Minus the Bear Farewell Tour
December 14-16, 2018 @ The Showbox in Seattle
By Eric Tra
After 16 years, Minus the Bear said goodbye last month, ending their farewell tour with three shows at their hometown Showbox Theater in Seattle. The band’s stamp on Seattle’s music scene will be remembered by their unique and intricate finger tapping and energetic live performances. With song titles that sound more like inside jokes – such as “I’m Totally Not Down with Rob’s Alien” and “I Lost All My Money at The Cockfights” – most fans will also remember Minus the Bear as a fun band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
Before the lights dimmed, the crowded floor of the Showbox seemed fuller than the usual pre-opener crowd. During this downtime, it became apparent that many of the fans at the front of the stage were not locals—many of whom had traveled across the country, some from Chicago, New York and even as far as Florida. It was heartwarming to see that, like their Seattle fans, Minus the Bear had been a staple band for music fans across the country.
The band played through 20 songs and a 6 song encore that was comprised of a fantastic mix of old and new material. It was apparent that the band took careful steps to craft a setlist that featured all the hits, even pulling out deep cuts from their 2001 EP This Is What I Know About Being Gigantic such as “Lemurs Man, Lemurs” and “Hey, Wanna Throw Up? Get Me Naked.”
The crowd erupted with applause for the high energy songs “Spritz!!! Spritz!!!” and “Fine +2PTS.” Respectively speaking, the first of which, is probably one of the most quintessential Minus the Bear songs in their entire discography. “Spritz!!! Spritz!!!” features guitarist Dave Knudson’s famous finger tapping guitar style that defined the band’s iconic math rock style.
As the band returned from their brief intermission, they took one last look out into the crowd, and bassist, Cory Murchy, gave fans one last thumbs up as if to say “thank you”. The band concluded their set with a final performance of “Pachuca Sunrise”—a befitting song which many fans have speculated is about longing and being apart from loved ones. After the song concluded, the band took a bow and made time to shake hands with teary eyed fans in the front rows. Setlists folded into paper airplanes were thrown into the crowd by the stage crew.
Who knows when any of the members of Minus the Bear will return to the stage and/or studio but judging from a recent tweet by Murchy, we can only hope this isn’t the end
For now, Jake, Dave, Cory, and Alex—thanks for the killer game of Crisco twister. We’ll miss you guys.
In case you didn’t make it to one of the band’s farewell shows, check out some of Eric’s pictures below while you enjoy listening to the full set list on Spotify. Find EVEN MORE photos in our Flickr album.