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Minus the Bear

Nov 17, 2015

Ogden Theater, Denver, CO


Minus the Bear gets their interesting name from a story about a friend of the band going on the date. They asked him how it went and he replied: “You know that TV show from the ’70s B.J. and The Bear? It was like that minus the bear.” This humorous anecdote really has nothing to do with how you’d expect the band to sound. Instead, they play this sort of mix of Indie Rock and Math Rock with picturesque, introspective lyrics which has always made for great driving music.


This tour, they were doing a 10 year anniversary of “Menos El Oso” which, as you can probably put together, is Spanish for “Minus the Bear”. This is their second album and definitely my favorite from them. I’d caught them briefly at RiotFest in Denver a few years back, but this was certainly a more intimate setting to see them playing my favorite material.


They rocked out hard on songs like "Michio's Death Drive" and “Drilling” favorites of mine and I could really appreciate how good their drummer (Erin Tate) is live. They played their complicated start-stop time signatures seamlessly and kept the crowd on their feet (except for the kid next to me who was practically asleep standing up the whole show).  I must say, my only complaint, unfortunately, was that their singer (Jake Snider) was pretty soft the whole show. He has a unique voice that was often getting drowned out and this was something the sound crew really should have picked up on. Outside of playing “Menos El Oso” in its entirety, they played some newer material which had their signature sound but nothing I was familiar with.


I’m starting to feel pretty old when some of my favorite bands from back in the day are already playing anniversary shows! Even though this isn’t a band I’ve necessarily kept up with over the past 10 years, it’s always fun for me seeing an album live that definitely had its place in my cd player at a time in the past.


Article By: Chris Beliveau

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