Dinosaur Jr. Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC December 18
Published Dec 18, 2011After the original lineup performed You're Living All Over Me in its entirety back in 2005, it seemed inevitable that Dinosaur Jr. would eventually get around to performing Bug, arguably their best record, front to back. This idea certainly isn't anything new, but by getting Henry Rollins to interview the band before the show, they managed to bring an intimate element into what is slowly becoming a predictable fad.
Rollins, a self-admitted super-fan since Dinosaur Jr.'s inception in 1985, quizzed the band about learning to play their instruments, inspirations, recording Bug and a handful of other thoughtful questions about the most-storied era of the group. Even the notoriously hard to interview Mascis managed to spill out a few replies that were more than his typical one-word answers.
Shortly after the interview, the original lineup of Lou Barlow, Murph and J Mascis came back to the stage to rapturous applause, but rather than launch right into Bug, the band played a couple older songs before eventually throwing themselves into the anthemic "Freak Scene," Bug's lead track. Despite this being the last show after over a dozen performances of the album, the band played as if they might have still been 1988. Barlow hopped around the stage with an ecstatic energy, even losing his glasses at one point, while Murph drummed alongside him with perfect symmetry, adding only the slightest embellishments. Mascis, cool as ever with his whispy wizard-like hair and calming demeanour, tore into Bug's many solos with a Zen-like ease. Everyone on stage appeared to be enjoying the walk down memory lane, despite having done the same jaunt almost every night for the last several weeks.
Eventually Dinosaur Jr. brought out a local to scream the lyrics to "Don't," the infamous Bug closer that had Barlow screaming so hard he coughed up blood while recording it. They followed with an encore of crowd pleasers like "Feel the Pain" and "Little Fury Things," with the latter featuring a harmonizing Barlow and Mascis, a sight endearing enough to melt the heart of even the most jaded in attendance.