Minus the Bear at Showbox in Seattle, WA
6.13.18 | Review by Camille Germain | Photos by Marissa Bowen
The final show of The Planet of Ice 10th anniversary tour was at the hometown of Minus the Bear, making it a performance of a lifetime. This band hits you in the throat and keeps on going. Their performance not only delivers emotive renderings, but connects with you and makes you feel like you’re living in the songs, the beats becoming your own sustenance. Minus the Bear brought more than just an entire album from start to finish but rather a concoction where the fans and the band could not be separated. I almost forgot how excellent these guys are live, almost. The last time I saw them was in Chicago at the Hard Rock Cafe, where it was an intimate performance, but seeing them play in Seattle had a whole new meaning. But before we go into too much detail of their breathtaking performance, let’s give some love to the amazing bands that opened the night.
Lemolo’s vocals was like glass, sharp and exuding a beautiful haunting resonance. Their sound fit fluidly with that of Minus the Bear's. A perfect little duo of a vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist and drummer. This little magical indie dream pop couplet delivered soul and a pureness in sound. If you’re a fan of bands like Daughter, this will be your jam. Lemolo is from Seattle, making them a perfect start to end another Seattle band’s tour.
Though The New Trust is heavier than Lemolo, they also aided in a complimentary fit to the sounds of Minus The Bear. The grungy three piece with similar vocals to Minus the Bear are comprised of two chicks and a dude rockin' hard from California. After having some difficulties with sound Sara Sanger (guitar/vocals) said “We are the great breakers. Everywhere we go. Things break. Not on purpose, we just kind of have that electro-magnetic thing”. The New Trust expressed how nice Minus the Bear are and how they invited them on the tour even without having a label. This band puts on a show that is both dark and energetic.
The punk from The New Trust’s performance carried through to Minus the Bear’s set with the crowd consistently trying to start a mosh pit. Though I wouldn’t put Minus the Bear in the category of mosh pits, it was fun. The audience was in it the whole time. The center of the floor thrashed about, created a wave reaction throughout the room. Some members of the audience were not amused, others had a smile permanently stamped onto their lips. People were having fun and others were letting them. Not only did people try to mosh, but there was a consistent flow of crowd-surfers riding the hands of the fans
Just after having a large tour for their new album Voids, Minus the Bear worked their progressive indie rock music across the country again the play Planet of Ice through its entirety. The show at points became a sing-a-long as the audience screamed out the lyrics to each song. The band played as clear as the recorded version, but with hilarious facial expressions and interactions. There were butt kicks, thumbs up, and middle fingers flying around the stage and to the audience. At one point a girl in the crowd lost her shoe and had at least five others with their phone lights on searching the floor for it. Jake Snider asked if everything was okay and the girl lifted her shoe in the air like a trophy screaming that it was found.
After the album finished spinning, the band was summoned back on stage for an encore where they delivered “Invisible” from Voids and the two most anticipated songs of the night, “Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse” and “Pachuca Sunrise”. The band was more than thankful for the crowd’s enthusiastic appreciation of their performance and thanked them multiple times for showing up. If you’ve never seen Minus the Bear live, make sure you do. What an experience it was with the fantastic off-primary lights that create the same psychedelic-adventure feeling of their music with their intense passion and laid-back demeanor.