Tour Bus Hits Gun Bun, Dinosaur Jr. Get Out
The Shrine play 'first wine show'
The 2013 concert series at Gundlach Bundschu got off to a fuzzy feedback-filled start Friday night when ’90s rock royalty Dinosaur Jr. played the intimate Old Redwood Barn in Sonoma. DJ stopped in Sonoma on their way out the music-festival-cum-desert bikini beach party that is Coachella.
This show was a warm-up for the big fourth annual Huichica Music and Food Festival taking place in Gun Bun’s amphitheater June 14 and 15 and featuring Blitzen Trapper, The Fruit Bats, Damien Jurado and many others as well as food from Bunk Sandwiches, Mike the Bejkr, Salumaria, and more.
But this weekend the stage belonged to DJ. You know you are in for a rock show when you get to Gun Bun and you see this nestled between vineyard blocks:
The Curly Wolf opened, with local-boy-makes-rockabilly Grant Benzinger on vocals and guitar. And the band kicked up a perfectly serviceable punky barn-stomp, covering the likes of Hank Williams, then for good measure following that with one by his grandson Hank III, from whom young Mr. Benziger clearly took a few cues.
But then The Shrine took the stage like the fever-dream of a 15 year old who has never done anything else besides skate pools, do bong hits and listen to Motörhead, who then dropps acid and starts playing his older brother’s Black Flag records. Yes, it was that good. Yes, that probably describes most 15 year olds on an average Friday afternoon. About mid-way through the set, lead singer and guitarist Josh Landau stopped the onslaught of flying-V drone, sludge bass and driving rhythm to inform the audience, “In case you haven’t noticed, this our first wine show.” Then the band did this for another 15 minutes:
Then, like a different kind of blast from the past, the boys of Dinosaur Jr. ambled onto the stage. J Mascis took his glasses off, spoke pretty much the only words he would all night (something along the lines of “I’ve got my glasses off now”) and launched into the opening riffs of “Lung” from You’re Living All Over Me.
After about two and a half hours of drinking bottles of Gun Bun Gerwürz and Mountain Cuvee the crowd was ready to, well, not quite rock, but they sure did jump around a lot. So much so that bassist Lou Barlow’s frantic pogoing got the crowd on his stage into such a frenzy that security had to calm things dow a bit:
The whole while J Mascis managed little more than gentle swaying, while letting his fingers do all the moving. Mascis was spotted earlier that day pushing a shopping cart full od cardboard through the Sonoma Whole Foods. And watching J Mascis push a shopping cart through a Whole Foods is oddly like watching J Mascis play guitar.
DJ played a career-spanning set mixing in everything from those early classics and even earlier Lou Barlow-led punk screamers to slow-burn guitar noodling fests from the “Where You Been”-solo-J Mascis-era to stuff off the newly reunited band’s latest album “I Bet On Sky.” The guys started the encore with an extended, jammy “Just Like Heaven,” one of the greatest displays of the Barlow-Mascis dichotomy ever put to record performed live for your listening pleasure, which segued straight into an especially dirge-y version of the already exceptionally dirge-y “Sludgefeast.” Which in turned segued into drunk people fighting over Verne’s taxi cabs.
Now your moment of Zen. An infinite Mascis guitar-solo loop:
click the upper left corner to hear J wail.