In the Venue is notorious for overly priced tickets, overcrowding, and lethal but expensive long islands. Thursday brought a change of pace and sense of intimacy to the scene, since many music lovers flocked to the free summer concert series at Pioneer Park, leaving the venue to true blue fans of Everest, Mini Mansions, and the headliner, Minus the Bear.
This created, as Goldilocks would deem it, a ‘just right’ Thursday night. Most concert- goers were excited to get a glimpse of Minus the Bear, whose earlier recordings date back to at least 2001. In May, the experimental indie rock band from Seattle, Washington released their newest and possibly greatest album yet, OMNI, and is currently on tour to promote it.
In the Venue is not known for great acoustics, but this did not diminish Minus the Bear’s overall performance. The set list seamlessly incorporated new songs, like the latest single “My Time,” and older tracks like “Pachuca Sunrise.” The band boasts two good guitarists, (lead singer Jake Snider, and Dave Knudson on bass), (Cory Murchy) and drums (Erin Tate) but new keyboardist and backing vocals Alex Rose. Former keyboardist and producer Matt Bayles left in 2006. This combined with the electro tinge provided by sensual synthesizers, provocative lyrics like in “Animal Backwards,” “caught in the pool of your green-eyed glow/she is a wolf looking through my window” and quirky and spirited hooks, all led to a very entertaining if not arresting show.
Minus the Bear exudes a certain distinguished polish that can only be generated through hard work and experience. The band had a certain presence and charisma that translated very well onstage. According to Knudson on their official website, “One of the things we wanted to do was capture more of the live energy; we feel like the live show is really where you get to see what we’re doing.” This is certainly what they did for a very appreciative crowd at In the Venue.
If you missed this concert, don’t worry. Minus the Bear will be on a US and overseas tour to promote OMNI the rest of the summer. For a list of tour dates and other information, visit their official website minusthebear.com. To get your take on their funky fresh album, head to a local retailer near you.