Photos and review by: Jason Robey
TEMPE, AZ — English alternative rockers Dinosaur Pile-Up brought their electrifying set to the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, AZ on Tuesday, as the opening slot on tour with Chevelle and Black Maps. Nothing about the packed house of waving arms and bopping heads would suggest they were opening the show, however.
Kicking off their half-hour set with “Red and Purple,” from their latest album, 2015’s 11-11, the three-piece took the stage with a Nirvana-like presence, bringing a modern touch to the sounds they grew up on. As an extra nod to their influences, during their second song, “Arizona Waiting,” they tagged in a few seconds of Weezer’s “Say it Ain’t So.”
Vocalist Matt Bigland, and his Gibson Explorer guitar, ripped through their short-but-sweet show, whipping the long hair that obscured his face between every line he sung. The only original member remaining in the group, Bigland described the origin of the band’s name in an interview.
“I watched that King Kong remake by Peter Jackson, there’s a stupid scene in that…where there’s a genuine dinosaur pile-up. They fall down in a ravine, because one of the other dudes accidentally trips and shoots one of the dinosaurs’ legs, and that results in a dinosaur pile-up…and I said ‘I say we call the band, Dinosaur Pile-Up.”
Dinosaur Pile-Up formed in 2007, releasing their first album, Growing Pains, in 2010. When asked about starting a band during such a changing time for music and pop-culture, Bigland said, “How you work a band now is very different. Like with social media…that’s a huge part of a band, now, unfortunately. It’s a classic situation of ‘I didn’t sign up for this,’ and, it is fun, and we have fun with it. But it’s this weird accessibility and this weird personality, that’s not necessarily real, in my opinion…it’s good and bad.”
Bigland, along with bassist Jim Cratchley and drummer Mike Sheils, have played quite a few festivals over the years, in addition to constant touring. Among their current goals are to headline the Reading and Leeds festival. For now, you can catch Dinosaur Pile-Up on their U.S. tour, supporting Chevelle and Black Maps.