Live Reviews

J.Mascis – Live

‘Joseph Donald Mascis’ is a legend in his own way. He has written some of the best songs ever throughout the many years that his bands and solo projects have been performing worldwide.

He started out in a hardcore punk band called Deep Wound, he formed the legendary Dinosaur Jr and now, here he sits in front of 250 people at Metro’s in Oxford Street on a windy Wednesday night in his very own signature Nikes and an Adidas track suit top ready to churn out a solo set that blew the entire crowd away. The crowd is made up of journalists and grade-A blaggers as tonight is all about a showcase apparently and it’s only industry heads in this venue.

So as he tucked into ‘Thumb‘ followed instantly by ‘Flying Cloud‘, both lifted from Green Mind, the crowd realised that this was going to be special, especially as the epic ‘Freakscene’ was thrust into the spotlight 3rd song in and J turned on the pedals to full solo guitar effect. The spine tingle i had when this kicked in matched the first time i heard this tune at college, absolutely amazing. I was not alone. The crowd was in awe of this opportunity and free beer only fuelled the feeling.

The solos rained on as ‘This Is All I Care To Do‘ from the new album Beyond kicked in. You will discover soon that this album is back to where they left off and this tune is definitely one of the best with J’s lazy vocals dipping in and out of classic 3 riff choruses. He then played another classic in ‘Little Fury Things‘ which brought the crowds attention to a stand still followed by ‘Amma Ring‘, one of J’s tunes with The Fog.

It’s funny how we register new songs. Once upon a time, the likes of imaginitive roll of ‘‘The Wagon’‘ was just another tune that whispered it’s beautiful chords though ears whilst people pondered on it’s quality, and here we are again 20 years alter doing it all over again! The accoustic sounds of ‘I Got Lost‘ is another tune from Beyond that was in this set and you could hear a pin drop as no one has really heard the record yet. Here Mascis does his high pitched, shoegazing vocal job to perfection, you know the one, there’s only one, it could not be anyone else if you heard it in the street. ‘Get Me’ from the ‘Where You Been‘ album is dropped next until ‘Quest‘ takes the limelight and rightly so, it’s a classic.

By now, 30 mins into this show, i’m realising i am really pissed and actually in heaven, but the cover of ‘Just Like Heaven‘ doesn’t make the cut tonight, i guess he could have played so many more, like my personal faves such as ‘Let It Ride’ or ‘They Always Come‘ from ‘Bug‘ but he ends tonights secret shindig with ‘Not You Again’ and ‘Alone’. For the record, the lyrics to the former go like this:

I thought of the Blob today
I thought of you
I thought of the mess I made again
How do I do it
Now when it leaves your hand
Just understand

…and on Thursday morning i felt like the blob due to the free Stella!

Look out for Beyond when it comes out this month, you should not be disappointed.

Zac Slack

To read a Crossfire interview with J.Mascis from 2005 click here