Opening its 75-minute set with "Drilling," an old favorite off 2005's Menos el Oso, Minus the Bear burst out amid the interchanging, colorful stage lights to the sounds of its ambient guitar rifts and bearded frontman Jake Snider's trademark gentle rasp.
Following Wednesday night's opening bands, Everest and Young the Giant, the crowded audience at House of Blues warmly greeted the Seattle quintet with loud cheers.
Charging straight into song upon taking the stage, the indie-rockers stopped only momentarily between tunes to take swigs out of the various water or beer bottles collected on stage and to make a few mumblings into the mic — including Snider's confession, "I lost $160 dollars today. Thank you, Las Vegas."
While the audience was well-behaved overall — security had to pull down only one crowd surfer and two shoulder-sitters — they were still enthusiastic, singing along to the night's older tracks, which outnumbered those off new release Omni. There even were occasional fist pumps, such as during "Get Me Naked 2: Electric Boogaloo."
The band showed its own reserved enthusiasm, as well. Swinging-haired bassist Matthew Marko gave the audience a hearty thumbs-up after each song — occasionally being encouraged enough to throw up two. His rating system's basis is still undetermined.
The night's only party foul came during the last number of the two-song encore, when an overly excited — or perhaps overly bummed at the show's eminent ending — audience member threw a beer can onto the stage, hitting Snider mid-song. The distraction didn't even cause a flinch in the singing or the mood, however. Snider graciously thanked the crowd for a great night, and Marko tossed up two thumbs.
The only subtraction that can be taken from Minus the Bear's performance is that it ended all too soon.
When We Escape
Get Me Naked 2: Electric Boogaloo
Hold Me Down
Women We Haven't Met Yet
Dayglow Vista Road