I had already seen Minus the Bear several times through the years, so witnessing them this time around was not as exciting as the first or second time around. I was more or so hyped up to catch Cursive / Good Life front-man Tim Kasher present his solo material in a live setting.
Having seen both Cursive and Good Life as well as Tim himself open for Azure Ray, I already knew what to expect when it came to his stage performance. Tim knows how to command an audience without acknowledging them, which is a magnificent skill to see first hand. His deeply emotional expressions mixed with his revealing lyrics are carried along with achingly catchy pop riffs and tightly arranged song structure.
This performance was much more polished than the last solo appearance he made here in San Francisco. This is thanks to the recently completed and released solo album, The Game of Monogamy. Almost all tracks made their San Francisco debut including the screamingly intense A Grown Man, the smokey Good Life-esqe There Must Be Something I’ve Lost,and the swingingly catchy Cold Love. The band also covered David Bowies Soul Love and churned out only one Cursive song, The Recluse. The rest of Kasher’s touring band made the experience complete; much of this was due to cellist Lewis Pazner from local Bay Area string-metal outfit, Judgement Day. Lewis added a much needed darkness and balance to Tim’s already drunken and organized chaos. A fun set from this always entertaining artist.
[mp3] Tim Kasher – Cold Love from The Game of Monogamy (2010)
I have been a fan of Minus the Bear for quite some time now and they seem to get gradually more popular by the year by small increments. Still touring on the tails of this year’s latest record, OMNI, Minus the Bear still paid tribute to their older material, dividing it up with songs from Planet of Ice, Menos El Oso, and Highly Refined Pirates.
This however was probably the least impressive show I’ve seen from them. While Minus isn’t known for having a commanding stage presence, this time around seemed extra bland if not carefully calculated with no room for surprise. Past shows involved a bit more improvisation, group animation, and even giant inflated balls thrown into the crowd. But while I was content with this performance, the people next to me were losing their minds. Now, I’m not against enjoying yourselves, but when audience members start freaking the fuck out and yelling, “Oh dear God YES! I love this song, this is the best day of my life, Jesus Christ is this really happening?!?!” , you have to wonder why these people had to stand next to you.
Crowd favorites from Menos El Oso like Drilling and Memphis & 53rd were fun to hear as well as oldies Absinthe Party At The Fly Honey Warehouse and Thanks For The Killer Game Of Crisco Twister were unlikely additions to a setlist I assumed would be riddled with new material. They still performed songs off OMNI like My Time and Summer Angel, which I can’t seem to get into compared to their previous work. I guess MTB are gradually maturing and their audience seems to be noticeably growing along with them. I just hope next time the crowd is a bit less…overwhelming.
[mp3] Minus the Bear – My Time from OMNI (2010)