Reviews > Shows
J Mascis at the Henry Miller Library
Henry Miller Library
Big Sur, Calif
Though J Mascis is touring behind his mostly acoustic solo album Several Shades of Why, there were plenty of guitar shredding moments worthy of a big rock show at this intimate performance on the lawn of Big Sur’s Henry Miller Library.
Mascis, who sported a Rip Van Winkle-like cascade of grey hair, opened the show with “The Wagon” from his band Dinosaur Jr.’s 1991 album Green Mind. Later, on the title track from his new album, the indie guitar giant plucked his acoustic guitar like a country blues player over a loop that pulsed like a heartbeat. Next up was a cover of Edie Brickell & New Bohemians’ “Circle,” which he made sound like one of his own creations, and a track that he noted was left off the last Dinosaur Jr. album that included lines like: “There’s an ocean in my mind/ It’s so murky the truth is hard to find.”
But it was six songs into his set before Mascis truly let loose with one of his trademark guitar solos. The song was “Get Me” from 1993’s Where You Been, and the solo ripped through a fuzzy thundering loop in the background like a bolt of lightning. From there, Mascis was off and running with impressive solo after solo decorating most of the night’s remaining numbers.
After going back to Green Mind for “Flying Cloud,” Mascis lay down an ominous Neil Young-like instrumental introduction to Several Shades of Why’s “Can I,” one of the high points of the evening.
The night ended with Mascis dusting off a couple of rarities: “Not You Again,” where he added a distorted heavy metal-ish solo to the song from the 1991 Dinosaur Jr. EP Whatever’s Cool With Me, and the J Mascis and the Fog track “Alone” that the guitarist dedicated to the redwood trees towering above the lawn.
When he finished the latter, Mascis nonchalantly cut off the amps, thanked the crowd and ambled off the stage, content to have let his guitar do almost all of the talking this evening.
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