Thursday / Minus the Bear / mewithoutYou

Thursday / Minus the Bear / mewithoutYou: live in New Yorklive in New York (2006)
Island Records

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The Shirts for a Cure tour promised a solid lineup with the likes of mewithoutYou, Minus the Bear, and Thursday. Getting to see these bands and fighting cancer? I'm down.

However, We.re.All.Broken first. I had them pegged as some poor nü-screamo collective, and I was only somewhat off. You could tell Thursday, specifically that band's later era, had a large influence in their sound, which consisted of liberal keyboards, somewhat unnecessary amounts of screaming, and bits and pieces of Mike Patton-isms going on with the vocalist. Their energy was impressive, as no one ever stopped moving and thrashing around, and their guitar work was creative, so my interest was retained throughout, which tends to be a feat for opening acts at Irving Plaza by coincidence. I definitely think there's some potential going on.

I wasn't entirely sure who was on next, but when the riff of "Disaster Tourism" rang out during the sound check, I knew what was coming. The screen rose to reveal the quintet known as mewithoutYou. Ever since their music started to make sense to me, I've always sort of applied to them the equation: the Nation of Ulysses - jazz + atmosphere - terrorist shtick + Christianity. As I'm a kid raised Jewish and basically have grown nearly fully out of it, it's hard for me to get behind the faith-based nature of the music, but the songs themselves are quite experimental and well-written; and here, they translated well. Too bad the crowd didn't feel the same. Most everyone, save for several audible fans far behind me, were awfully stagnant despite their polite applause following each song. Even "January 1979," which was expectedly second in the set list and easily the band's most accessible song due to its more standard, singable chorus, seemed to command little response. The band had excellent energy; the drummer was often rising off his seat looking possessed, the singer flailed around like a hippy, often looking like he was loosely two-stepping, while the right-stage guitarist (or bassist, memory's foggy) provided closed-eyed, soothing backups. I'm not completely familiar with A-->B Life, but I believe the last song was a new one, taken from their recently completed, forthcoming full-length. It was a lush, expansive number that began with the singer playing an acoustic by his lonesome and his accompanying, frail voice, slowly giving away to a build with call-and-response lines. It was too bad the accordion the singer picked up and started playing towards the end was barely audible, as the quiet hum of it seemed to promise the song receiving an excellent touch. The singer's voice was often cracking, which added a bit of a sincere element to the set. Also played was "Torches Together," "Tie Me Up! Untie Me!," "Disaster Tourism," "Four Word Letter (Part 2)," all of which ended in a bundle of roses thrown out into the audience. A pretty mesmerizing set overall.

Minus the Bear was another opener awfully underappreciated. They played a solid, solid set that definitely placed the same mood as a number of songs on their latest, Menos el Oso, notably the fantastic, desert island soundscape of "Memphis & 53rd," which really put me in a trance. They were solemn and modest throughout, and that really wasn't doing much for the crowd. Front-man Jake Snider even asked later on in the set, "You guys feeling okay? Need anything? Water? Vitamin B?" I was tempted to yell "Better music taste!" but the anti-elitism got the better of me…or maybe just the anti-confrontational person in me. They played a number of solid tunes, including "The Game Needed Me," "Drilling," "The Fix," "Hooray," "Fulfill the Dream," "This Ain't a Surfin' Movie" (the opener, interestingly enough), "Spritz! Spritz!" (I think) and "Fine + 2 Pts." They even snuck in a new song, which had stuttering keyboards, a pulsating bass-line, and a generally stronger rock undertow to it. I suppose as long as you're familiar with the songs, Minus the Bear put on a good show and a resoundingly long set considering; if you're not a fan though, there's a chance they'll fail to capture your interest.

Thursday, as expected, was very good. Geoff Rickly's dramatic stage presence makes a lot of sense considering the emotion and depth of the band's songs, and there were plenty of flashing lights to manipulate our pupils. Besides Waiting, which was rather absent from the set list, the set list drew well and even from the band's 3 other full-lengths. They spread much of the Full Collapse material throughout the early portions, as they opened back-to-back with "Understanding in a Car Crash" and "Paris in Flames." They constantly played everything as on record, and Rickly seemed to strive for pitches he's never attempted, notably in the second to last song, what I believe was "Into the Blinding Light," a song heavily anchored by haunting piano and practically soprano singing. The crowd certainly ate it all up, responding well to all the material, while Rob Dobi's picket fence-guarded silhouette characters adorning the backdrop provided a good aesthetic.

I was really hoping for the band to play some of the underrated gems on War All the Time ("Between Rupture and Rapture," "Asleep in the Chapel," "M. Shepherd," "Tomorrow I'll Be You"), and thoroughly surprised they left out the title track, but I think the choices made otherwise were solid.

