BY TIM HINELY
Glad to see that Mr. Mascis is still at it all these later whether it’s solo, with his main gig, Dinosaur Jr. or even side projects like Witch/ Sweet Apple. Openers Luluc hail from Australia and consisted of two people, Steve, a hirsute male who played several cool guitars and sang backing vocals and female, Zoe, she of the lovely vocals (and equally impressive guitar playing). They had the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd hypnotized with their intricate musical web. They played damn near everything off of their Sub Pop debut (Passerby) and I for one will be going to see them again next time in the Mile High City.
During Luluc’s set I heard a loud sneeze of the gentlemen right next to me, I turned to say Goblessyou and it was J Mascis…dude can light it up.
So Mascis played two sold out nights here at the Larimer and this night was the first of the two. He came out in his usual attire: baseball cap and t-shirt (plus, with those glasses, long gray hair and goatee the guy is simply unmistakable). He blasted right into a few of songs off of his latest record, Tied to a Star (Sub Pop) including “Me Again” and “Every Morning” and then played a few Dino Jr. songs (“Little Fury Things” was especially tasty). Shortly thereafter, he launched into a cover of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You,” the A-side of his just-released Record Store Day/Black Friday Sub Pop 45.
Though he was by himself the set wasn’t what you’d call stripped-down, he had plenty of fuzz pedals which, at times, made all sorts of racket. It was mostly quiet, but the songs got loud when they needed to be (and he mumbled a few things to the crowd in between songs). The only problem was being in the back, and him sitting in that chair, I couldn’t see a damn thing and it’s not like he’s the most exciting performer (Mascis lets his songs do the talking for him).
For an encore he did The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” (which Dino Jr recorded decades ago) and thus ended the night. I love the music of J Mascis and while this wasn’t a bad night of music, however, I prefer the sonic explosions of Dinosaur Jr. Still, seeing Mascis do the solo thing is a real treat and the folks of Denver obviously realized this by packing the Larimer on both nights.