My ears were in heaven. Literally. Tell me it’s Minus the Bear’s 10th anniversary tour and I’m there, regardless of the two exams I had looming over me the next day. The evening can be summed up by a mixture of amazing instrumentals bouncing through your ears with a crowd that immersed itself wholly in the music. The crowd amassed an entire age range and the Royale’s impressive sound system emphasized just how brilliant these guys are at creating music. The whole experience was ethereal; the strobe light show cascaded around the venue and you couldn’t see anything except the band members and the passion emanating from them.
The concert opener, Californian band Velvet Teens, provided a rough start to the show. Not doing much to wow the crowd, the audience was actually bored for the first few songs. They played for about an hour and only towards the end did the crowd get really into it. Their vocals and instrumentals didn’t complement each other as cohesively as they could have. With minimal applause and feel from the crowd, the band only fueled the already high anticipation for Minus the Bear’s entrance.
Patiently enduring the opening act, it was around 9 p.m. when Minus the Bear finally took the stage and the crowd went wild. Having ten years of experience, this indie rock band has the experience and talent to awe an entire venue. The members are perfect complements to each other; amazing edgy vocals match amazing riffs of bass, synths and drums. Simply put, the entire performance was pure, beautiful, rock music. As it was their 10th anniversary tour, they were celebrating their first album “Highly Refined Pirates” released in 2002, and although they focused mainly on that album, they managed to hit each EP and album of theirs. It was a great setlist; an excellent dynamic of the old and the new. As the show progressed, it was evident that the band truly enjoyed playing for their fans and having fun at the same time. The show was simply about giving audience something unforgettable. Minus the Bear really has an act of giving you the unexpected; the second the bass stops playing you think the song is over, but it’s actually only slowing down to be re-amped by a slew of enhanced synths or vice versa with other instruments. While most bands today have such huge varieties in what they sound like live versus their albums, Minus the Bear sound breath-taking live.
As the concert neared an end, the band played crowd favorites such as “Into the Mirror” and “My Time,” ending the show with “Pachuca Sunrise.” There wasn’t a moment in that hour and a half set where everyone wasn’t standing up, dancing to the music and singing along, helping the band celebrate a grand ten years. The show was a great exhibition of the band’s ability to keep fostering their creative talent and attempting new ideas with their music, despite their seniority. An eclectic band, Minus the Bear offers great energy and a wonderful experience to anyone whose ears’ get the pleasure of hearing any of their songs. Minus the Bear really knows what their audience needs.