Dinosaur Jr. + Myriam Gendron @ Le National

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The Gay Village was bustling on Wednesday with the terraces open and people crowding around restaurants in full bloom. However, that wasn’t the only thing people were crowding around: Le National was surrounded by many a fan who wanted to see Dinosaur Jr., opened by Myriam Gendron

Myriam Gendron 

Amidst a chatty crowd, Montréal native, Myriam Gendron took the stage on her own with nothing but a guitar, a mic, and her phone. Implemented use of nature sounds from her iPhone, created a looped melody while she sang alongside it. 

Gendron was an architect, sculpting her soundscape with only four tracks, creating a  harrowing, stripped experience. The visuals added to the immersive audio experience of the first song “Au Coeur de Ma Délire.”

Gendron then introduced her guitarist Luc Bonin to play their next song “I Wonder As I Wander” off her latest album Ma Délire – Songs of Love, Lost & Found.    

“Par un Dimanche au Soir” heavily used the Phrygian scale with usage of big muff and fuzz. It was a melting pot of different cultural genres ( like Latin, Armenian, Arab, etc.) where Bonin played droning chords while Gendron sang and played lead guitar. 

Bonin then switched to a snare drum when it came time to play “La Jeune Fille en Pleurs.” It gave a wavy, percussive texture to accompany Gendron. The crowd went from chatting away to silent with surprise at how much the ambience changed. 

Gendron ended off her set with “The Fat Lady of Limbourg,” which is a cover of Brian Eno. The audience applauded her for the immersive “en bilingue” performance. 

Setlist 

  • Au Coeur de Ma Délire
  • I Wonder As I Wander
  • Par un Dimanche au Soir
  • La Jeune Fille en Pleurs
  • The Fat Lady of Limbourg (Brian Eno Cover)

Dinosaur Jr. 

After Gendron’s captivating act came Dinosaur Jr. Hailing from Amherst, MA, the college rock trio took the stage together and engaged the crowd with a loud chord (and fill) from five stacked amps. Already anticipating the heat, their roadies had placed a smorgasbord of towels in various locations on stage for the band (the audience could sure have used some of those).  

They opened their act with “Bulbs of Passion” from their debut album in 1985. It was electrifying for the older fans and surprising for the youth as they know Dino for “Feel the Pain” and other big hits. 

The second song off of their setlist started off with frontman J. Mascis strumming the chords of “I Ain’t.” With the bittersweet chords quickly filling the room, one could see Bassist Lou Barlow was exceedingly active along with Patrick Murphy (AKA Murph) on drums. Barlow went on to play guitar and sing “Garden” from their latest album Sweep It Into Space and sing lead during the bridge of the fourth song “I Expect it Always” on the setlist. 

Having been rockstar veterans for more than 2 decades, they’ve learnt at least a thing or two on how to wow a crowd. There were many “Most Memorable Moments” of the show. For starters, they brought their roadie on stage for a song. In their second encore song “Little Fury Things,” Mascis had to replace guitars mid-song before coming back in with the buzzsaw tone. Then, the visuals accompanying my favourite song “The Wagon” were slightly reminiscent of the song’s music video. 

Mascis thanked the audience for coming before starting laying down chops to “Start Choppin.’” By now, the heat within the venue was making the audience sweat, but most of all getting to the musicians, namely Murph, as he could be seen wiping his head repeatedly over the course of the set, and Lou, sporting a sweat-stained shirt. Towards the end, the audio became deafening. Many people, such as myself, were wearing earplugs and the sound still managed to pierce. 

The band covered  “Just Like Heaven” from The Cure as their last encore song. With Mascis’ use of the auto-wah and big muff pedals as well as the “YOU!” screams, tied the end of the show up real nice. All in all, it was a very intimate setting for both acts at Le National, which housed 750 Myriam Gendron and Dino Jr. fans on both the balcony and the floor.  

Set List

  • Bulbs of Passion
  • I Ain’t 
  • Garden
  • I Expect It Always 
  • To Be Waiting 
  • I Met the Stones
  • Been There All The Time 
  • The Wagon 
  • Little Fury Things
  • Out There
  • Feel The Pain 
  • Mountain Man
  • Start Choppin’
  • Freak Scene
  • Gargoyle

Encore

  • Kracked 
  • Sludgefeast
  • Just Like Heaven (The Cure cover) 

Most Memorable Songs: Feel The Pain, Little Fury Things, The Wagon, To Be Waiting, and Just Like Heaven.

Number of Moshes: 17

Review & photos – Saro Hartounian

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