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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 31 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 35
The bear cares
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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The bear cares

Minus the Bear supports marriage equality with intimate show

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

MINUS THE BEAR
COMET TAVERN
August 27


It's pretty cool when five presumed straight men publicly voice their support for same-sex marriage. It's even cooler when these men happen to be members of a rock band with a global fan base.

Minus the Bear, a Seattle-based indie outfit, announced a surprise performance at the Comet Tavern, a Capitol Hill dive bar, this week. Not only would locals be able to see the group perform live in a small club, but the show would cost the equivalent of a movie ticket. At a mere $10, the concert sold out in minutes, and a large group of ticketless fans gathered outside hoping to squeeze in.

This show, however, served a larger purpose. All proceeds from the cozy little gig were matched by the band and donated to Washington United for Marriage, which is spearheading the Approve R-74 campaign.

Shortly after 11 o'clock, the five-piece emerged from behind a black curtain onto the Comet stage, which was barely big enough to hold them all. The short concert kicked off with 'Steel and Blood,' a track from the band's just-released album, Infinity Overhead. The quite danceable 'Toska,' from the same disc, was ushered out next.

Lead singer Jake Snider didn't waste time relaying the obvious message to those gathered. 'The opposition is going to spend so much fucking money,' he said, as the largely straight crowd applauded and cheered.

'Let's be the first to do this!' Snider continued. 'Let's do this! Get out there and vote!'

'Into the Mirror,' from 2010's Omni, sounded great inside the tight quarters of the Comet Tavern, where concertgoers collected on the main floor, stood on benches, or peeked in from the bar area. Guitarist Dave Knudson, his blond hair either intentionally messy or unwashed for days, was often seen bobbing his head in rapid motion. Meanwhile, 'Throwin' Shapes' had everyone clapping along, as it was chock full of good, fun energy.

Right before closing out the main set, Snider offered more support for the cause and tied it into his own marriage, which recently hit the 10-year mark, saying, 'It's incredibly fucked up that people can't get married who are in love.'

Minus the Bear roared to a terrific finish, playing a gritty version of 'Cold Company,' with Snider growling on the chorus. Without a doubt, he's one of indie rock's most underrated vocalists.

Called back to the stage by audience chants of 'One more song!' the band played a brief encore that included a familiar favorite, 'Pachuca Sunrise.'

Minus the Bear is embarking on a national tour that will return them to Seattle on November 17, when they'll play The Showbox Market. Infinity Overhead is now available on iTunes, Amazon.com, and most traditional record stores.

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