegaze favorite, Mascis calls out, “Can’t feel, not today/Wish it didn’t faze me/Can’t handle either way.”

Some of the female fans were hardcore moshers. One mighty strong blonde maintained her own in a sea of kicks and thrashes by big burly men and rowdy crowd surfers. She didn’t flinch – in fact, she just smiled and sang along with Mascis, after being knocked in the head and kicked in the side numerous times.

A major highlight of the Dino show arrived during the encore when the coolest kid from the crowd, a shirtless young man with a groovy afro, got up on stage to perform “Don’t” because Lou’s voice was shot. Talk about a powerful ending! “Why don’t you like me?” the excellent stand-in screamed out over and over again. Damian Abraham, lead singer of Toronto’s hardcore punk band, Fucked Up, joined Dinosaur Jr. on stage for their final song. He proclaimed that the fan with the afro should definitely get his own band.

The rollercoaster ride of music truly paid homage to hardcore beginning with the legendary Keith Morris and OFF! who opened the show early at 7:30 PM.  The 56-year-old rocked out and got the audience ready for more.

In a tribute song “Jeffrey Lee Pierce,” Morris sings, “He said the world/with diamond eyes/through the moon shine palm tree skies.”

Following the opening act, Fucked Up graced the stage to promote its new album, David Comes to Life. Lead singer Abraham a.k.a. Pink Eyes, got freaky and literally jumped off stage and made his way through the sea of fans to almost the back of the room. He did so while hugging fans and singing/screaming into their faces. He did it all with such love! He repeated, “I love you, sir!” to the many bodies he hugged.

Apparently, Abraham recently shaved off his signature beard. He shouted out, “I look like a giant baby!”

After hearing Sandy Miranda, a.k.a. Mustard Gas, on bass guitar and Jonah Falco, a.k.a. Guinea Beat/Mr. Jo, on drums, this new concept album from Fucked Up is definitely worth another listen and more investigation.  Their live performance may indeed rival that of Les Savy Fav.

In the midst of all the rocking, it was a special moment when the notorious Henry Rollins came out to interview Dinosaur Jr. What a unique experience to have someone as well known and respected as Rollins come out and take twenty minutes to ask the band to share some of its history with the fans.

Of course, some of the audience got antsy. One stupid kid even threw a shoe at the stage and Rollins said he would personally deliver it back to him after the interview. A few rude concertgoers on the second floor shouted out, “You suck!” to Rollins. He didn’t flinch.

In terms of early musical influences, Mascis told Rollins how he would travel to New York from Massachusetts to see Big Black and Pussy Galore and bands like the Minutemen.  The Big Boys, Flipper and Bad Brains were significant shows that impacted Dino’s music.

Perseverance was crucial to the band’s success, according to Barlow. Dinosaur Jr. definitely helped pave the way for current bands like Fucked Up to have a more “efficient ride” in today’s hardcore scene.

“We were a part of the flow of good music. We came in the wake of others. Bands like Black Flag really did all the work,” Barlow told Rollins.
“It was relatively easy for us. We were able to hit the road and do our thing.”

Touring was significant in the band’s early career over 20 years ago and it continues to be important. Dinosaur Jr. continues its string of epic, once-in-a-lifetime shows on the East Coast in Philadelphia next.

Full set of photos of all openers are included below. Also be sure to check out even more photos from this set over at The Backstage Rider!