Minus the Bear, Cursive - Revolution Live, Fort Lauderdale - October 22

Indie rock was as healthy as a chubby, dewy newborn baby at last night's Minus the Bear and Cursive show at Revolution. The sweaty, smoky venue was packed to the gills with plaid shirts, beards, and more beards. And despite the sold-out Die Antwoord concert happening around the corner, there seemed little to no effect on the show's turn-out.

See also:

- Cursive's Tim Kasher on R.Kelly's Trapped in a Closet: "It's a Masterpiece."
- Photos: Minus the Bear and Cursive at Revolution Live

If there's anything that both these bands know, it's their

audience. And last night's sets were a reflection of that. Although both bands are touring in support of albums released earlier this year, the sets felt more like a collection of best ofs. Each band fed the

crowd with diets comprised of a little bit of brand news and a healthy portion

of golden oldies.

Seeing Cursive live is somewhat comparable to sleeping with an ex-boyfriend who broke your heart. You never know what's going to happen, it's a little emotional, but at the end of it all, you leave satisfied.

Opening with "Gemini," they set the tone for a slow building set that ripped at the heartstrings, and left us craving for more. The band wasted no time toying with the crowd's feelings, going into "Bang Bang" and "A Gentleman Caller."

"Goddamn," Kasher growled at the audience during the intro of "Warmer

Warmer." "You ever see a badass motherfucker playing guitar with one

hand and a drink in the other. Talking and drinking at the same time.


Cursive unleashed its climax with "The Radiator Hums", and at this point, the predictable thing would have been to play crowd favorite, "The Martyr," when, much like that old ex-boyfriend, Cursive broke our heart. There's just something about a their shows that makes you feel incomplete without getting to scream out, "your tears are only alibis." However, all was forgiven as tracks like "The Recluse" and "Art is Hard" filled our heart's void.

Whether the song was new or old, there wasn't a line that the audience didn't belt out alongside Kasher's vocals that swung effortlessly from passionately raw to a full on scream. During songs like "I Couldn't Love You" and "From the Hips" it was almost like being a voyeur during someone's private gut purging session. It's a miracle the man still has working vocal chords after over a decade of performing. While most of the band remains still, almost hypnotized by the music, Kasher's stage presence is much like a preacher in a church. A somewhat fitting feeling, since many of the devoted fans in the audience belong to the religion known as Cursive.

Before leaving the stage -- which felt like it came too soon -- Kasher let us know who he'd be voting for as he yelled out "Obama 2012" in the middle of "Dorthy at Forty."

When Minus the Bear took the stage, they did so with a manner that let the crowd know they were ready to go and the room should follow suit. Kicking the set off with "Steel and Blood" from their latest release, Infinity Overhead, they got the testosterone flowing. But, despite the band being on tour in support of its latest album, they quickly sprinkled in a few older gems like "Throwing Shapes"

and "The Game Needed Me". The highlight of the show -- in a visual sense -- was during "Absinthe Party..." in

which the crowd made sure to display two proud fingers while belting out

the lyrics "two star hotel."

Crowd participation was certainly the theme of the night. Whether it was enthusiastically clapping during the intro to a song or swaying hands in the air, there was certainly no shortage of energy inside the packed venue. Only a few rare moments existed in which the audience couldn't be heard singing along to each and every word that rolled off Jake Snider's lips.

Things took psychedelic acid trip turn during "Into

the Mirror" when the band utilized white lights that appeared to be

leading you down a k-hole to heaven. Between the massive light show and

MTB's serious jam session-like breakdowns, it wouldn't come as a

surprise if a large portion of last night's audience was on mushrooms.

While frontman Jake Snider remained close to his microphone throughout

the night, guitarist Dave Knudson appeared to have enough energy for the entire band. He was easily the sweatiest member during

the set, so much so that keyboardist Alex Rose was wiping him down with a

towel throughout the night. How's that for love between band members? However, the most amusing stage presence award definitely belonged to bass player Cory Murchy who spent a large portion of the night dealing out thumbs up.

From the moment Minus the Bear took the stage, there was never a lull in the set or in the room's energy. It might have been the first show in quite some time that nobody was noticeably holding up a cellphone.

Critic's Notebook

The crowd: A lot of guys. Guys with beards. A guy with glow sticks braided into his dreadlocks.

Personal bias: Cursive gives me a lady boner.

Random detail: Minus the Bear Bass player Cory Murchy should grow his hair back out.

Random detail #2: Tim Kasher was definitely the most stalked musician in Fort Lauderdale last night. Folks swarmed him at the Poorhouse after the show.

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