The parade of surprise guests at Dinosaur Jr.‘s 30th anniversary Where You Been shows went to another level last night (Jan. 17) at Seattle’s Neptune Theatre, with Dave Matthews, Soundgarden/Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron and Mudhoney frontman Mark Arm all making unannounced appearances during the set.
First up was Cameron, whom banter-averse frontman J. Mascis introduced simply as “an old labelmate of ours” from a period in the late ’80s when both Dinosaur Jr. and Soundgarden recorded for SST Records. Fittingly, Dinosaur Jr. drummer Murph took a breather while Cameron manned the kit on “Yeah We Know,” which is drawn from the band’s final SST album, 1998’s Bug.
From there, Arm dusted off his best Iggy Pop impression on a pair of Stooges covers, “Real Cool Time” and “TV Eye.” But by far the biggest surprise came in the form of Matthews, a longtime Seattle resident not usually associated with Dinosaur Jr.’s style of loud alternative rock. Matthews held his own as he strummed the familiar main guitar line of Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer,” a song Dave Matthews Band has covered more than 20 times in the past two decades. The musicians jammed on the track for nearly 13 minutes, ending the main set on a particularly high note.
Since the Where You Been tour began last month with seven shows at New York’s Music Hall of Williamsburg, Dinosaur Jr. has welcomed everyone from Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock (twice!), Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus, the Breeders’ Kim Deal, Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Jason Isbell, the Roots’ Kirk Douglas, TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone and Don Caballero/Battles guitarist Ian Williams.
The group returns to Seattle again tonight and has U.S. dates on its books through Jan. 27 in Burlington, Vt. Dinosaur Jr. will then visit Australia and New Zealand next month, ahead of a European tour beginning May 26 at the U.K.’s Bearded Theory Festival.