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.