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Holy Crap, Minus the Bear is Good.

by Mike

Seattle natives Minus the Bear played at the Grog Shop this past Saturday, September 17th with These Arms are Snakes and Thunderbirds are now, to a shockingly large crowd. I've been in attendance for Minus the Bear's past 3 Cleveland shows and they are usually not the headlining act, nor do they pull a large crowd. Saturday's show basically negated this. Minus the Bear headlined, and it appeared that the show may have been close to selling out; there looked to be about 300 people inside. All the bands played satisfactorily I must admit, though I am not particularly a fan of Thunderbirds or These Arms Are Snakes. Thunderbirds are now opened with a rather uneventful set that seemed to go on a little too long. These Arms came on next, and I was rather impressed with their first few songs which were much harder than I had anticipated for a band sporting an Indie look. The crowd really moved when they started up. Their sound seemed to be a mixture of the Blood Brother's noisy guitar, intense drums, rough vocals sound, mixed with some interesting synth work. However, they too became uninteresting after about 5 songs, because they lacked variation, and the noise really started to ware on me near the end of their set. Minus the Bear finally came on around 11:30 and played one of the best sets I've ever seen, which included alot of material off their brand new release "Menos el Oso". The new record has alot of very synthy sampling mixed with Minus the Bear's usual pumped up, but smooth, rock sound. The crowd was unusual as I mentioned earlier in that they were so rowdy, probably a product of kids who came to see the openers. Minus the Bear is an anti-crowd surfing band and they seemed a little confused or insulted by the great number of people getting up on stage and dancing rather violently in the crowd. Their bass player and keys man went as far as too physically push and kick people off the small stage while they were playing. As good as their sound was (and it was fantastic) I was generally disappointed with the show because the crowd was so weak. More dancing, and less moshing would have made it a excellent evening.


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