Live Video: Dinosaur Jr. with Henry Rollins

photo by Dave Lichterman

Over the past decade, back-to-front album performances have become de rigueur for veteran bands either reuniting after years apart or trying to inject new life into their stagnating fanbases. Usually, their chosen album is the one most likely to make the critics’ “best of all time” lists or is a standout fan favorite — as when Sonic Youth performed Daydream Nation, Public Enemy Fear Of A Black Planet, and Slint Spiderland. Alternative power rockers Dinosaur Jr. took no exception to the rule when in 2005 they reformed to play their breakthrough, You’re Living All Over Me, in its entirety as part of the All Tomorrow’s Parties-curated Don’t Look Back series. Thankfully for us, the reunion took, the band recorded more music, and they went back to revisit other albums, even the ones more loved by fans than the band itself… like Bug. Released in 1988, just as alternative rock was just breaking into the mainstream, Bug was their most melodic and accessible to date, and reportedly J Mascis’ “least favorite”. Yet, the album’s first single, “Freak Scene,” became a slacker anthem and remains one of the band’s all-time most recognizable hits. Late last year, Dinosaur Jr. — the original lineup of J Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Murph — gave the album another look and played the whole thing for eager fans. But not only that, they brought another late-80’s alternative icon on tour with them, not to perform or open but rather to interview the band members themselves on stage, and if anyone could get the taciturn J Mascis to talk, it would have to be their pal, the musclebound misfit and former Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins. During their stop in Seattle, the whole band, with Henry Rollins, dropped by KEXP for a very special in-studio session, featuring some old Dinosaur Jr. favorites — “Freak Scene,” “Little Fury Things,” and their glorious cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven”. Check out the full session, with Henry’s own interview, here:

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