Who ever said Monday nights should be boring? This week, Miami offered up a better and louder alternative to those routine workday blues. Grand Central hosted the most flannel/denim jacket infested event of the month, Dinosaur Jr’s headlining show, with the recently acclaimed “where were you in the 90‘s?” supporting band, Yuck. And support they did. Reeling in a fan base from young to old, we found the online bloggers and the gray-haired grunge enthusiasts intertwining into one big mess of shoegazers and head bangers.
Both acts just having hopped off of the band crammed Weezer Cruise, Yuck guitarist, Max Bloom asked if anyone had been on the same boat that weekend. *Cricket, cricket* – We were all too poor and ragged to have indulged in such a dreamy excursion. And with this he responded, “You didn’t miss much……Just Kidding! It was F**cking Amaaazing,” before launching into another fuzzy track off their nine song set list. Yuck held all the appeal that any Sonic Youth, Velvet Underground, and, hey! Dinosaur Jr fan could hope for. With a stellar response from all T shirt clad fans, the audience swayed in time to the buzzing guitar riffs, soaked in rusty distortion, and sang along to angsty heartfelt lyrics to favorites like “Get Away”, “Operation” and “The Wall”. And how could you not, with their charmingly young yet all grungey presence? They finished their performance with routine show closer, “Rubber” which with it’s hypnotic, hazy feedback, left audience’s ears buzzing with excitement, eager for more feedback.
After Yuck’s perfectly situated set, the crowed murmured excitedly as number one fans swarmed towards the front in attempt to get as close as possible to their long haired heros. And the front rowers were quite the spectacle. Ranging mostly from angry protest blogging 15 year old boys, to guys in their 50’s, clad with original “Little Furry Things” T shirts, “All the way back from 87,” one shaggy original admirer told me.
With anticipation at its height, the concert goers were soon relieved, as the grunge legends themselves stepped onto stage to face their shrieking fans. Arms outstretched and disregarding the sweat underneath their flannels, 90’s lovers reached out to Dinosaur Jr in praise. Heading amp first into “Thumb” with a face melting end solo by Mascis, things got loud. Very, loud. The guitar and bass had your ribs trembling, and the drum pounded at every bone in your body. The crowd ate it up like a tasty reverb souffle. But if you weren’t wearing ear plugs- you’re in for some muffled hearing for the nights to follow, not that this stopped the fans from head banging and thrashing like no tomorrow.
But alas the fans were spared their hearing loss! Bassist Lou Barlow snatched some earplugs from back stage and handed them out to fervent front rowers who confessed their worship with eyes full of admiration. Age was never noticed as they stormed through a thunderously grainy and gratifying set list. Did I mention it was loud?
This show was a noise junky’s dream indulgence. And though our hearing may be scarred for a while, did it really matter when you’re watching 90’s revolutionaries perform classics like “Kracked” and “Freak Scenes”? If you answered yes, it does matter, than you were obviously not at the right concert last night.
Age defies their abilities and they remain, as proved by that gig, one of the best three man bands to have graced our pleading ears and angsty souls. They play their instruments like spare limbs, swinging and thrashing their arms around with ease, you forget you’re witnessing live music. It all seems so innate to these rock legends, its a surreal thing to watch. And as they slide into another raucous solo jam, a part of you says, “I can’t feel my face” while another part says, “Please don’t stop.”
After receiving the most passionate of applauses following each song they played, they questioned why they had never toured in South Florida. Well, that night they made up for lost time and blew the unwashed hair from fan’s faces to reveal the most satisfied and all loving of expressions. They forgave their heros for all the tours in which they were left out, and sang along to the encore’s closer, “Just Like Heaven”. Stepping out of the venue, the crowd enthusiastically reminisced the evenings concert, yelling into each others ringing ears.
The Base of a Dream is Empty
Dinosaur Jr. Setlist:
They Always Come
Little Fury Things
Feel the Pain
Forget the Swan
In a Jar
Just Like Heaven