​Dinosaur Jr., Sheer Attack, Arts Club Theatre, 27/10/2016 – Liverpool Music Week

As the second night of Liverpool Music Week takes place, ’90s noise veterans Dinosaur Jr. make the Arts Club walls shake. 

Walking into the Arts Club Theatre and quickly spotting the amp stacks is a great sign that tonight’s event will be loud, so loud it’s headlined by the ever-so thunderous Dinosaur Jr. 

Sheer Attack, photography by Phil Johnson

Firstly, local support Sheer Attack opened up tremendously bringing a hot live set to the Arts Club confines. The energetic four-piece gave a powered 28 minute set full of antics and tightly preformed series of songs, however sadly none very memorable. 

The group certainly know how to put on set, with the lead vocalist diving into the crowd for a small go at moshing, or climbing the stands on the stage, definitely brought the energy and woke us up, something a great opener can do.

Shortly after 9pm, on-walks the rockers themselves, known as Dinosaur Jr. Quickly blasting out “Bulbs of Passion”, the band quickly shows their true abilities, everlasting legacy of noise. 

Dinosaur Jr., photography by Phil Johnson

The walls shake, bringing their very one brand of heavy, almost-hardcore guitar rock to the week, something needed to wake up the LMW-goers from yesterday, much more involved and enthusiastic, main issue is the band wasn’t. Frontman J. Mascias is usually the quiet type, but often moves about, tonight he looked quite still and still didn’t say a word. 

Masterful drummer Murph unquestionably seemed off, like something was bothering him. While his usual known stage presence was there, with his famed quickfire drum fills and his so-called “beating the shit out of the drums” but he seemed slightly preoccupied, often looking into the back and standing up to them immediately sit down. With the stacks balanced on the stage, taking up the room, he may have just been uncomfortable.

The boys blitzed through their set, pumping out harsh song after harsh song, leaving us breathless, even with the miniature tuning break after each number, after they left the stage, taking their time to return for the encore which could be in part to a tiny section of the audience pulling them back on (a similar scene to yesterday’s long break by Warpaint), they cracked into the wonderfully different and predictable encore of The Cure‘s “Just Like Heaven”

Dinosaur Jr., photography by Phil Johnson

One small trick was ending it early and bringing in “Sludgefest” to end the show loudly and as their usual selves, oddly enough all band members doing a quick bow and wave before leaving, showing signs of life they hadn’t in the set. 

While the music spoke for itself, parts of us wish that there was a tad more of a crowd play, maybe even a straightforward “hello”, other than that the crowd was far more responsive than yesterday’s opening, let’s hope it sticks around. 

Words by Jack Cinnamond, Photography by Phil Johnson.

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