Brontide + Tall Ships + Minus the Bear = FUN.
(Editor’s note: due to a schedule problem, Brontide couldn’t be reviewed. Sorry.)
They say that you shouldn’t meet your heroes, as the expectations can be so high that the reality will never measure to whatever mental image you’ve made in your head.
Dunno who ‘they’ are, but if I led my life to what ‘they’ said, I’d still have a bully’s boot sole in my face , pinned down to the ground.
But enough about Catholic school and more about music.
I missed Brontide. No excuses. I missed the band. So the gig started for me with Tall Ships, an amazing surprise. It’s one of hell of a show, swinging back and forth between some interesting math rock muscle flexing and some good old synth stuff thrown in just because.
They played the entirety of their EP and two new songs (‘Chemistry’ and ‘Beanie’). A six (only six? Need more!) song set that was a near upstaging of the main act that night at the Academy.
Which was Minus the Bear. Any FUD caused by previous live recordings in Youtube was quickly dispelled. No matter how well (or not) was shot, any video recording of them fails to capture their live vibe (and cool, friendly atmosphere).
While everyone was getting their stuff in place, Dave Knudson did his typical DL-4 shenanigans, quickly recording his guitar licks into the loop pedals, as somewhat of a teaser of what was coming up (got goosebumps when heard ‘Knights’).
Jake Snider (voice, guitars) had a lovely back and forth with the audience, remarking that it was a very nice weather (they come from rainy Seattle, maybe they could check Sheffield the other 350 days of the year?). His vocals were excellent, too, an almost dry delivery that goes for full emotion when it’s necessary (that bit about “we’re just bodies” in ‘The Fix’ sent shivers down my spine).
It was also great to hear to a song that makes me think of a good friend of mine. Dunno why I crossrelate ‘Pachuca Sunrise’ with my friend, maybe it’s the dreamy music being similar to her dreamy eyes. The live version was pretty much this warm feeling of a hug.
Clapping with the beat, hand swaying during ‘Throwin’ shapes’ and some idiot (mea culpa) yelling “YAR” at the top of his lungs were more fun moments of interaction with Minus the Bear, a band that doesn’t care about the size of the stage and just gives their best.
Song wise, they played 3 tracks from new album Omni and revisited stuff from Menos el oso (my second favourite), Planet of Ice and a couple of selected oldies but goodies. No tracks from They make beer commercials like this (my favourite) but the song selection was top notch
A graceful encore of two songs followed, with Alex Rose (keyboards) hitting his bandmates with a towel. Such is their sense of humour. And this fun energy (I know, sounds like new-age gobbledygook) is what makes Minus the Bear such an uplifting band. Sometimes you just need a happy song and they are happy to oblige. And if that song has a great rhythm section (take a bow, Cory and Erin), then more the better.
This new-age shenanigans about energy was kind of what I talked with the lovely Cory (bass) after their show. I made the faux pas saying that I didn’t like Omni, but that the live versions have that bit that was lacking. Maybe energy is something more than just some new-age shenanigan, then.
Never managed to do an interview with Minus the Bear, but any questions I could possibly had for them were pretty much answered by their great live show.
About the author: Okay, though, one question… why don’t you like Rob’s non-Earthly friend and which is your favourite Sealab 2021 episode?
3 My Time
4 Summer Angel
5 Ice Monster
6 Hold me down
7 The Fix
8 When we escape
9 Spritz!!! Spritz!!!
10 Pachuca Sunrise
11 Throwin’ shapes
12 Dayglow Vista Road
13 Into the mirror
14 Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse
Minus The Bear