Saturday Night: Dinosaur Jr., Earthless at Detroit Bar
Satuday Night: Dinosaur Jr., Earthless at the Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa; June 20, 2009.
Better than: Going to Guitar Center in search of the perfect fuzz pedal.
Speak softly and have six Marshall amplifier cabinets behind you. My hearing still hasn't recovered from a blistering set by the legendary Dinosaur Jr. who played a sold out show at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa.
Dinosaur Jr. release their new albumFarm
this Tuesday on Jagjaguwar records and scheduled a handful of warmup dates prior to their dispatch to Europe to hit the festival circuit. Having attended a number of previous Detroit Bar shows in my lifetime, I knew it would be a special night--the stage was raised several inches to improve the view for the maximum capacity crowd.
The walls started to shake as they opened with "Been There All The Time;" my teeth started to rattle immediately as it was easier to nod your head in time with music rather then resist the waves of sound. J. Mascis (vocals/guitars) had his trusty Fender Jazzmaster blaring at full volume all night.
Lou Barlow (bass/vocals) stepped up to the vocals for his turn on the new track "Imagination Blind." Lou attacked his bass all night as if he was playing guitar. Murph (Drums) also bludgeoned his drum kit throughout the evening easily keeping up with J. and Lou. Dinosaur Jr. really started to smoke when they tore apart "The Wagon" from their album Green Mind. J. was toe=tapping his pedal board for out of this world dispatches of mind-numbing fuzz.
One of the light hearted moments of the evening came when Murph had to leave mid-set to go to the bathroom. (Turns out rock stars are people, too.) The other hilarious moment of the night was when Lou pulled out his notes after playing "Over It" and asked if they had played all of the verses.
"Feel the Pain" took on new meaning as I could feel my ear drums screaming in pain but couldn't help enjoy watching J. Mascis completely slay on the guitar. There's a reason why that song is included on Guitar Hero. Their set list primarily focused on the new material like "Plans," "Pieces" and "I Don't Wanna Go There." Lou even joked that for new song he had to learn an old song was replaced.
Dinosaur Jr. dove back into the archives for an old school encore consisting of "The Lung" and the noisy cover of "Just Like Heaven" at the request of the shouting fans. It is safe to say Dinosaur Jr. blew minds and eardrums. My appointment to check my hearing is on Monday.
Earthless set the volume levels early with their instrumental groove rock. Former pro skater, Mario Rubalcaba (drums) was the engine driving their psychedelic sludge. Isaiah Mitchell (guitars) frequently manipulated his echoplex guitar pedal to add mind tripping delays to his spaced out sound.
Personal Bias: One of my favorite concert moments was catching Dinosaur Jr. when they opened for The Cure at the Rose Bowl and did their version of "Just Like Heaven."
Random Detail: Besides wearing purple shoes and a purple wristband, J. Mascis had purple guitar picks.
By The Way: Dinosaur Jr. will be on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show on June 25.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.