Dinosaur Jr – Live in 2022

Dinosaur Jr rocks....
Dinosaur Jr : Live
Dinosaur Jr : Live

Dinosaur Jr rocks. This isn’t a controversial or even new statement, but it’s still impressive how much and how consistently they rock, even in these days when old fogies lament that ‘rock is dead’ (and don’t even talk about the EKG of punk…). The Massachusetts trio have a contentious 20th century backstory to rival anyone’s, and their 21st century reunion has been as great as anyone’s. And they brought it all for a big show at New York’s big Terminal 5 on Saturday, December 3rd.

Terminal 5 (QRO venue review) was indeed a big venue for them at this point in their career, but perhaps they were aided by the time of year (less competition for shows in December), and certainly by their tourmates, the similarly venerable punks Guided by Voices (QRO review). The show was structured more like co-headliners, with the prolific Robert Pollard & co. given ample time to rock for their fans who shouted “GBV!” at the start. And an extra spin was presented in two intro sets by comedian Eugene Mirman (QRO photos), just before both acts, reading his hilarious responses to a pre-school questionnaire and an ‘audible drugs’ company that demanded remunerations for him ‘stealing their idea’ on his mammoth I’m Sorry (You’re Welcome) – which did come out on indie-punk label Sub Pop.

kids up front
Lou Barlow

And Terminal 5 was packed. It’s been great to see in recent days that shows have been packed, and even if that means you have trouble seeing the stage [especially if you spent the first three songs taking photos, like your correspondent…], it points to live music being back. And the show for a band going on their fifth decade was not just attended by aged hippie-punks, but a strong youth turnout, particularly upfront – Mirman even joked about how the crowd, “Made it to my 40s to be here tonight,” before a surprised note of the kids up front. There was even a girl on shoulders (if security immediately tried to get her to climb down).

Not one for much on-stage banter, just a few lines from singer/bassist Lou Barlow, Dinosaur Jr burned through sixteen songs in an hour-and-a-half. Indeed, instead of the usual ‘leave the stage for encore break, then come back for the encore return that everyone knows is coming’ which has become so standard in music these days, they played non-stop right up until the venue said it was time to end.

J Mascis

With their impressive & extensive catalogue of songs, Dinosaur Jr couldn’t get to all the pieces you wanted, but did get to many – including “Pieces”. It was notable that they nicely balanced between original 20th century run & 21st century revival – particularly as that original run included after singer/guitarist J Mascis kicked out first Barlow and then drummer Murph, right during their most widely popular alt-nineties era. They did very early songs (“we learned this in 1984”) “Mountain Man” & “Forget the Swan”, MTV hits-back-when-MTV-played-music “Out There” & “Feel the Pain”, and ‘up there with the original stuff’ reunion era material such as “Been There All the Time”, “I Met the Stones”, and “Pieces”. Barlow got to sing on both 1984’s “Mountain Man” and last year’s “Garden”. There was even their ultra-classic cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven”. They brought in, “sitar and second drums to try and recreate our Sub Pop seven-inch,” for classic “The Wagon”, and the big rejected Muppet that had been next to Murph the whole show got up and danced for “Freak Scene”, because when they needed a friend, “It’s still you.”


So little is reliable these days, everything either falling apart, getting reinvented, or frozen in the past. Thankfully still as great as they ever were, Dinosaur Jr still rocks.

Dinosaur Jr

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