Tag: In The Venue

Minus The Bear:Has It Been 10 Years Already?



Minus The Bear 10/05/11

In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT

Words/Photos by Meredith

Beards. I love them, you love them, and let’s face it: they rocked us all while attached to prog-rockers Minus The Bear this Wednesday in Utah. I had the privilege of finding a good spot on the rail early on, before the openers Velveteen took the stage. I think that the choice in opener complimented MTB well. While Velveteen crooned away on stage, they reminded me of The Mars Volta, a little better version of Muse, and some hints of Coldplay(without the whining). Velveteen incorporated the keyboard with heavy and lengthy tunes interjected with soft and powerful vocals. I was pleased to see the singer sit down and sing a gentle, airy tune after the overwhelming jams they’d been busting out previously. I honestly lost track of how many songs they played, but I would go see them again. I had a great time watching the guitarist rock his socks off and really giving his all to each song. If I had to guess, I’d say they had the stage for about 45 minutes or so, and it was really good stuff.

After clearing the stage, we thought that we would get some Minus The Bear rather quickly. However, there was what appeared to be some technical difficulties, and Alex Rose made an early walk-on to take a look at his keyboards. Shortly after, MTB walked out to a crowd that couldn’t have been happier to see them. Being that this was the 10th Anniversary Tour, the album Highly Refined Pirates was played in its entirety(along with other surprises). MTB is a band that I can honestly say sounds better live than most bands I’ve seen. Considering in the last 18 months I’ve heard about 70 different acts performing live, you can take my word on the subject. They are true professionals, growing in their sound and creating something that is undoubtedly their own. I can’t name any other bands that sound like MTB, and frankly, I don’t need to. If you want to hear songs about adult things, in adult ways, here you go.

I personally enjoyed hearing this album because while it is older, it still captivates it’s listeners. While standing in the crowd, I’d watch the concert-goers’s faces light up when a song would start, and they’d turn to me and say “this is my favorite!”.  There were plenty of people there on a “school night”. I was impressed with the diversity of the crowd as well. It was nice to put faces to the people who like me, turn on MTB for a drive, a day of relaxing, or searching the fiber of our beings.

A word of advice: if you have not seen this band, go. Don’t wait another ten years to soak in the wonder of what these guys do. Pick up any of their fine albums, Omni(yeah I have on double vinyl), Menos El Oso, Planet of Ice….and so on. You won’t be sorry. For your visual enjoyment, a photo gallery by me, below.

Matt and Kim @ In the Venue 06/20/11 Salt Lake City, UT

Matt and Kim 06/20/11

In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT

Words/Photos by Meredith

My oh my, I had no idea what a ride I was in for when I herded into In the Venue for Matt and Kim with The Thermals. I’d decided to check this show out after a good friend of mine told me that her boyfriend wouldn’t go with her again. I thought, they couldn’t be that bad, could they?

Well, much to my delight, Matt and Kim brought it. For a duo, they have this monstrous presence. You’d swear that there were five or six members on stage, but the couple outshines larger acts. With the opening band, The Thermals, setting up the crowd with their powerful and skilled rock sounds, the venue was bursting at the seams for Matt and Kim to take the stage. It was a Monday night here in Salt Lake. Someone told me that “Salt Lake City doesn’t have a strong or popular enough market for concerts”. Nuts to that; just ask Matt and Kim. I’m going to guess and say that the crowd that was gathered for this show put some of the bigger names to shame. I’d venture to say that they may have beat out Taking Back Sunday’s crowd from last week.

First off, Kim is a monster on the drums. I think she must have specially made sticks to withstand the force that she’s subjecting them to. She stands on the drums, wails on them, directs the crowd like an orchestra, all while keeping the beat. She is one of the most animated and enjoyable performers I’ve yet seen. She seems to honestly enjoy what she is doing. Many times throughout the show, she stopped along with Matt to tell Salt Lake City not only how amazed they were with the turn out, but how the fans enable them to continue to do what they love.

