I've been to two shows the last two nights and they couldn't have been more different. I love the variety of shows the city offers on any given week.
On Tuesday nigth I had the good fortune of seeing Josh Rouse at the Birchmere. He was in town supporting his new album, Subtitulo, which just came out a few weeks ago. The last time I saw Rouse was at the Black Cat and given the size of that room, the turnout was predictably thin. Although I would always rather see a show at the Cat, this time around the Birchmere seemed to be the perfect size for one of his shows. The floor area and the surrounding tables were packed and much of the crowd was surprisingly into the show. I've been following Rouse over the course of several albums but never hearing any local buzz about him, I'm awlays surprised that there is a strong fan base out there (especially in the attractive female department). Anyway the show was great and while he played zippy off of my favorite of his albums, Under Cold Blue Stars, there was a good mix of material and the band was into it. It was one of those shows where you feel blissed out after an hour of really really good pop music.
Now last night's show was a whole other beast. Beats, being a very appropriate way to describe a Dinosaur Jr show. They were back at the 9:30 Club once again doing round 2 of this unexpected reunion tour of theirs. The show was pretty much identical to their last stop in town but who gives a shit because it was fantastic. There is something about listening to J play that turns me into a complete screaming little bitch. As a guitarist and a somewhat of a gear slut I am in awe of the back line of amps he utilizes on stage. For an idea of what I'm talking about, here is what he was using back in '96. There have been some modifications but the size and scope are nearly the same. Anyway my ears are ringing loudly this morning as I refused to put in my plugs at this show. There is something about the ferocity yet subtle melodiousness to J's playing that completely knocks me on my ass. Listening to it live dialed up to 11 is even more unreal. Seeing this weird old man with his long gray hair playing as if he were completely oblivious to the fact that the band's watershed albums came out almost 20 years ago gives me hope for the aging process. I hope can rock that hard in my 40's.