Dinosaur Jr. Pemberton Stage, Pemberton BC, July 19

Dinosaur Jr. Pemberton Stage, Pemberton BC, July 19
Photo: JPG Photography
After 30 years of existence — minus a break of close to a decade around the turn of the millennium — Dinosaur Jr. still haven't really come out of their shell. Their early afternoon appearance at Pemberton's main stage offered everything fans have come to expect from the veteran trio: twiddly solos, meaty alt-rock rhythms, and Marshall stacks that outnumbered the musicians on stage.

In contrast to the outfit's fuzzy fretboard workouts, J Mascis's drawling croon sounded sleepily lethargic. Although "Pieces" and "Freak Scene" were beautiful in their heavy-lidded lethargy, the similar-sounding songs quickly began to blend into one another. The only variety came in the couple of times that bassist Lou Barlow took over the microphone.

Mascis's silvery, wizard-like hair blew in the wind, while Barlow's face remained permanently shrouded by his mop of locks. During a fuzzy, wah-wah-laced rendition of the Cure's "Just Like Heaven," Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne hovered at the side of the stage, filming the proceedings with his iPhone.

An exciting moment came with the arrival of a fan wearing an oversized mask with huge lips and no eyes or nose. Onlookers laughed in delight at her energetic dance moves, and her image repeatedly appeared on the big screens at the front. This didn't reflect well on the band, since they ended up getting outshone by the comically dressed crowd member.

After so many years, it's probably unfair to expect Dinosaur Jr. to suddenly develop charisma. Still, as the main stage warm-up act, they didn't do much to lift the energy as campers emerged from their tents.

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