On the first night of Dinosaur Jr.’s short, East-Coast Bug tour in Portland, Maine on June 20, Lou Barlow stepped up to the mic for the final song of the run-through of their classic 1988 album, “Don’t”. And then he screamed. It’s a scream that was made famous in Michael Azerrad’s book Our Band Could Be Your Life, and it’s this repeated scream -only five words- of “WHY DON’T YOU LIKE ME?” that caused Barlow to spit up blood when he recorded it. Or so the story goes. This time, in Maine, on the first night of the band’s tour, the song caused Barlow to lose his voice entirely.
“It’s really cathartic”, he joked the next day, croaking. “But if I keep doing it, I may lose my voice permanently.” Then he set about trying to find someone, via his Facebook page and via folks like me over Twitter,who would take over the wails at the Northampton show that night. “I think we’ve got a guy who works at Home Depot,” Barlow told me.”We should get him to wear his apron.”
Four shows in finds us (well, rather, photog and friend to the BackstageRider, Chris Gersbeck) at New York City’s Terminal 5, with Henry Rollins interviewing the band, and Fucked Up and OFF! opening. Chris, who runs the fab NYC music blog FuckingNostalgic.com, offered to shoot the show that Barlow would later call “ferocious.” With Barlow’s voice still hoarse and it seeming to work with having fans screech through “Don’t”, the set ended with random hairy guy belting out those five painful words.
Check out the grand Marshall stacks action of the deafeningly amazing Dinosaur Jr: J. Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph, live in the Big Apple on June 23. All photos with thanks and gratitude to Chris Gersbeck.
Plus, as an added bonus, for entirely different pics and a full review and the lowdown, surf on over to Fucking Nostalgic. \m/