Under the red glow of stage lights, Tim Kasher brought his blend of countrycore to the masses that packed the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on Friday night. While the older crowd may have been there for headliners Minus the Bear, none were unfamiliar with Kasher.

The man from acts such as Cursive and The Good Life brought his solo tracks out which infused his prior groups along with along with some Americana twang. The sounds of the cello and Kasher’s acoustic resonated off the walls and deep into the eardrums of the crowd on the floor and those up in the cheap seats. Even though most were motionless, as is typical for a Los Angeles crowd, Kasher had all the energy he needed as he twisted and grasped for the microphone.

Yet, the last thing anyone expected Kasher to utter into that microphone was an introduction to a cover song toward the end of the set. It could have been anything but for those who knew who Kasher, it wasn’t a surprise  to hear him dive into a little diddy made famous by Cursive. As the band pounded away, the house lights came up and the house screen eventually came down.

This is the venue’s way of telling a band you are done, get off the stage, clear the set, time for a new band but that didn’t fit Kasher’s style at the moment. Even with the mic unplugged the band still continued to play another song. After a few chords and his snarls getting louder from stage, the mics reluctantly turned back on but the house lights stayed on and the movie screen stayed down. Even with people leaving for a smoke or another drink, Tim Kasher and his band played until they decided they were done. It was refreshing to see a band break the rules without it becoming a big spectacle on stage.

And for the evening’s big spectacle? Minus the Bear.

Not making the crowd wait, Minus the Bear came out a bit early to add a few extra tracks into the set. The first few songs live featured works off of current album OMNI – tracks that proved Minus the Bear is a band who are simply flawless at changing tempo, speed and direction at any minute. There were times when the stops and starts were so abrupt, the crowd had begun to applaud thinking a song was finished but… it also could have just been more of the crowd’s unfamiliarity with the new material.

However, by the third song, no one in the crowd was lost. “Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco Twister” was the first track that finally energized the fans and got everyone up and into dance mode. While arms flailed and bodies rocked back and forth, it all unfortunately seemed lost when the tunes became newer. Throughout the nearly two hour set it seemed as if the crowd only got moving when the jams changed back to the original computerized beats that made it so easy to dance to. The crowd also exploded when singer Jake Snider added his take on California prop 19, “Legalize it California. You have the power.” If that statement didn’t fire the crowd up, “Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse” did. In an evening that was filled with crossed arms, it was one time everyone was in on the party.

Overall they put on a great show, but Minus the Bear seemed to have a slight identity crisis. They have gone from a band who was known for their kitschy math rock dance songs to a band full of gifted musicians who are unfortunately now writing about “bro” topics such as beer chugging weekend experiences with less than impressive electronic beats.

Check our photos out below…

Photography by Carl Pocket