Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Dinosaur Jr at the Art School

Last night Dinosaur Jr played their second sold out night at the Glasgow School of Art and blasted away everyone's winter blues (minus 8 outside) with an array of warm guitars.

It was my first time seeing Dinosaur Jr, despite being into the band for a couple of decades and going through a phase of collecting their 7-inch singles. I was looking forward to seeing J Mascis shredding his guitar and blasting out songs from their long history. They didn't disappoint.

Everyone was wrapped up for the cold weather outside, so it was a little bit disappointing that the Art School didn't have a cloakroom open. So everyone was roasting inside.

Spinning Coin were supporting and they charmed the crowd, generating a good response from their mix of melodic songs (Sean Armstrong) and powerful (Jack Mellin). They've had a great year with a string of headline show, some fantastic support slots and the November release of their debut album Permo BLOG HERE

My brother and I departed for the downstairs bar and bumped into old school friend Grant Mitchell and his friend Mark Richie. Grant is an incredibly passionate record collector and had been to Lou Barlow's Nice n Sleazy matinee show the afternoon before, as well as Dinosaur Jr the night before. He told us we were in for a treat.

The Art School is a cracking venue, although the positioning of the sounddesk creates a bit of a bottleneck down either side. We skipped down the right hand side to the front and thankfully found we could dump our jackets by the stage.

Dinosaur Jr came on, Lou Barlow looked hyper, J Mascis looked relaxed/stoned/unbothered by the fanfare that greeted them. Grant made us laugh with his story that the crowd sang 'happy birthday' to him the previous night and he never even acknowledged it!

Mascis' guitar playing was a joy to watch, he just makes it look easy - zipping about his frets and creating joyful riffs and melodies.

Barlow was the star of the night for me though; looking trim and cool, acting like Animal from The Muppets had leapt from his drum kit to discover the joy of playing bass. He jumped, rocked out, played way up the neck of the bass, thrashed around and generally made it look fun and super cool.

Dinosaur Jr were tight, at times assisted by a second drummer. The songs from last years Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not are among their very best, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that Feel The Pain, Start Choppin' and Freakscene weren't my favourites.

I remember getting guitar lessons as an 18-year old and asking for help figuring out how to play Start Choppin'. So it was great to watch J's fingers dance around his various guitars and work his pedals and whammy bar and it was hard to take my eyes of Lou Barlow who was just the embodiement of indie cool.

How cool to rock up in a city and play a couple of small shows at the Art School and also do a matinee show at Sleazys? Indie cool.

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