Author: Rolands Lauzums
In 1991, Lou Barlow bumped into his former bandmate, J Mascis, in their hometown of Northampton. Nirvana’s Nevermind has began its domination over the Billboard charts and this chance encounter prompted Barlow to launch a flurry of expletives at Mascis. Barlow claimed that Nirvana beat their band, Dinosaur Jr., to stardom; they could have been the ones who broke Alternative Rock. This scene, detailed in Michael Azzerrad’s fantastic book Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991, reflects the feelings of many Dinosaur Jr. fans who believe that the band was an integral part of the road map that Nirvana used to break the genre in the 90s. Their legendary albums, You’re Living All Over Me and Bug utilized distortion drenched songs reminiscent of the Punk and Hardcore era but with classic rock inspired songwriting and guitar solos that make Eirc Clapton look like an amatuer. This meld of punk grime and accessible songwriting proved to be an enduring feature of their music which gave them an everlasting reverence among the indie community. When the original lineup reunited in the mid ‘00s, they bucked the trend of a mediocre reunion album by releasing four well received albums including their latest, 2016’s Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not. While all are firmly in Dinosaur Jr.’s blueprint of Alternative mixed with Classic Rock, they prove that Dinosaur’s sound is timeless and not bound to an era of nostalgia.
Coming to the Majestic this Friday, Dinosaur Jr. will surely play songs from all of their iterations, from fan favorites like “Freak Scene” and “Feel the Pain” to standouts of their latest album like “Tiny” and “Goin Down”. Their live act is as acclaimed as their recorded material. The chance to see J Mascis shred in front of a wall of Marshall amps is one not to miss. Accordingly, the sold out status of the show displays that many in Madison are flocking to see one of the most important bands of the 80s and 90s.