Guitar stalwart J. Mascis performed a rare solo set Tuesday night at City Winery with opening act, Australian indie duo Luluc…
As frontman for Massachusetts trio Dinosaur Jr., J. Mascis emerged from the 90s alternative boom as one of the era’s most unique and most underrated guitar players.
When Dinosaur Jr. got back together in 2005, unlike many of their 90s colleagues, they picked right up where they left off upon the release of their eighth studio album Beyond in 2007, making beautiful noise.
But it’s on the occasional solo endeavor where the wall of guitars take a bit of a back seat as Mascis draws from a largely acoustic palette, exploring new sounds.
Touring in support of his latest solo effort Elastic Days, released just last week on November 9th, Mascis hit City Winery for the first of two nights Tuesday armed with two guitars and a bevy of effects.
“Sorry,” said the always understated Mascis, after leaving the stage without warning two songs into Tuesday’s set. “One more!” yelled a fan in jest. “Had to find my capo,” replied Mascis chuckling as he made his way back.
From 1987’s You’re Living All Over Me, Dinosaur Jr’s “Little Fury Things” came early in Tuesday’s set providing a terrific example of Mascis’s ability to turn a solo performance on acoustic-electric guitar into a veritable one man band, effects pedals distorting sound that darted back and forth between acoustic rhythm and soaring electric solos.
“Alright, thanks,” said Mascis on stage Tuesday. “I’ve got a new album out and this is the title track,” he said, naming neither, as he moved into the new “Elastic Days.”
Mascis may be a man of few words on stage but he made a point of revisiting just about every corner of his recorded catalog Tuesday on night one at City Winery, reaching back to 2000 for his post-Dino debut album More Light by J Mascis + The Fog. “Ammaring” was an early highlight during Tuesday’s set.
From his 2014 solo effort Tied to a Star, “Heal the Star” provided one of the best examples Tuesday of Mascis’s unparalleled ability to deliver both lead and rhythm guitar licks.
Mascis encored Tuesday night with a solo take on a cover fans have long known as a staple of Dinosaur Jr. sets, putting his unique spin on The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” Tuesday at City Winery.
Australian duo Luluc have been on the road with Blitzen Trapper and last night marked the first night of their second tour of duty alongside J Mascis.
The duo’s beautiful harmonies were most clearly on display during a haunting cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer.” For that performance, both Steve Hassett (electric) and Zoë Randell (acoustic) handled guitar.
At times Hassett conjured up images of the Byrds as he plucked a twelve string acoustic, moving from electric to acoustic and over to keyboards throughout Tuesday night’s set.
Randell’s haunting finger picking of the acoustic guitar was gorgeous throughout a set that name checked Chicago on “Small Window.”
– Jim Ryan ( @RadioJimRyan )
Photos of J Mascis live at City Winery by Philamonjaro Studio. For more, visit Philamonjaro online at http://www.philamonjaro.com/