The Troubadour is hands down my favorite venue in LA. It is a smaller, 350-person capacity venue that showcases all types of music and is booked year round. This Iconic venue has hosted and helped the careers of so many great musicians, and it is amazing to see some of the biggest bands play this tiny room. This Fall, I was lucky to see two of my favorite punk bands play sold-out shows within weeks of each other. The icing on the cake was when another of my favorites, Minus The Bear, added one last show here at the end of November. This would be the last show on their Fall "Lost Loves" Tour in support of lost songs from the bands career that finally made it onto an album.
One of my good friends, Ryan, has been a guitar tech for Minus The Bear for years. He got his brother, Kiefer, a drum tech gig with them, and for this tour Kiefer became the fill in drummer. While Ryan wasn't on the last leg of this run, I was stoked to see Kiefer again and they were just as stoked to get some fresh HEX gear. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that the guys all knew about HEX and were pumped to get some bags and cases for their new iPhone 6's. As mellow as Minus The Bear may sound, they are very technical. From technique and composition to instruments and gadgets, a technical band needs technical gear and we were happy to outfit them in HEX style!
The show had been sold-out for some time and The Troubador seemed extra packed. The guys were very generous in offering us food and drinks before their set. On top of that they gave us the best spot in the house to watch from, right on stage! They started off with some of their "Lost Loves" to get the crowd going and quickly warmed up to fan favorites like "My Time" and "Pachuca Sunrise" (videos below). A mix of fast and slow songs kept the crowds attention and the diverse set was full of faves from their impressive catalog. An hour-and-a-half seems like a long time, but when you are enjoying it as much as any true Minus The Bear fan, it's not enough.
To me, lead guitar and drums would be the hardest instruments in this band. Dave holds it down with his shreddy riffs, technical tapping and pedal wizardry and, as you can tell, Kiefer was killing it for being a fill-in drummer! The band played perfect tonight and you could tell they were stoked about it. After a month of sold-out shows this was the perfect ending to send them back home on a high.
Now that is some gear! At the end of the night we are left with ringing ears, great times and fans that still can't get enough. Minus The Bear heads back to Seattle for a much needed break and to start working on a new album. Stoked to hear some new jams from them next year. If you haven't seen them live yet, keep an eye out for them next year and you won't be disappointed. If you haven't heard them yet, welcome to your new favorite band!