Concert review - Minus the Bear at the Wilbur Theatre

Last night, I attended Minus the Bear's Boston tour stop at the Wilbur Theatre. Having never seen these guys before, I was really interested in seeing how their multi-textured sound would translate to a live setting. As my friends and I entered the mid-sized venue, we made sure to get very close to the stage, about three rows back.

This was one of the first shows I've been to in a while where I've really enjoyed both opening bands without ever having heard them before. First off were Young the Giant, who hail from SoCal. Though the band's sound was nothing exceptionally original, their lead guitarist peeled off tons of glassy, spacy lead tones and interesting on-the-spot reverse delay loops.

Next up were Everest, who were simply awesome. Though they seemed like yet another classic rock revivalist group at first, the group began employing its three guitarists to create huge layers of unfolding chords. In addition to providing high-flying vocals, singer/guitarist Russell Pollard hopped behind a second drum set for a few songs to provide some extra percussion.

Finally, Minus the Bear took the stage around 10. As much as I hate to say it, I felt a little underwhelmed by the headlining act, especially after the excellent openers. Though guitarist Dave Knudson was busting out complex two-handed tapping licks like there was no tomorrow, several elements of the performance kept it from being particularly memorable. For one, the setlist relied heavily on hookless, uninteresting cuts from "Omni," which was released this Tuesday. The crowd hardly got into the music, mostly content to bob their heads along to the music or sing along occasionally--except for this one guy who kept screaming out "Hello!" angrily. In return, the band was not very interactive with their fans, with frontman Jake Snider only uttering a few remarks between songs. For a band whose music is rather cold and detached on record, the lack of warmth and energy translated to a rather mechanical performance. Sure, Minus the Bear played all their songs with top-notch precision, but they were lacking a spark to ignite their performance.

Listen to "My Time," the lead-off track off of "Omni," below.

1 comment: