House of Blues, Orlando • July 7, 2005
July 7, 2005 = Dinosaur, Jr.’s first show of their tour. Typically, I do not write live reviews ten days after their occuring. But I had a solo trip to New Hampshire lined up. So thought I’d go to NH, consider the Dinosaur show, and then write.
The show was at Orlando’s House of Blues, and it was a full house. Dim electric blue light was it for the staging, and the band opened things up to handclaps and thanks. I don’t recall the first song off the first LP. I believe it was the first song performed. In any instance, the band vibe seemed solid enough. Again, this is tour show number one. “In a Jar,” while perhaps not a hit officially, was a hit. Mighty melodic. Murph’s drumming and Lou’s bass synched, and then J ensured a full blown sound by song’s end. This song, and many others, have any requisite hooks to justify the propulsive sound of the old man on the mountain falling off.
J played insane sustain on “The Post,” Bug‘s purest offering. “Kracked” squealed into “Sludgefeast.” They played some wild time signatures. Kinda sloppy and fun. You know, Lou sang “We’re brothers, we’re one in the same…everything we do, is totally lame” and roughly they seemed like East Coast brothers to varied SST peers, and as a band, you could feel delight in that hardcore lyric in lieu of later conflict. It was refreshing. Many boldly sang along with “Just Like Heaven.” “Little Fury Things” and “The Lung” were labors of love. J’s way-elongated solos and totally metal chording were not-so-much reclaimed, as he’s not stopped jamming. Rather, his steering of the sound followed the script with enough room for surprise riffing and a blown amp. Into a dozen shows or more, these fellows must be cookin’. Think live “Repulsion,” “Bulbs of Passion,” “Lose” and “Freak Scene.” The HoB crowd heard ’em.
My three days on Squam Lake spent eating well, kayaking, attempting to find wind on a Sunfish, swimming in clear water, dodging bats on the dock… these days were breezy and reflective, tranquil and visceral, with friends, surrounded by many biting insects on pitch black nights drinking red wine and gin thanks to Courtney and Jon, respectively. Maybe Dinosaur knows nothing of this sorta New England. I dunno. Anyway, if you ever dug ’em, whatever the formula, this is a fine show to see.