Dinosaur Jr. @ Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall

The legendary rock outfit that is Dinosaur Jr., featuring their original lineup of J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph, returned to Toronto, ON in order to properly celebrate their latest release Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, their eleventh studio album that dropped last August through Jagjaguwar. The show speedily sold out in advance, filling the Danforth Music Hall’s floor and balcony to a comfortable capacity.

New York City rockers Public Access T.V. were first to take to the stage on the night of March 10, making for an enjoyable and accessible opening act. The young boys performed cohesively and appeared to genuinely enjoy themselves under the glow of the Danforth’s stage lights; swaying around the stage and jamming out on their guitars. As Public Access T.V. wrapped up their set, the air grew thick with anticipation for Dinosaur Jr. The crowd was made up of longtime fans, some of whom had easily been around since the band’s formation in 1984. The band took to the stage with a stoic yet impalpable energy, balanced between the silent and introverted Mascis and the incredibly energetic Barlow, whose long mop of hair whipped around furiously with each chord he hit on his bass. Evening out everything in the back, Murph held down the drum kit with intense force and expert precision. The six stack of Marshall amps that towered behind Mascis were massive; both in appearance and sound, creating excellent tones that reverberated throughout the Danforth.

The crowd was treated to an appropriately balanced set of both cuts from their early days in the eighties, as well as choice takes from Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not. Comprised of middle-aged and millennial fans alike, the raucous energy of tracks like “Goin Down”, “Freak Scene” and “Out There” prompted energetic and excited responses from everyone. If you have yet to see Dinosaur Jr. in their element, it is highly recommended that you treat yourself to the spectacle that is their live show.

Review by Ava Muir
Photography by Benjamin Bush