Tim Kasher’s high-hat, not-quite falsetto scream still seemed to fill the Blue Moose Tap House’s main stage as the crowd shuffled back in for the main event. The verdict amongst the crowd seemed unanimous: Cursive’s show had been a success. Concert goers were still reeling from their signature faster-faster-faster, grownup (but still very much hardcore) sound. And they were hungry for more.
Fog machines worked overdrive to create that familiar concert atmosphere and anticipation quickly spread. People were packed in shoulder-to-shoulder and the band hadn’t yet taken the stage. The heat was becoming almost unbearable just in front of stage left when the house lights went down. There was a sudden eruption of howls and frenzied applause when a door to the alley outside swung open. Minus The Bear had arrived and brought with them their Seattle brand of experimental rock n’ roll. They took the stage and hot white spilled from the stage lights to their rear, rendering them silhouettes. Red and blue laser-light intermixed and the show was officially under way.
During their roughly one and a half hour set Minus the Bear managed to play most of the songs from their new, generally well-received Infinity Overhead record. The one-two punch of “Diamond Lightning” and “Toska” punctuated the midway point of the show. Occasionally old favorites like “Throwing Shapes” and “Into the Mirror” were thrown in, giving fans a chance to sing along even if they weren’t as familiar with the new record.
This sing-along vibe was especially noticeable when the main microphone cable went out early in the show, leaving the crowd to fill in for Snider on the vocals. The crowd’s slurred-together shouting of the lyrics created a strange juxtaposition with the intricate keyboard work by Rose. With a band like Minus The Bear, where everything is so technically sound, changing something as apparent as the lead singer’s voice so drastically is bound to create a sense that something is not quite right. Yet, the crowd loved it, and these difficulties only lasted one song. The rest of the show went on without interruption. Before the band had time to leave the stage prior to their three song encore, a chant of “One more song!” rose from the audience. Within minutes Minus The Bear was back playing “Lonely Gun”. They closed the show with “Pachuca Sunrise” and a promise that they’d be back in Iowa again sometime soon. Here’s hoping they make good on that promise.