|Photos by Jody Perry|
Fans in the crowd at Warehouse Live's Dinosaur Jr. show Friday night should have known what was in store for them when J Mascis' roadies began setting up his equipment. Six amps for a single guitar player. If you thought the show was loud, imaging standing three feet in front of them, like Mascis has for the last 25 years.
Aftermath finally made it through the security line in time to catch the last few songs from opener Lou Barlow, once friend and then foe of Mascis. The two went to high school together and were founding members of Dinosaur Jr. until Barlow left to work out his frustrations via his side project Sebadoh. Eight years later, Mascis disbanded Dinosaur Jr. and began to tour solo.
If you count all their side projects, Mascis and Barlow must have about 30 albums between the two of them. This makes for an interesting and diverse show once you get past the point of not being able to hear anything because of all the noise you're hearing.
Mop-haired Barlow opened by playing both bass and guitar with support from MIke Watt's guitarist and drummer in support of Barlow's solo album, Goodnight Unknown
, released this month.
Barlow's bass playing has always been melodic, and his new work is no exception, but unfortunately, the sound at Warehouse Live was muddy at the low ends and so the songs sounded heavier than their album versions.
When Built to Spill took the stage the sound problems continued, as Brett Netson seemed to have trouble getting any sound from his guitar. Not that anyone cared. A vast portion of the audience was there to see Built to Spill, leaving happily after their set. By the second or third song the kinks were worked out and the five-piece from Boise plowed through "You Were Right," "Stab" and "Joyride."
Throughout the show, Doug Martsch sipped something from a vessel that looked like an urn on top of his amp. What was that? During "Wherever You Go," drummer Scott Plouf was hitting the drums so hard he had to come up off his stool every few beats. They played "Weather" to calls from the crowd and closed with "Carry the Zero" but in spite of the satisfied fans in the audience, the band seemed quite subdued.