WATCH: Jason Isbell and Dinosaur Jr cover ‘Cortez the Killer’

Dinosaur Jr is rocking his way through his residency with some major special guests, including Jason Isbell, Kim Deal & Kurt Vile

Nearing the end of their residency at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, trailblazing alt-rock legends Dinosaur Jr were joined by Laura Jane Grace and Jason Isbell on stage last night, notching two more names in this tour’s long list of special guest stars. 

One of the band’s favourite tunes to cover live is Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s “Cortez the Killer”, which is where country-rock star Jason Isbell stepped in to sing lead.

Isbell had come straight from playing with Punch Brothers across the East River, and later took to Twitter saying that he “finally got to play [his] preferred volume again” with Dinosaur Jr; “I know it’s not healthy […] but tbh there’s only one way to really get that terrible magical sound. It’s gotta be everything louder than everything else.”

Isbell’s appearance at the gig was immediately followed by that of Laura Jane Grace, leader of punk rock outfit Against Me!.

She played guitar for Dinosaur Jr during their performance of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven”, which the band famously covered on record in 1987. Within a day of the show, Laura Jane Grace released her latest single “Cuffing Season”, taken from her upcoming solo album Hole in My Head

The December sixth concert was one of a series of shows Dinosaur Jr have made over the past month, celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of Where You Been – their fifth studio album – across London and Brooklyn.

During the band’s current residency, they’ve treated fans to such alternative icons as Kim Deal (frontwoman of The Breeders, former Pixies bassist), Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse), Kurt Vile (The War on Drugs’ former keyboardist), Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth co-founder), and more. 

Across the pond at London’s The Garage, Dinosaur Jr were joined on stage by director Kevin Ayoade – who lost a tooth at one of their 1992 gigs – and Kevin Shields of the seminal shoegaze band My Bloody Valentine.

Their scene-defining track “Only Shallow” was covered by Dinosaur Jr (with Don Fleming and Jay Spiegel of Gumball) just a few nights ago. 

Dinosaur Jr are bound for Australia (supported by Stepmother) and New Zealand (supported by Office Dog) late this summer.

Guitarist J Mascis has announced that he will perform a couple of solo side shows while the band is down under.

Read the full list of dates below:

Saturday 17 February – Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong (as part of Tent Pole festival) 

Wednesday 21 February – Enmore Theatre, Sydney

Friday 23 February – The Tivoli, Brisbane

Monday 26 February – Hindley Street Music Hall, Adelaide

Wednesday 28 February – Astor Theatre, Perth

Saturday 2 March – Auckland Town Hall, Auckland

(J Mascis)

Tuesday 20 February – Liberty Hall, Sydney

Saturday 24 February – The Triffid, Brisbane 

By Harrison Jones