April 10 2009 12:00 AM
There’s a song by Sonic Youth called “Teenage Riot” that was originally titled “Rock’N’Roll for President” and is about Dinosaur Jr. guitarist J. Mascis. There’s a lyric in the song that goes, “You come running in on platform shoes/With Marshall stacks/To at least just give us a clue.”

That’s a picture of Mascis’ Marshall stacks.

There’s not much more to say about Dinosaur Jr.’s show at The Small Planet Thursday night. Mascis melted everyone’s eyeballs with his ridiculously loud — in a really good way — guitar playing. Lou Barlow still looks like he’s in high school and operates his bass like a lumberjack with one of those giant, bendy saws. And the drummer, Murph, just got all sweaty trying to anchor the whole thing.

The band mixed a healthy amount of what was most likely newer material (there’s a new record coming in June) with fan favorites (“Little Fury Things,” “Forget the Swan”) and “hits” (“Freak Scene” and “Feel the Pain.”) There were a couple funny parts during the show, where Mascis would go off on some solo for a couple minutes and then stop on a dime. For the last song, Dinosaur played “Just Like Heaven,” (a cover of a Cure song, if you didn’t know) and Mascis abruptly ends the song, slips off his Fender Jaguar and the whole band shuffles off the stage and out the front door.

Ann Arbor’s (but now Brooklyn, N.Y.) Awesome Color opened for Dinosaur. They were good, too. I especially liked that the guitar player, Derek Stanton, would pick up a tiny Vox amp and use it strum and create feedback.

The Small Planet was a strange place to see such a band, because it’s in a strip mall. But not even a good strip mall that has been abandoned and shot up. Just a regular suburban strip mall. As it was accurately pointed out, it felt like going to see a show at Meijer; Meijer with a full bar and pinball machines. But, there was plenty of parking. And when Mascis turned on what seemed like his 10th fuzz box, you suddenly weren’t anywhere at all.

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