I wrote a band preview on a Minus the Bear show at Mr. Smalls in Pittsburgh, PA for The Globe. It was published on October 15, 2013.
Cliff Chien, a huge follower of Minus the Bear, attended the band’s almost sold out 10 Year Anniversary Tour show in 2011 and said it was a “nearly life-changing event.” He promised himself he would see the band every time they returned to Pittsburgh — luckily for him that time is coming up soon.
After almost two years, Minus the Bear returns to Pittsburgh for another performance at Mr. Small’s on Oct. 22. The venue expects a crowd of 400 people ranging from teenagers to young adults, according to Jorge Orsovay, Mr. Small’s main ticket office representative.
“Every time Minus the Bearplays Small’s it’s awesome,” said Chienduring a phone interview Friday night. “They’re my favorite band to see live. Every single member of the band is doing something different and they’re fun to watch.”
Minus the Bear is a five-member group of indie rockers from Seattle, Wash. founded in 2001. Ithas released five albums and four EP’s and released its latest album, “Infinity Overhead,” in late August. It features heavy guitar and fresh tones full of energy. The band sounds like a mix of As Tall As Lionsand Circa Survive.
“‘Infinity Overhead’ is a great album, one of my absolute favorites of the year, and it’ll hopefully regain fans that they lost from their last album for being too “poppy” and radio – friendly. All the songs are pretty solid and easy to listen to,”Chien said.
Slow Bird, one of the opening bands, is also from Seattle. The indie trio is new to the scene, as it formed in 2011. The band released its first album “Chrysalis”earlier this fall. The band’s track, “Sea Salt,” sounds like something off of a Florence and the Machinealbum that has the potential to be its first single.
Slow Bird’s lead singer, Jennae Quisenberry has a distinct voice that compares to Lykke Lior even Ellie Goulding.
“What influences us to write are our experiences, perspectives, friends and interactions. Basically, we write about life and anything else that really inspires us,” said Quisenberry during a phone interview Friday afternoon.
Being a new band, the group already experienced struggles with getting started and making a name for themselves.
“We started preparing for this tour in the spring. Since we’re a new independent band, we had to do a kick starter to help us raise money. Alex Rose [synth player and back – up vocalist for Minus the Bear] actually worked with us this summer to mix and record our album,” said Matthew Street, drummer of Slow Bird, in a phone interview on Friday.
INVSN, the other opener, is a Swedish punk band formed in 1999. They released their new self-titled debut album on Sept. 24. “Down In The Shadows,” the single off the album, has a 1980s new wave feel that sounds like The Cure.
Be sure to catch all three bands at Mr. Small’s at 400 Lincoln Ave. in Millvale. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from the Mr. Small’s website.