An Aural Assault

First of all, I know I said that I would send all of my music related posts to my other blog, but I had such an amazingly great night on Saturday that I really wanted to share it with all of my regular readers.

Dinosaur Jr, Saturday the 16th of March at The HiFi in Sydney.


I first heard their music back in about 1991, when my husband and I were dating. I loved it immediately. No easing in or getting used to it required. Back then they were regarded as the gods of the indie-alternative scene. Nowadays they are regarded as hugely important, and have influenced countless bands and artists since. One of my sons picked up his first guitar at the age of eight, and the first songs he learned were Dinosaur Jr. Think lots of guitar, lots of fuzz, lots of noise. Then add some pure pop. And turn it up. Loud. No, I said LOUD.

Speaking of loud, in just about every review or article on Dinosaur Jr, mention is made of the fact that they are easily one of, if not the, loudest live bands. When you mention to someone that you will be seeing them play, you are advised to take earplugs. And in fact there were quite a few people there on Saturday night who I spotted wearing earplugs.

But not me πŸ˜‰

Like I said, I love this band. The thought of seeing J, Lou, and Murph up on stage with a wall of Marshall amps behind them, playing the songs I have loved for so long, had me so giddy with excitement that there was no way on earth I was wearing earplugs. No such thing as too loud in this instance.

My husband has a theory whereby the first album you hear from any given band usually remains your favourite. So for me with Dinosaur Jr this is the album “Green Mind”, and the first song “The Wagon” would probably be a firm favourite. So if there was one song I really wanted to hear it was that one. There were half a dozen others that I also wanted to hear, but I was okay with whatever they played because I knew I would enjoy it regardless.

Turns out, they played EVERY SINGLE SONG that I had really hoped to hear live!!!

And I danced. Oh, how I bounced around like a maniac, to a band playing the loudest, most distorted guitar fuzz I have ever heard. Yes, I managed to dance to it. I literally could not help myself.

There were also the moments I closed my eyes and let the beautiful noise wash over me, and I swear I had a smile on my face the whole show.

Seeing singer J Mascis was mind blowing. To see a man before you who comes with so much myth, legend, and sheer talent is beyond words. I don’t think he spoke a word or raised a sweat, this is after all the man for whom the term slacker was invented. But that’s okay, that’s J. I didn’t need banter from him. Just a face melter or two and that wall of Marshall’s behind him. Bass player Lou Barlow was a revelation. I didn’t expect to see a crazed dervish flailing around who somehow managed to hold onto his bass and see where he was through an almost afro-like halo of hair. The drummer Murph was amazing, and funnily enough belted out some ditty or other every time Lou opened his mouth to speak.

I went with very high hopes, and whenever you are that excited for something there is the small worry that it can’t live up to the anticipation. But they did, and then some. Easily the loudest band I have ever seen, and I have to say, possibly the best live show I have ever seen. There are only one or two others that come close.

I was also ecstatic that Mister Eighteen came with us. Since he was a baby we have played Dinosaur Jr in the house, so to see him enjoy the show, and get excited for his favourite songs was awesome. Btw, he also seemed unable to stand still when he loved a song. Wonder who he gets that from?

It might be worth mentioning that I didn’t get all of my hearing back until about lunchtime the next day, and the whole drive home we all kept shouting, “what? I can’t hear you” to each other.

My ears can now rest and recover until in two weeks time we see the godfather of punk, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, with Australian legends The Beasts Of Bourbon opening.

Can’t wait!!!!

Note: I have felt like talking in exclamation marks since Saturday.

See you all soon,

Ana. X.

  1. Ok, now I’ve got to get on youtube and hear this band. Sadly in 1991 I was more likely to be listening to Roxette and Right Said Fred than indie music.

    Being in a band for a few years, I’ve had my fair share of nights where I’ve temporarily lost my hearing. In your case it was probably worth it. How great that you could bring your son along!


    1. Oh I liked Roxette too πŸ˜‰

      And it was a nice family night out. Shame it was over 18 and the guitar mad son who loves them best couldn’t come, he’s 17. Next time.


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