December 9, 2023

Dinosaur Jr played Where You Been at Music Hall of Williamsburg (Night 7)

Dinosaur Jr. closed out their seven night run at Brooklyn's Music Hall Williamsburg celebrating Where You Been's 30th anniversary.

By now, Dinosaur Jr. have celebrated the anniversaries of their first three records featuring the classic core line-up of J Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Murph. This year, they added three decades of Where You Been into the mix, a record primarily recorded by J, but now fully welcomed by the trio. Launching directly into album opener "Out There," the band wasted no time cranking up the volume and distortion as they shifted into the band's territory that saw them move away from their hardcore origins and towards '90s alt-rock. J's shredding was given the early green light and remained in full force for the remainder of the night, his effortless soloing the band's ultimate trademark and one that's highlighted to the extreme any time they take to the stage. "Start Choppin'" came next and sent the crowd over the edge, the crunching guitar ripping away with the utmost power as the springing riff sent the crowd bouncing along under total elation. For the album's second side, the band brought out TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone to play guitar and add backing vocals and added their opener Luluc to their set as well, giving the album's track's extra depth and richer harmonies. After they made their way through the record, Dinosaur invited Malone back on stage to join them in their classic "In a Jar," which Malone declared a total highlight and basked in the track's epic squall of feedback. For their song "Garden" off their latest record, Mascis and Barlow switch instruments for a rate moment and watching Lou shred on a guitar while J humbly plays a bass is something long-time Dinosaur fans have a hard time imagining, but to see it live further proves their reunion is one for the ages. On many occasions, the band has unleashed covers of Neil Young's timeless "Cortez the Killer" and had done so on many nights earlier in their fun, but on the final evening the band switched things up and took on a mind-blowing rendition of Young's epic "Down By the River." Taking the song to ultimate heights, the band stretched it our with the ultimate fortitude, the guitars oozing with passion and sludge, the ultimate tribute to Neil's everlasting influence and the song's perpetual glory. It was a brilliant take that went the distance and allowed the band to really flex their muscles of combining the ambition and tenacity of hardcore along with the power of shoegaze and the maximalist tendencies of classic rock. Ian Williams of Battles and Don Cabalero joined for a blown-out "Freak Scene" that epitomized Dino's purest sound of furious guitar pummeling rhythms. After wishing J a happy early birthday, the band returned to the stage for a crushing performance of "Sludgefeat" that once again had blistering guitar fuzz rippling across the crowd before their wrapped up the night with their standard cover of The Cure's "Just Like Heaven." At this rate, Dinosaur Jr. have one of the most impressive runs in indie rock of gathering their friends to help bring to life mixtape fantasies that fans can only imagine and each performance feels like one for the ages.

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