MINUS THE BEAR + BEACH SLANG @ THE BELASCO THEATRE
Photos by Lex Voight Words by Neelofer Lodhy
Making their way back to their hometown of Seattle on the last leg of a full-length North American tour in promotion of recent release Voids, Minus The Bear made a stop at The Belasco Theatre, which catered to the likes of long-time fans as they performed brand new songs and some from their earlier releases such as “Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse,” “Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco Twister,” “Pachuca Sunrise,” “The Game Needed Me,” and “Knights.”
Prior to Voids, Minus the Bear had been known for putting out new music every two to three years. Voids was highly anticipated due to the fact that it had been five years since their previous record Infinity Overhead.
Keeping to their unique delivery of indie rock, Minus the Bear stayed true to their distinct sound with keyboard heavy tunes, impressive guitar riffs and generally, their ever-melodious deliverance of impactful tracks.
Vocalist/guitarist Jake Snider praised keyboardist Alex Rose, who wrote and sang on the new album. Along with Rose’s velvety contributions, Snider’s voice is just as noteworthy as it has always been – eloquent and tranquil. To no surprise, Minus the Bear continues to lead a humble career as they always have, delivering one of the best live shows to date.
“Somewhere along the line, rock and roll started taking itself too seriously. We are here to make sure that stops.” Mainman vocalist/guitarist James Alex wasn’t kidding when Beach Slang preceded Minus The Bear.
“We’re Beach Slang from Philadelphia and we’re here to punch you in the heart! I’m so fucking drunk – I hope you feel at least half as happy as I do. I mean this sincerely – I am in love Los Angeles, and you are to blame! Thank you for being here with us tonight. Most of the tour it’s been pretty fucking chilly, but hey man, it’s a hot one in here tonight!”
The band had an on-going joke involving the song “Smooth” by Santana, much to the delight of the crowd. “Here are the two that have ever been written in print about us. One, the word “professional,” and two, just how large of an influence Santana songs featuring Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20 are on us. See when I was a kid, my grandma told me ‘Always dress your best for people you love.’ and hey LA, I look like one smooth motherfucker tonight!” We laughed every time the band made it a point to play “Smooth’s” memorable guitar riff after every quip.
Beach Slang engaged us more when they threw in riffs from Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy” and Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Give it Away.”
Throughout the evening, BS played tracks from their noteworthy LP’s The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us and their more recent release A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings. Later in the set, Alex dedicated an impressive cover of the Pixies’ “Where is my Mind” to a close friend of his.
Beach Slang are among one of the few bands left that can still fully deliver a true American punk rock aesthetic, both musically and humorously.