REVIEW: Minus The Bear Headlines Webster Hall, Still Doesn’t Have A Bear

Indie rockers Minus The Bear – who definitely do not have a bear – headlined NYC’s Webster Hall last Tuesday to the tune of a 17-song setlist in support of Voids, and put on an excellent show for the many fans in attendance. It’s worth mentioning that direct support on this tour, Beach Slang, are awesome in their own right and will be headlining their own tour later this year. They’re worth a listen as a sometimes grunge, sometimes indie rock band that is full of energy and good music.

But, back to the nonexistent bear. Minus The Bear kicked the whole thing off with Last Kiss and Give & Take from the new album, which surprisingly only accounted for 6 of the show’s 17 songs. I know the band has other material the fans are paying to hear, but I was expecting to hear more of the new stuff on a setlist that long. That’s only slightly disappointing when you consider the rest of the set included 3 from OMNI – Excuses, Into The Mirroand My Time, and 2 each from Infinity Overhead and Menos el oso.

I get it, bands have to play their popular songs, and Minus The Bear has many of those. It’s hard to believe they’ve only been around since 2001; their fanbase and following along with the 6 albums they’ve released makes it seem longer. Still, 16 years is a long time for a band, especially in today’s pop-centric music scene where everything is over-produced and dudes with guitars don’t sell. So for Minus The Bear to still be a thing, selling records and filling up a venue, that’s pretty cool.

And I’m glad they’re still out there doing their thing, putting on shows and making music, because while they aren’t the biggest band in the world, they make great music and put on an even better live show. Guitarist Dave Knudson likes to play to the crowd – and the photographers – and that’s always fun, while frontman (or off-to-the-side-man, in this case) Jake Snider rocks it on vocals and the other guitar, with Cory Murchy bouncing around stage with the bass.

After 15 songs, the place went dark and the guys disappeared for a quick minute only to reappear – still without the bear – for two song encore consisting of Invisible and Pachuca Sunrise, and that was a wrap. So came to a close an excellent show by a band I’ve wanted to see for a while and somehow missed the last time they were on the road. That probably won’t happen a second time, the show is just too good to not see. I just wish I knew what they did to the damn bear.

Photo gallery below: