Classic DVD Review: Dinosaur Jr Live in the Middle East

Full Title: Dinosaur Jr: Live in the Middle East
Director: Philipp Virus
Artists: Dinosaur Jr: J Mascis- Vocals, Guitar. Lou Barlow- Vocals, Bass. Murph- Drums
Year: Filmed in 2005, released in 2006
Set List:
1) Gargoyle
2) Kracked
3) Bulbs of Passion
4) Little Furry Things
5) Lose
6) Forget the Swan
7) The Post
8) Budge
9) The Lung
10) The Wagon
11) Raisans
12) Sludgefeast
13) Mountain Man
14) Chunks
15) In a Jar
16) Repulsion
17) Just Like Heaven

Comments: I’ve seen Dinosaur Jr live and without a doubt they are a tour de force, one of the most powerful live bands in the world. This concert in particular is special for two reasons: 1) It was not too long after their reunion, sixteen years after the demise of the original line up. 2) This concert is shot at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA (for the most part) the home state of Dinosaur. The venue is a small, comfy place and gives the band/DVD a certain character. It makes the performance feel homey and intimate. Typically, most Concert DVDs you see feel the total opposite. Since, the Middle East is my favorite venue, I also felt a greater connection and it seemed like Dinosaur was right at home. Overall, I enjoyed the performance and the band were incredible as usual, playing mostly 80s, You’re Living All Over Me (1987) material, which naturally added its own vibes and made the concert/DVD feel all the more like the good old times of the original Dinosaur years. With that being said, the band really carries this DVD. In other words, the DVD offers very little beyond filming the band and a few crowd shots, not much more. It is akin to a youtube video and for me this is surely not enough. In terms of bonus features, we have some treats: interviews with Thurston Moore, Kim Gordan, Steve Albini, Mike Watt, Mat Dillon, and others. They provide great insight and clear appreaciaton for the group. Here, we also see the lack of dedication for this DVD, for the footage itself is given little treatment and poor audio/lightning, but once again the content saves the viewer from running away. We also see a few performances from the band and a radio station performance/interview, which are decent.

Grade: 7/10- Great band, great show, but not a great DVD per se. Still if you’re a big fan I’d recommend it, I will watch it and enjoy it over and over again, because I’m just one of those kinda guys.

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