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Minus the Bear Roar Into the Motor City’s Heart

Despite the earnest, melodic rock of Minneapolis’ Ela and thespirited avant hip-hop of Subtle — who both impressed and confused thecrowd with its eclectic arrangements and theatrical frontman Doseone,who moved back and forth across the stage like a sideshow streetperformer — the audience at Detroit’s St. Andrew’s Hall last night(Sept. 27) was really just waiting for Minus the Bear, stomping andcheering its approval as the cerebral five-piece finally emerged fromthe shadows and launched immediately into a rousing version of “BuryingLuck.”

And the collective energy only continued, both on-stageand on the floor, as MTB powered through an hour-long set, hardly evenstopping to breathe between songs. Instead, the breaks came with thestops and starts found in the songs themselves; the orchestrated pause,the raised arm, the chords held, both broken and warmly angular,bringing cuts like “Dr. L’Ling” and “Lotus” to their full emotivecapabilities. Though the set focused primarily on the group’s latestrelease, Planet of Ice,frontman Jake Snider and Co. responded to their fans’ excitement anddedication, inserting favorites like “Spritz!!! Spritz!!!” and “Hooray”into the mix, too, and leaving the audience salivating for an encore –one last song before the ride home. To which, of course, Minus the Bearhappily obliged with a maddening thrush of “The Fix,” “When We Escape,”and “Pachuca Sunrise.”

We asked: Minus the Bear issued the They Make Beer Commercials Like This EP in 2004. What Minus the Bear song would fit in a beer commercial and why?