Sorry for not posting last night, but I absolutely knew I could not pass up the Minus the Bear concert. Even though I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather recently, I went and I am so glad I did. I found them a few years ago when I was listening to our public radio station which mostly plays classical music during the day and alternative/indie music at night that sounds closer to wailing than music. Somehow, a gem like Minus the Bear’s “My Time” made it on there and then I ended up finding the song for free on a Dangerbird Records (their old record label) sampler a few days later. Ever since, I’ve been hooked on their music.
Minus the Bear’s sound is kind of like Mutemath and Fall Out Boy and Arcade Fire all mixed up together, yet with an unexpected twist. It’s polished, dissonant, intricate, harmonious, pure and raw all at the same time. And bottom line: it’s fantastic.
They came on right at 10:00 (I arrived at 9:58…perfect timing on my part) and opened right up with Steel and Blood, an explosion of guitar riffs and hard percussion. Seamlessly, they transitioned into an oldie “The Fix,” which got the dedicated fans in the crowd going crazy. Jake’s voice soared over the instrumentation nicely and the chorus was completely perfect: hard and rough yet not too over-the-top. Genius. They went into “Diamond Lightning,” mellowing it out a bit, but cranking it back up with “Toska” and “Secret Country.” Then, they went into the crowd favorite: “My Time,” where every single person was moving, most cradling their drinks, (except for underage me…I think I was the only one under 18 in that whole place, even though it was an all-ages show), rocking back and forth and some guy was even fist-bumping (who fist-bumps in Iowa? Well, props to him, I guess). The band seemed to feed off the energy, going hard and furious on this song. They cooled it down a bit with “Absinthe Party At the Fly Honey Warehouse” and “Knights,” though neither song dragged. By this time, I was beginning to feel pretty tired so I hung around for “Let’s Play Guitar in a Five Guitar Band,” “Throwin’ Shapes,” and “I’m Not Totally Down with Rob’s Alien,” and heard the full-bodied glory of “Double Vision Quest” as I walked to my car.
Overall, the concert was amazing. All of the guys are incredible musicians who give it their all, no matter if they’re playing the newer stuff from “Infinity Overhead” and "OMNI" or their earlier songs off of “Highly Refined Pirates," "Planet Ice" or "Menos El Oso." They put on an incredible show and based on the crowd, I’d say all who came had a great time. Including the couple who danced to nearly every song, an impressing feat considering Minus the Bear’s music isn’t exactly perfect“ dancing” music. haha it was fun to see the crowd so involved.
If Minus the Bear is coming to your town, I would highly suggest you go! If not, at least check out their music which is available on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.
Next week, I’ll do another “What is Bella Listening To” installment, which may or may not feature a ton of Minus the Bear songs.