Minus the Bear, Cursive, and Girl In a Coma, Cursive @ Marquee Theatre|11/8/12
The term "indie rock" is a convenient catchall, but last night at the Marquee Theatre, the term's definition was stretched to the limit.
Minus the Bear, Cursive, and Girl in a Coma utilize elements of a lot of genres: post-hardcore, math rock, emo, experimental, Joan Jett-style rock 'n' roll, pop punk, and even the dreaded "e-word." But rather than come across as a scattershot bill, the band's created a unified front. It was a feast of musical stylings.
See also: Cursive's Tim Kasher on I Am Gemini , Solo Project, and Touring With Minus The Bear See also: Minus the Bear's Cory Murchy, "It's Just 12 Years of Plugging Away and Learning" See also: Girl In a Coma's Jenn Alva On Working "Twice as Hard" as Other Bands
Girl In a Coma took the stage promptly at 8 p.m., asking the audience if it was ready to "shake it like a salt shaker?"
Knowing that Girl In a Coma hails from Texas just makes my heart smile. It's always good to be around some Texas folk, and these three Latina ladies started the night off with bolting vocals spewed by lead singer Nina Diaz. With bangs draped over her face, her voice was filled with passion as she strummed her guitar. Of course, her sister Phanie and bassist Jenn Alva were there, guiding the songs with every motion.
As Cursive took the stage, one guy next to me had to shouted out, "You're so old" at the sight of the veteran band I'm assuming he wasn't as educated on Cursive as he may have thought he was; yes, some balding was taking place, but said balding didn't keep the band from doing what its done expertly since 1995.
A melodic introduction warmed the crowd up, before the band burst into the post-hardcore style displayed on classic albums like Domestica and The Ugly Organ. Time seemed to pause as the band lurched into "The Recluse," and I appreciated every word.
Cursive demonstrated its true versatility with the melodic, slower songs. Instead of disrupting the flow, these songs added to it, giving the set a feeling of dynamics.
And then finally the main course. Minus the Bear.
At ten, the lights turned off and the crowd started screaming.
As soon as the band started playing, I started laughing. The meaning of the band's name name from an inside joke about a member from the band who'd gone on a date and described it as being like the '70s show B.J. and the Bear. Minus the . . . you know.
That still gets me. Not the mention that my friend received lube and condoms from the New Times street team. I was just hysterically laughing.
Which isn't to say that, aside from some hilarious song titles, Minus the Bear is much of a comedy act. This much was made clear by opening song "Steel and Blood," from the band's latest effort, Infinity Overhead.
Last night was just too refreshing of a show. What Minus the Bear did was create a connection to each individual at the show, something learned from years of constant touring. The band proved its mastery, showing off what happens when you stick to it and treat music like a craft.
Towards the end of the set, six confetti balls were thrown into the crowd. Fighting frantically to pop one of the balloons filled with confetti was entertaining. A guy in front of me pulled it off, showering me -- and everyone else nearby -- with confetti.
An encore was demanded of the band. At 11:09, Minus returned to close out the Tempe show with three more songs, finishing with "Pachuca Sunrise."
The lyrics tell listeners not to cry, but I saw a few tears out there.
Last Night: Minus the Bear, Girl in a Coma, Cursive @ Marquee Theatre
The Crowd: Indie-consuming beings.
Overheard in The Crowd: "La..La..La...fuck! I forgot the song."
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Random Notebook Dump: Alright, I'm just going to stop attempting to take pictures with my cell phone. I'll my friends with iPhones to do that. Droids suck!
Tips from Tay: Take Advil before you attend the show.