I saw Dinosaur Jr last month at the Belly Up

J MascisAnd it was loud. Despite being a Sebadoh fan for 20 years (Jesus!), I’d never actually seen Lou Barlow live. I’ve even interviewed the man. But this was my first time seeing him.

I was never really a Dino Jr fan. They were… how do I put this… The band my drug user friends were into. I always thought they were a noisy mess and I was frustrated that they never just straight ahead rocked. But I bought a ticket in my ongoing quest to see every legend — and yeh, I think they’re there.

I think reading Our Band Could Be Your Life drove home to me how important they were. J Mascis was born to play guitar. That just is.

So accompanied by David Dewese, I came to the Belly Up in San Diego armed with no expectations and a bag of earplugs. The band ran through an insanely loud set that cemented to me how necessary they are. The weird changes, the abrupt mid-riff endings — they were familiar in a “I was in that band” kinda way. They are a touchstone in late 80s/early 90s alt rock sound.

I loved it. It was like revisiting my youth and understanding my age at once. As we left, David remarked, “Well that was what I expected: extremely loud, lots of solos, no banter, no comraderie.” But that’s Dinosaur Jr. And the music speaks for them.