Minus the Bear | 5.14.07

live_minusbearI guess it's been awhile since I've been to a "scene" show. But, really, since when is Minus the Bear "scene?"

 

 

 

 

w/The Honorary Title, Chin Up Chin Up
Pop's, Sauget, Ill.

Since when do scenesters look so trashy? All of the kids that are here look about 17 or 18 years old, and they're all carrying their precious Bud Selects around, looking scene. I guess it's been awhile since I've been to a "scene" show; I tend to lean over to the indie side these days. But, really, since when is Minus the Bear "scene?" After this startling conclusion, I attempted to remember if Minus the Bear had made any sort of appearance on My Super Sweet Sixteen, Real World, or Grey's Anatomy, or another specific type of "pop-culture" crap that seems to be dominating the media these days. I came up with nothing.

Other than the odd audience at this shindig, the concert was great. Pop's was almost full (the venue being only half open), and the sound was excellent. Chin Up Chin Up started off the party tonight, and after being warned that they didn't put on a very good show, I was extremely happy that they were bouncing around and occasionally speaking to the audience. Their sound is perfect: quirky beats with witty lyrics, equally blending guitar, drums, and bass. The only problem is that all their songs sound the same. Sometimes there's a small keyboard jam, which is great…but then the same awesome sounds begin again. It got really old, really fast. But as already stated, their sound is wonderful. They played a lot of songs from their album, This Harness Can't Ride Anything, including the title track.

The Honorary Title played second. Having seen them before, I knew what to expect: classic rock-sounding guitar riffs with wry, sarcastic, and bittersweet lyrics layered over constant drum beats. They played almost their whole album, Anything Else But the Truth, throughout the show. There wasn't a lot of band banter, but we all did find out that one of the band members originally hails from St. Louis, so we all got to see his family perching up on the balcony, drinking their PBR's and "wooo-ing" everything they were mentioned from the stage. Their set was pretty well built, full of some of their more passionate songs, like "Bridge and Tunnel" and "Everything I Once Had."

Finally, Minus the Bear. I had seen them almost two years prior, at the Gargoyle. At this point in time, I had heard none of their songs and virtually knew nothing about them, but they put on a great show. Stupdendous! So, my standards were set pretty high for this evening's show. I was expecting hilarious band banter, whimsical synth pieces, and bodacious drum beats.

I guess I shouldn't complain; I got two outta three. They played excellently, but I was just bored by their show. It was pretty sad, because I realized that this was the first show that I was not completely engaged in from start to finish. They had worn off of me; I was no longer a Minus the Bear virgin. And that was just fine, but it broke my heart a little. They played lots of songs from Menos el Oso, including "The Game Needed Me" and "Hooray."

In all, it was a pretty good evening: good music, good venue, good crowd (or something). But I would most definitely consider this my coming-of-age show, when I realized that the magical days of enjoying every concert I go to are over, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. | Kaylen Hoffman

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