J Mascis and the Fog - Live 2/13/03

As soon as I heard about this show, I knew I was going. Nothing was going to stop me. There was no way I could pass up the chance to see modern guitar legend and hero of 80's alternative rock, J Mascis. Even though I was pretty sure it wouldn't sell out, I went out and got my ticket as soon as possible to ensure my place in the presense of the ex-Dinosaur Jr. frontman.

There was one opening act, a British guy I had never heard of named Ben Lee. He had a few originals but the audience was obviously not that interested. When he asked what the crowd wanted to here, someone yelled back "J Mascis!" After a passionate Sinead O'Connor cover, his time was up and people started moving towards the stage. I first truly realized what I was in for when I noticed everyone around me was putting in ear plugs. That, combined with the fact that he had a Marshall full stack in Starr Hill, was enough to convince me to go to the bathroom and grab some paper.

Mascis and the Fog, which was bassist Matt Hunter and drummer George Berz, took the stage about fifteen minutes later. Mascis broke out his Fender Jazzmasters, checked his amps, fooled around with his massive effects board, and then the show started with a Dino classic, "The Lung." It was about halfway through this song that I realized I in fact did need earplugs and put the paper in. I can honestly say it's the loudest concert I've ever heard with the possible exception of a few acts on Warped Tour. The bass was absolutely bone-shattering. At one point I though my knees were going to give out. The building shook and the world spun. Mascis's guitar solos cut like a knife and he was solid throughout, and it was pretty funny to watch because he was pretty mellow the whole time.

The set was mainly tunes off the latest Fog album, Free So Free. A few songs I remember: "Freedom," "Free So Free," and "Tell the Truth." There were also a few Dino songs; the two I immediately recall being "The Lung," which I mentioned before, and "Little Fury Things." They also played the Cure's "Just Like Heaven," at an audience member's request. Speaking of the audience, there were some interesting incidents. Someone threw a "Beer" hat on stage apparently in hopes of Mascis wearing it. He didn't. Then during "Just Like Heaven," some random guy came out of nowhere, got up on stage, tried to sing, then hastily left, unplugging Hunter's bass mid-song as he did so.

All in all, the show was excellent. Everything I had hoped for. The only problem I noticed was that Mascis's voice was almost inaudible half the time. Oh, and I probably would be deaf if it wasn't for ear plugs. Anyway, time to wrap this up. I'd recommend the show to Dino fans and anyone into really loud rock music.

Oh yeah, I got a few pics but most of them are a little blurry. Don't know if it's because of me or the bass vibrations :P


Starr Hill

Charlottesville, VA


Written by: Tosh

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