Minus the BearOver the years I’ve seen many bands hang up the microphones. Sometimes there was an announcement after time away, sometimes there was just an assumption of the end… but every now and then there would be a farewell tour – a chance to share in memories and emotions for one last time. Thankfully, Minus the Bear gave their fans that chance. And with the Observatory in Santa Ana packed up, Minus the Bear enjoyed their final southern California show.

Evolving their sound and style over years as a band, Minus the Bear has been able to exhibit a wide sound range in their discography. From upbeat driving tunes to sexy after-hours moods, there’s guaranteed to be a Minus the Bear song to fit any occasion. Fans were treated with a large sampling of these songs, touching on early fan-favorites to releases as late as this year. There was no shortage of voices singing along throughout the night as you could tell this wasn’t the first time around for many fans. The catchy lyrics and vocal melodies weren’t the only things drawing attention, however, as Minus the Bear has long been known for their use of live samples and guitar pedal technology to create unique sounds and instrumental accompaniments. It’s one thing to hear this style on a record where control and multiple takes are the norm, but to see the techniques performed live while still making it visually entertaining is a completely eye-opening experience.

Don’t cry I’ll bring this home to you…
Hearing Minus the Bear and their fans singing these words to each other for the last time was bittersweet. The crowd was alive and soaking up the moments in whatever way they could. But eventually, with the end of the song, our time with the band had to come to an end. It was time to send them home for the final shows of their farewell tour. With thunderous applause and cheers, Minus the Bear looked out on the crowd one last time before waving, throwing out a thumbs-up, and saying goodnight. As I’m sure others can say, it’s a show that I’ll hold in my heart for a long time.

Many thanks to Chris Vinyard and Jim Perry for their help with this show. And endless thanks go out to Minus the Bear for their years of music – I wish you all success in whatever the future holds.