Matt has his own thing going on too.  He jumps up on to the seat at his keyboard, rallies the crowd, tells stories, and overall, gushes to fans how much he loves his job of pleasing them by making music. This act comes off as purely genuine. Matt and Kim played songs from their new album “Sidewalks”. They covered classics, including “Silver Tiles”, their very first song written together. We heard “Good Old Fashioned Nightmare” and “Yea Yeah”, which was just outstanding. I personally enjoyed it while in the middle of a song they busted into Biz Markie’s “You Got What I Need” . The crowd sang along and bounced like hyped-up kids to every song, shouting every word and danced the entire time.  I met people at this show who were the ultimate superfans, using the songs of Matt and Kim at their recent wedding and holding out to meet them(with success I might add).

If you like Indie tunes, even if you don’t, if your girlfriend “drags” you along to this, the rules are simple: sit back, have a drink, dance, and enjoy.

Taking Back Sunday with Thursday, 06/15/11 Salt Lake City UT

Taking Back Sunday (w/ Thursday) 06/15/11

In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT

Words/Photos by Meredith

Here we are again at In the Venue. This place varies for me, sometimes it is outstanding, and other times it is way too crowded, smelly, and has poor lighting. This was one of the good times. I was lucky enough to get press access to snap photos of Taking Back Sunday and guests Thursday this Wednesday. Confused yet? Yeah me too. This was my first time seeing both of these bands. In addition to the headliners, two other bands performed. They were The New Regime, and Colour Revolt. It is rare that I go to a show and enjoy the openers this much. Both of these bands brought heavy, crunchy yet melodic tunes. I kind of felt like I was watching little Led Zeppelins being born. Both bands were being watched intently by lead singer Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday. I appreciated that because I haven’t seen many bands that do that. He watched, studied, and applauded very sincerely. I didn’t snap any photos of these two, but I would venture to guess that they will be big, soon. Good stuff and worth a listen, especially live.

When it was time for Thursday to start, I had to skinny into a photo pit that was maybe four feet deep. I’m not kidding. It was still light outside, and insanely hot inside. It was 94 during the day, add about 500 sweaty folks, and you’ve got yourself a crowd. Thursday front man Geoff Rickly wasted no time in getting started. The band opened with “Fast to the End”. I was lucky enough to snag a photo of the set list, which I heard from fans was accurate. There were lasers, screams, jumps, and all around energy during this performance.

This is a list from the pic I took of what was played:

1. Fast to the End 2. Counting(5-4-3-2-1) 3. Magnets(Caught in a Metal Heart) 4. Understanding (A Car Crash) 5. No Answers 6. Cross(Out the Eyes) 7. Sparks(Against the Sun) 8. Jet Black 9. Turnpike(Divides). Thursday has a new album out called “No Devoulcion” available now.

Moving on to the main act now, Taking Back Sunday…..I had no idea what I was in store for. I got to attend sound check with a few winners of two contests here locally. That was a treat. The band was cordial, and sounded really good. I have to say that I was nervous about getting crushed by some crowd surfers during the actual show though. The venue was busting at the seams, and surging with energy as they chanted “TBS! TBS!TBS!” . When the band took the stage, they opened with “El Paso(again, per a picture I snapped of the list). That was followed by “Make Damn Sure”, which had the crown, teens and hipsters alike, crooning along with the song. The lighting for this set was amazing. Lasers always make for a impressive addition, and that was certainly the case. Other songs from the list include “Bike Scene”, “Liar”, “180″, “Error” and “Faith”. Front man Adam Lazzara had some special moments, reaching out and holding hands with a fan.  There were more, see photos below. All in all, I’d say that this band has done well for themselves. They’ve got a huge fan base, a great stage presence, and were awesome to watch. There was not a song I didn’t enjoy. As they continue this tour, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to this show. A new album is due out in the next few weeks as well.


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