Hanging out in the balmy beer garden of The Triffid prior to this evening’s sonic onslaught, we’re privy to the sight of Dinosaurs J, Lou and Murph drifting through the crowd on their way backstage. And after missing the previous night’s Sydney show due to petty visa issues, it’s good to see that briefly erstwhile drummer Murph is once again back in the fold.
Then it’s time to enter the arena, the welcome blast of air conditioning blowing cool with the welcoming blast of tonight’s opening track The Lung, from Dinosaur Jr’s seminal second record You’re Living All Over Me.
The band lock in early, Lou Barlow pummelling his bass and shaking his hirsute mane furiously, Murph ever reliably banging out the beat while J is just J, a man who by and large lets his epic guitar wizardry do all the talking for him. Tonight’s full house is testimony to the band’s indie demigod status in the year 2017, the crowd holding them in slavishing revere as they power their way through a set bursting with the best and the newest.
Fan fave Get Me makes an early appearance, the crowd “ooh oohing” along with glee and Mascis bending and searing his epic guitar solos to frizzled perfection in the shadows of his Marshall amp mountain. The Triffid’s acoustics and PA bring clearness and crunch in equal measure, perfectly showcasing the bands melodic intricacies without sacrificing their renowned gargantuan wall of sound.
Unsurprisingly, newest record Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not is well represented in tonight’s set list, with Goin Down, Love Is and I Walk For Miles slotting seamlessly into the Dino live oeuvre, the latter track a Sabbath channeling heavy fuzz delight.
The Green Mind album is smashingly represented with the rollicking thrill-ride that is The Wagon, while Feel The Pain drives the crowd into a flailing lather.
And of course there’s Freak Scene, one of the most sonically visceral moments of melodically fuzzed out guitar overload ever committed to sound. And tonight it does indeed sound all of that and more, as the band blaze and burn their way through the tail end of their set, phasers set to stun.
If you’re gonna go to the trouble of covering a song, be sure to meld it in your own image. Dinosaur Jr know a thing or two about this, with tonight’s final number, Just Like Heaven, sounding like their very own while still managing to remain in thrall of The Cure’s original blueprint.
A triumphant set of music, further enhancing Dinosaur Jr’s much revered status amongst disciples and converts. Long may they continue to grow old with this much panache.
IMAGES (c) Peter Wheeler Photography. NB: Images captured at Miami Shark Bar gig, Saturday 14 January