Minus The Bear’s breakthrough 2007 record, Planet of Ice, embodies the flawless musicality from a group that other artists simply cannot emulate. Serving as the Seattle band’s third album, and the first to chart the Billboard 200, Planet of Ice was both serene and exhilarating; its rhythmic nature made themes of love, loss and reflection not only easy to follow but also remarkably relatable.
Lead singer Jake Snider takes wearing his heart on his sleeve quite literally and ups the ante for the band’s masterpiece with vocals that are emotional and momentous. Embarking on a 10th anniversary tour to celebrate the album was a no-brainer and their performance of it — in its entirety — last Tuesday (April 24) at Royale in Boston was as magical and memorable as the record itself.
Despite Planet of Ice consisting of mere 10 songs, when it was splayed out on stage from beginning to end it felt ambitious and vast. As the band geared up for the very first song of the night, “Burying Luck,” it was clear that they were all business while the audience relished in pleasure. The predictability of their set only fueled the anticipation and excitement surrounding these cherished songs. “Knights” proved to be a jovial sing along while other tracks like “Throwin’ Shapes,” “Double Vision Quest,” and “Lotus” were more subdued — yet still effective — in their execution. But the evening wouldn’t stop there; Minus The Bear managed to squeeze in some other tunes beyond the LP to satiate everyone’s palette.
The only song to rear its head from their 2002 debut album, Highly Refined Pirates, was “Women We Haven’t Met Yet.” “Hooray,” Michio’s Death Drive,” and “Pachuca Sunrise” — all from 2005’s Menos el Oso — were performed with such intensity and fervor that the crowd became even more enthusiastic upon their disclosure.
A few songs from Omni, Minus The Bear’s fourth album, such as “Hold Me Down,” “Secret Country” and “Dayglow Vista Rd.”, were a pleasant surprise and felt refreshing in their live translation. As the night winded down and the band thanked everyone in attendance for being steadfast listeners over the years and supporting this tour, there was no doubt that Minus The Bear proved they are still a force to be reckoned with.