It was a chilly Tuesday evening (10.15.13) but inside House of Blues, Minus the Bear was on fire. Preceding were Swedish punk rock band, INVSN (pronounced “Invasion”) and Seattle indie rock Slow Bird, who both brought a high-energy performance, keeping the spirit alive leading up to the headliner.
Minus the Bear took the stage with full presence, opening with “Burying Luck,” the opening track from their 2007 album ‘Planet of Ice.’ The band did an excellent job of incorporating both old and new material which the smaller, yet dedicated crowd appreciated. The band played three songs each off of the albums ‘Omni’ (2010), ‘Highly Refined Pirates’ (2002) and ‘Menos El Oso’ (2005), and scattered in were “Lies and Eyes” and “Steel and Blood” from the 2012 album ‘Infinity Overhead,’ “Dog Park” from their 2004 EP ‘They Make Beer Commercials Like This,’ and “Riddles” from the ‘Acoustic II EP.’
A notable moment in the evening came when singer Jennae Quisenberry from show opener Slow Bird joined Minus the Bear on stage to do guest vocals for “Into the Mirror,” off of the band’s 2010 album, ‘Omni.’ Her exquisite voice added a certain charm to the song that left the crowd swaying back and forth to the music.
Half way through the set, vocalist Jake Snider put on an acoustic guitar, took a seat on a stool, and serenaded his fans with “Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse” and “Riddles,” both from the band’s recently released EP ‘Acoustics II.” Fans sat still and silently listened to him play his guitar and sing, snapping photographs and videos along the way.
Keeping the acoustic set short with just two songs, Minus the Bear returned to their electric, attention-grabbing tunes for the remainder of the evening, which fit well with the eye-capturing stage lighting. They finished up the regular setlist with “Knights,” from ‘Planet of Ice,’ and thanked the fans for their time.
As the band walked off stage, people began trickling outdoors and I moved closer to the stage to watch the encore which included “Women We Haven’t Met Yet,” from ‘Highly Refined Pirates,’ and crowd-pleaser and a personal favorite, “Pachuca Sunrise,” off of ‘Menos El Oso.’ If you’re a Minus the Bear fan, you’ve most likely heard “Pachuca Sunrise,” which made for an appropriate choice to end the night. Fans seemed pleased with the setlist as they exited the House of Blues, chatting with each other and laughing.