I went to Melbourne last week for a night out with Lucie.
…I stood within two meters of J Mascis and his well worn guitar for over one and a half hours last night. SO loud! Lucie had sent two pairs of earplugs, so we put them to good use. Support band Straight Jacket Nation proved to be hard-core as anything circa, oh, about 1985, I reckon. The lyrics may have been deep and meaningful, but it just sounded like Quack! Quack! Aqua! Aqua! Quack! to me* – very forcefully delivered. Fabulous (girl) drummer. She really rocked. They even had a few (circa ’85) slam-dancing boys doing the testosterone pogo thing. In a word – entertaining.
Dinosaur Jr had tech problems all night (or Lou did), which made for interesting viewing. It was also f***ing hot in there , although J never broke a sweat. Murph sure did, and got rid of his shirt after awhile. Lou’s shirt was soaked by the end, and at one point his glasses shot off his sweat -greased face on to the stage floor, from where they were rapidly rescued by a roadie-type person before he could stomp on them.
It’s funny to watch him and J at opposite sides of the stage – J a picture of calm stillness, eyes closed, totally focused – Zen in action. Meanwhile, stage right, Mr Barlow, overt and flowery in style, large gestures, prancing about, shaking his gorgeous curls. And stopping abruptly to twiddle knobs every now and then. Not that that’s part of his usual style. Between the three of them, earsplitting, beautiful noise.
Lou’s active playing style vs J’s calm would explain why Lou was soaked in sweat and J was as cool and dry as the Queen on a tropical Royal Tour. To get lost in the details, I watched J’s hands, mainly his left on the on the frets, bending strings, wonderful to watch. What a man can learn to do with years and years of faithful practice! Sorry, what a person can learn.
I’d apologise for the quality of the photos, but it’s phoneography month, so I won’t!
*That could be my age, or maybe it was the volume.