Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

last night's gig

Dinosaur Jr. Holds the Beef

Dinosaur Jr. at Irving Plaza last night. Photo: Amos Barshad

Like an indie-rock Sting and Stewart Copeland, Dinosaur Jr. front man J. Mascis and bassist Lou Barlow always seem on the verge of a fistfight, so we were excited to play Spot the Signs of Lingering Animosity at last night's Dinosaur Jr. show. (Note the lyrics to Barlow's famous Mascis-bashing song "The Freed Pig," from his post-Dinosaur band Sebadoh: "Your big head that has more room to grow/A glory I will never know.")

Much to our chagrin, the boys played nice. A grim Mascis barely talked, but it would be a stretch to take his trademark stoicism as a manifestation of a simmering beef. Barlow, on the other hand, seemed amused by the raucous reaction of the crowd, especially when fans reached out to grab his hand after a particularly killer rendition of “Just Like Heaven.” The band first re-formed in 2005, and they managed to put out a new album this year, but for a moment, it looked like Barlow was as surprised as we were that the once-fractious Dinosaur Jr. had blossomed into one big happy family. We even thought we saw Mascis smiling during set-closing freak-out “Chunks”, but on closer inspection, he was just baring his teeth. —Amos Barshad