This Seattle-based band is comprised of five members, most of whom have been playing in this band since its inception in 2001. Jake Snider takes the lead on vocals, playing a mean guitar as well. Cory Murchy throws around a wicked bass while Dave Knudson does his part- turning out his guitar. Alex Rose rounds out the sound, lending his voice to backing vocals and lets his fingers do the walking- on the keyboard. And holding down the fort while kickin' a new flava in your ear- Erin Tate on drums.
The crowd seemed insanely happy with every song that was sung, bouncing around and shouting the lyrics into the air. They clapped along fanatically to almost every song, keeping in league with the momentum Minus the Bear themselves created.
One song flowed into the next as they ran through songs, pulling heavily from the 2002 release of Highly Refined Pirates. The inclusion of this album- performed thoroughly- was one of the advertised perks of this tour. As each song was revealed, the entire crowd roared with approval as each note left their respective instruments.
The difference between the live show and the studio releases was the clarity of sound. The albums are clear and concise, each part distinctive and fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle. The sound of the actual performance was layered differently, the instruments and vocals ricocheting around the speakers.
I stood behind some kids who were scheming to get backstage. They were hardcore planning, as though they were about to embark on an expedition. Each time a shaft of fluorescent light escaped out of the backstage door- they craned their necks in its direction, and began refining their plot to perfection. The only thing they were missing was the map with X marks the spot.
The end of the show came sooner than expected. Snider flashed the thumbs-up to the audience as he and the rest of the band members exited the stage.
After taking a group bow and singing an inordinately large amount of songs for the encore- they settled into a hypnotic version of 'Pachuca Sunrise' as the grand finale for this show.
The show ended with more band members mimicking the Fonz's hand signal in the air- interspersed by many 'thank you guys.' The final two band members remained onstage taking pics, and throwing picks, and then the stage was abandoned.
And now the roadies break down the stage- signaling the kids in front of me put their plan into effect and sneak backstage.