Dinosaur Jr. sounded better than ever at The Truman
Columbia's Drona stole the show in their opening slot
with Ryley Walker and Drona
Saturday, September 24
Dinosaur Jr. took graced the Metro area on Saturday when they took the stage at The Truman in their first return back since the Covid pandemic. Their set, unsurprisingly, was one that left the crowd singing every word, moving to every beat, and everyone at least satisfied by the last note, if not wanting for more. The trio, while aging with time, never sounded better, and seemed to thrive off of the crowd’s energy in return.
However, the real spotlight of the night didn’t come from the touring acts (Ryley Walker, who is currently touring with Dinosaur Jr., came on second for the night), but rather the young trio of siblings that took the stage to open the night, a band called Drona. This band, ranging in age from 12 to 17, hailed from Columbia, Missouri, and this band appreciated the crowd, all the while being completely frightened by it, which made the experience real, and less “just going throw the motions of another show” antics and movements that you see repeated in other bands. This night, this band, was fresh and real.
Sure, the band has played a few shows before, but nothing like this. One could see 12-year-old Pasha’s eyes dart from one side of the venue to the other, then back again, with a slight panic look on her face as the crowd grew in size during their set. Surya, who plays guitar, drums, and sings, seemed try and not let the large crowd intimidate him, but Arjuna, who plays bass, guitar, drums and sings, welcomed the on lookers. This did not change as each member of the band switched between instruments as the night continued. However, by the end of Drona’s set, Pasha, who plays bass, guitar, glockenspiel, and sings even started to smile as they realized that a dream had come true.
What was that dream? It was one that started off with the band saying that they were fans of Dinosaur Jr. even before they were born, since that was their mother’s (who is their manager and merch vendor) favorite band, and they all “grew up” listening to the band. Prior to the pandemic, they had all purchased tickets for the show, originally scheduled for 2020. However, since nothing was going on for the past year and a half, the trio decided to start a band, and learn everything that they could about music. This led to a demo being recorded and then sent to a few people. Before long, they got the word that none other than Dinosaur Jr. wanted the kids to open for them when they came through Kansas City.
The night ended with smiles on everyone’s face, with memories of a great show alternative/indie rock show all around. All three bands had their experiences on the stage and captivated everyone in their own ways, but for Arjuna, Surya, and Pasha, this past Saturday will be a night that they will remember for the rest of their lives, as well as those who were lucky enough to catch their opening set.
All photos by Chris Ortiz
Dinosaur Jr. setlist
Little Fury Things
I Expect It Always
To Be Waiting
I Met the Stones
Been There All the Time
Feel the Pain
Forget the Swan
Just Like Heaven (The Cure cover)