Last year Dinosaur Jr. celebrated their album “Bug” by playing the 1988 release in its entirety following an onstage q&a session with Henry Rollins. This DVD captures the trio’s Washington D.C. performance at the legendary 9:30 Club as part of the “In the Hands of the Fans” series, where devotees film the show and then go backstage to interview the artist.
As much as I love the band it’s not as if J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph are the best subjects for your television screen. A previous In the Hands of the Fans followed the energetic Iggy Pop gyrate his way through a Stooges concert. This lacks that visual element.
The fans do get their chance to ask the band members questions but it starts off like a bad first date. They are more expansive with the second grouping of interviewers. While that situation was a victim of circumstance, the onstage portion with Rollins suffers because it sounds as if the microphone set to capture it is set in the middle of the boisterous crowd rather than taken from a soundboard patch. A one-to-one with director Dave Markey and Mascis in an alley during soundcheck actually works the best.
It’s appealing to receive a rare glimpse of the band behind-the-scenes and, once again, experience the group’s powerful wall of sound, but the “Live at 9:30 Club” works best for Dinosaur Jr. fans as a live document to listen to with bonus material that inexplicably includes numbers played during the second encore rather than in their proper place as part of the overall set.