Set list by album:

Full Collapse

  • Understanding in a Car Crash
  • Cross Out the Eyes
  • Autobiography of a Nation [3rd song of the encore]
  • Paris in Flames
  • How Long Is the Night?
Five Stories Falling EP
  • Jet Black New Year [1st of encore]
War All the Time
  • For the Workforce, Drowning
  • Division St.
  • This Song Was Brought to You by a Falling Bomb
A City by the Light Divided
  • The Other Side of the Crash / Over and Out (Of Control)
  • Counting 5-4-3-2-1
  • At This Velocity
  • The Lovesong Writer
  • a certain piano-heavy track [2nd of encore]


People who liked this also liked:
Crime in Stereo - The Troubled StatesideNo Trigger - CanyoneerThursday - A City by the Light DividedRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseThis Is Hell - SundowningSinking Ships - DisconnectingGatsbys American Dream - Gatsbys American DreamThe Blood Brothers - Young MachetesBrand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
cleverbtass (December 22, 2006)

i saw mewithoutyou and minus the bear in pittsburgh a while back, and the majority of the audience had about as much energy and interest as the audience you decribed. mewithoutyou and Minus The Bear are two of my many favorite bands, and i enjoyed the presentation thoroughly, however, like this metaphor i just made up, you can't feed apples to monkeys (because they're known to eat bananas).

pittsburgh likes antiflag is what i meant to say.

Anonymous (May 9, 2006)

Wait, so Thursday's set was only 14 songs, including a three-song encore? That's a short-ass set.

most of Thursday's songs are at least 4-5 minutes long, so it probably ran 56-70 minutes, which is a pretty decent set

EyesLikeBombs (May 9, 2006)

Uh...I guess comments don't let you use plus signs...?

EyesLikeBombs (May 9, 2006)

I think you mean Nation Of Ulysees Suck Dicks.

Not to say that NOU didn't have dicks, but there are now more dicks. For the purpose of being sucked.

Anonymous (May 8, 2006)

lets be honest...

minus the bear > thursday

Anonymous (May 7, 2006)

Wait...the Bear didn't play that "...Sunrise" song? Didn't they just make a video for that?

Anonymous (May 6, 2006)

I will at be at the Chicago show,

steveman (May 6, 2006)

Great review. I'm seeing this show tour next Thursday (how coincidental).

Anonymous (May 6, 2006)

So Mewithoutyou are a version of NoU without their interesting features and replacing their awesome terrorism with quite lame Christianity?

Fuck that.



i think i should have forgotten this comment as soon as i read "awesome terrorism" and "lame Christianity". but seriously Will, you should read some kind of book and learn something. this band is decent, but that is beside the point. terrorism may or may not be "awesome" depending on the context. regardless of your beliefs, however, Christianity is by no means lame. do some research.


pwfanatic (May 5, 2006)

"i saw this tour a couple weeks ago (when the #12 was on it instead of mwY) and it was amazing. thursday was spot-on as was minus the bear (though they were pretty unappreciated...IN SEATTLE!!!)"

i didn't go to the seattle show, but my guess why it seemed they were unappreciated is cause they were playing with thursday and drawing a different crowd then normal. i love minus the bear but i didn't go to this show cause i don't like any of the other bands. all the other times i have seen them since menos el oso came out they have gotten great reactions.

Anonymous (May 5, 2006)

So Mewithoutyou are a version of NoU without their interesting features and replacing their awesome terrorism with quite lame Christianity?

Fuck that.


dougkatz (May 5, 2006)

Yeah, I'm sure We're All Broken was really really influenced by Thursday, idiot.

Anonymous (May 5, 2006)

I was at this show and I couldn't believe the amount of meatheads there! They were nu metal moshing and running into each other like a bunch of, well, meatheads! And this was happening during Minus the Bear! I guess this is what will have to be put up with at larger venue shows. I hope Lifetime's set at bamboozle isn't like this because that shit is just not acceptable, people will be getting kicked in the head. But besides the meatheads and that I missed the last train back to Jersey and had to sleep in lovely Newark Penn Station this was an awesome show......

Anonymous (May 5, 2006)

The Boston crowd reacted the same to Minus the Bear

Seriously, what the fuck?

crazytoledo (May 5, 2006)

This show is coming to my city soon...

I really want to go.

Anonymous (May 5, 2006)

I was at this show...i'm positive they played signals over the air too...otherwise acurrate review

danperrone (May 5, 2006)

the only REALLY amazing song on the new thursday is "running from the rain"

i think that's the only song i've listened to when not running through the whole album

Anonymous (May 5, 2006)

ME WITHOUT YOU SUCKS ASS. FUCK THOSE ASSHOLES. FUCK THEM, Thats just the way it is. how dare you ever compare them to the nation. stupid fuck. fuck me without you.(this ones for you nate(make believe).

fattony (May 5, 2006)

i saw this tour a couple weeks ago (when the #12 was on it instead of mwY) and it was amazing. thursday was spot-on as was minus the bear (though they were pretty unappreciated...IN SEATTLE!!!)

maverick (May 5, 2006)

Wait, so Thursday's set was only 14 songs, including a three-song encore? That's a short-ass set.


Anonymous (May 5, 2006)

What? No War All the Time? Curses!

HeresLookinAtYou (May 5, 2006)

ah just i submitted a review 2 hours ago for the same show in Albany

minus-minus the bear. which kinda sucked. but w/e

thursday was still awesome , they played an almost identical set with the slight addition of Signals Over the Air

score is for autobiography of a nation encore

TheOneTrueBill (May 5, 2006)

I was expecting this to be another colin review then I saw that it was in New York.

leifkills (May 5, 2006)

Minus the Bear = Awesome

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