Kyuss and Dinosaur Jr.

Kyuss (pronounced chi-us) stole the show at the RoseLand in NYC, opening for Dinosaur Jr. this past weekend. They are a terrific band, extremely talented musically, and were a class act to watch. It is hard to describe what their music sounds like---on the first listen, it is like any other rock, but as you listen closer you will see a lot of blues thrown in, with some of the darker aspects of metal. Combined with crunchy riffs (ala Therapy?), excellent guitar work, and some solid vocals, they rocked the house with a lot of tunes from their latest release Welcome to Sky Valley and from older albums like Wretch (which I like the most).

Those are the only two Kyuss albums I own, and if anything, the show has convinced me to go buy the others. Before Kyuss, it was Juned who played, who I missed since it was my first time on the subway in NYC and I went the wrong way, but not without excitement since I caught the aftermath of a shooting as I was stumbling around trying to find the subway entrance. When I got to the RoseLand (which was probably a huge theatre before it was turned into a concert hall) the show was sold out, but I managed to get a ticket from a scalper. And was just in time to catch Kyuss open with a song from Wretch. I could be wrong with the song names (I was severely sleep deprived at the show), so if someone could provide a set list, I would be grateful.

They definitely played Gardenia-Asteroid, 100 degrees-Demon Cleaner (love the guitar lead in this one), Odyssey-N.O. (all from their new album), Hwy 74, and Stage III (from Wretch). There's this song that sounds like a Pink Floyd (Animals/Sheep?) rip-off that was played too. They didn't say much during the show itself. Only complaint is that after a while, all their riffs started sounding alike, but they did put on a charged show!

Dinosaur Jr. was next and I don't think much of them, but they were very good. The show was mainly carried by J Mascis, who played the guitar and did the vocals. I never realised how good of a guitar player he was, but live, he does shred. Like most of the Dinosaur Jr. songs, there were these highly moshable parts laden with heavy guitar riffs, followed by intermissions of some inspired solos. The bassist, Mike Johnson, was also very good. He came on stage with a suit and tie, but loosened up by the end and really grooved and moved around.

A lot of stuff off of Without a Sound, their latest release, was played, including Feel the Pain, I Don't Think So, Yeah Right, Grab It, Even You, and Get Out of This (I hope I got the list right). The last song they played before the encore was Quicksand. I guess they liked to leave the stage with the chorus and other effects on, since they did it both before and after the encore.

For an encore, Mascis came back and said: "we're going to play two more songs and they're excruciatingly long", and played Thumb (which I believe is from Green Mind) and another song. It was great!

What surprised me most was the number of really young people there---pre-pubscent teenagers were going in and out of the mosh bit. God alone knows what they could see in there, and He's not telling. I suppose it is good that the younger generation is listening to a more varied musical spectrum than just what MTV feeds them.

Music ram-blings || Ram Samudrala || || October 28, 1994