Dinosaur Jr. are a well defined band having established themselves more than sufficiently over the past two decades and definitely brought that back with their 2013 tour. Having such an extensive discography (with their first E.P. being released in 1985) the sound was tight and the crowd wild – my 19 year old female friend and I stood out quite a lot of within the younger generation present, and were stood right in front of two guys talking about “last time” (well, the last time they played in Leeds was 21 years ago so…).
With such a grunge and punk based sound, I was really surprised by their set – I suppose being so well-rehearsed comes with time (although kudos to them), but each musician was obviously an expert in their instrument and the progressive rock elements really shone through, with extended endings running round in varying circles that kept the ear interested. Each musician really stood to his own, proved his worth and gave the crowd what they’d come for – a good show. What really stood out was their appreciation for the crowd, especially when guitarist Barlow gave an apology for the last time he was in Leeds and had accidentally kicked a mic stand into someone’s face. Old classics like Start Choppin’ mixed with new album hits such as Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know kept the crowd wanting more and highlighted Dinosaur Jr.’s development from small-time alt to worldwide hits.
The detachment of Mascis in contrast with Barlow’s chatty and audience-friendly approach balanced out perfectly between the two polar ends of the stage and kept the crowd happy to hear some banter while simultaneously focusing on the music. The encore was perhaps the highlight of my night, with an amazing bass line being extended outwards in something not quite Pink Floydian, but close, and significantly more interesting to listen to and watch over your average band any day.
Would definitely recommend seeing them; one of those bands which were so much more in the flesh.