This Minus the Bear article was written by Siobhan Scarlett, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse. Lead photo by

Entertaining and fun is the only way to describe a Minus the Bear gig, particularly this Leeds show. The Seattle indie rockers were marking the 10th anniversary of the breakthrough 2005 album, ‘Menos el Oso’. It felt like an anniversary party: both lovely and nostalgic.

Minus the Bear flung the audience into the music the minute they hit the stage. The quintet brought in the groove with ‘Memphis & 53rd,’ and then carried the audience toward the pounding heaviness of ‘Drilling’, always with a tight bassline running though. Remembering every lyric people sang along, remembering the old days.

The rough ‘Michio’s Death Drive’ kept a party vibe going before a mellow version of ‘Hooray’. The crowd were slung straight back into their youth, bopping to the tunes. They also cracked out a new hit, which was really dug by the audience.

The band worked in other highlights from their sizable catalogue including ‘Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse’ from 2002’s ‘Highly Refined Pirates,’ and a hearty rendition of ‘My Time’ from 2010’s ‘Omni’, which is always a crowd pleaser. The audience could feel the driving beat running through them.

‘Menos el Oso’ is a fairly gloomy album, which deals with some heavy issues. Touching on themes such as relationships, death and time, this album masterfully touched people emotionally whilst still being catchy. Not a mean feat. Despite this, the audience couldn’t help but dance to the songs upbeat rhythm. The band really engaged their audience, both new and old. They were filled with as much passion and skill as the day ‘Menos el Oso’ was first released.

Minus the Bear played a perfect mix of old and new songs. All of the musicians were having fun, both with the crowd and each other. It really showed how much they love playing and that it’s not just another show in a line of gigs. Minus the Bear really connected with the audience and gave us more reasons to love them. Along with the venue, the whole evening had a great vibe.

Snider of Minus the Bear made it clear to his buzzing audience that the band are back, so hopefully lots of new music will be on the way. Until then, ‘Menos el Oso’ and all the rose-tinted memories from it and this performance will keep the audience flying high.

Minus the Bear - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds (21st January 2016) - LIVE REVIEW

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