‘Let’s turn off the vocals. Who needs ’em?’

Just thinking this morning of last year’s Dinosaur Jr. show at Beachland Ballroom. They’re one of my favorite bands.

From my review of the March 12, 2017, show:

Onstage, the three incredibly distinct characters work diligently. J, long silver hair gracing past his shoulders, stood tall and stoic. Barlow hopped around frenetically, his mop of brown hair often concealing his face entirely and his salmon-colored button-down soaked thoroughly with sweat. Murph aggressively pounded his drums from behind a pair of glasses and beneath a shaved head that nodded in contrast to his bandmates’ follicular might. Each musician was fun to watch in their own way, and I mostly caught myself watching Murph throw down an absolutely incredible set of percussion. (J himself, who has famously directed the drums in previous incarnations of the band, has even lauded Murph’s personal touches on the band’s most recent material.)

“Turn up the vocals!” one guy cried out a few songs into the show.

J responded in slacker drawl: “Yeah, let’s turn off the vocals. Who needs ’em?”

It was an absolutely hilarious moment. There are fine layers of comedy in that offhand response from J.

The show was tremendous, of course; it’s Dinosaur Jr., wrought as ever with complexity and sludgefeast monolith riffs.

But, honestly, moments like that are the reason that I love going to shows — that feeling of tapping into the unique, the hazard of it all. That moment was pure J Mascis, and it was great to get a glimpse of what he is.

Also, it’s much better to spend some time on a Thursday morning thinking and writing about that, as opposed to the incessant shitstorm of gun-nut/gun-control-nut bric-a-brac on your preferred social media channel.

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