13 November 2008
Minus the Bear/Annuals/27 @ The Marquee 11/13/2008
27 started slow but ended strong. It was their last night with Minus the Bear and it was obviously a bit of a sad situation for all of the bands. It ended up creating a nice dynamic though, between the shots from one band to another and Minus the Bear's bassist and drummer jumping in to jam with 27, there was plenty of fun to go around, and that's just for the opener. Most of the best songs this band played were when MTB's drummer and bassist were joining them, mostly because it really helped fill out the sound. Good band though they were, there's only so much you can do as a three piece, so the extra players added an extra level that pushed the performance to great.
Annuals were next up, and I will make the argument that they upstaged MTB at this show. Certainly, being a six piece band stocked up with male and female vocals, several guitarists and pianists makes for a fair amount of energy and fullness of sound intrinsically, but this band brought even more energy to the stage than what was intrinsically there. Especially when MTB's drummer came out and made it a 7 piece act. Some songs were great, and most were mediocre, but the performance itself stands out more than MTB's without a doubt.
Minus the Bear were of course the headliners, and I'm tempted to review the audience instead of the band here. The reason is as follows: last year, I remember when people would come up to me, trying to tell me about this amazing new band called Minus the Bear that had just put out an album called Planet of Ice. It was rumored to be one of the albums of the year. But here's the thing...it was a mediocre album. I struggle to even call it a Minus the Bear album, just because the sound changed pretty significantly...moving from fun, dancy indie rock, to overly serious college rock. But the problem with this show was that the people in attendance were the same people who thought it was an amazing album. The band seemed to be aware of this beforehand, because they played almost entirely new songs. The couple old songs (and by old, I'm not even sure there was anything from Highly Refined Pirates in the set) they played had about 70% of the audience flat on their feet. Thank god, that would have ruined the band for me...I can deal with the fact that they now appeal to soulless drunks, but if those "fans" had delved into their back catalog where there actually was some amazing music, I would have been very sad. To sum this review up: thank god I saw these guys back in 2004.