Dinosaur Jr. have a sound just as monstrously huge and playful as their name would suggest. Ticket buyers swoon for the monolithic volume, fuzzed-out riffs, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and passionate angst these alt rock legends bring to the stage. Long-haired leader J. Mascis blasts out masterful licks and pummeling power chords in front of three amplifiers that tower menacingly over his head, bassist Lou Barlow pumps out killer jams as he thrashes around stage, and drummer Murph beats up his skins like he’s hammering against an anvil. These monsters of noisy alternative are sure to rock out on favorites like “Freak Scene”, “Little Fury Things”, and “Feel the Pain” whenever they bring their ferocious sound on tour.
The roots of Dinosaur Jr. lie in the Amherst, MA hardcore band Deep Wound, where guitarist/singer J. Mascis met bassist Lou Barlow. Following that band’s dissolution in 1984, the two reached out to fellow hardcore devotee Emmett Jefferson “Murph” Murphy III and formed a band. They dubbed themselves Dinosaur for their self-titled 1985 debut album, adding the Jr. diminutive later that year to distinguish themselves from a band of the same name. Their 1987 sophomore album You’re Living All Over Me became a major milestone in underground music, blending classic rock songcraft with outbursts of noisy feedback and punk angst. The band began to experience commercial success starting with the 1988 college radio hit “Freak Scene”, but Barlow departed to exercise more creative control in his lo-fi band Sebadoh. Original drummer Murph exited following 1991’s Green Mind, leaving Mascis the sole original member as Dinosaur Jr. continued to score hits into the ‘90s. In 2005 Mascis turned up at a Sebadoh concert to discuss a potential reunion, after which he and Barlow reached out to Murph. Since reuniting, the trio has released the powerful and critically acclaimed albums Beyond (2007), Farm (2009), and I Bet on Sky (2012). With their extensive catalog of old favorites and new gems, the group continues to be an earth-shaking force of nature at their concerts.