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Review Fri Dec 17 2010

Review: Tim Kasher @ The Vic Theatre with Minus the Bear


"You and I will be having words, sir," Tim Kasher called out to a heckler last night at the Vic Theatre. Kasher's one hour set at the Vic last night began with a nearly antagonistic audience. Murmurs of animosity rose from the audience Thursday night. Whether staged or actual, the shaky beginning of Kasher's set may have left many to believe that the mounting agitation of the crowd was planned in advance as a means of theatricality. Given Kasher's penchant for the dour and melancholy, this wouldn't have been a stretch.

However, Kasher seemed to be rollicking in the awkwardness of it all, and would often stop between his songs to add more self-flagellation to his already self-deprecating songs with statements like "It's true; I'm no good." Though Kasher immediately veered into deeply anguished territory, he just as quickly regained the audience he initially lost. Perhaps sensing that his audience, mostly 20-somethings, were disconnected from his unfolding suburban midlife crisis, he prefaced one song as being "the most slow and painful thing I will put you through at the Minus the Bear show." However, Kasher masterfully revived the audience back in time for Minus the Bear's set by pulling out old favorites like "Bloody Murderer" from the hugely successful Cursive album The Ugly Organ. But before Kasher played, the Canadian alt-country pop rockers Rah Rah opened with their danceable country-infused rock.

Rah Rah provided an initial dose of much needed charm and enthusiasm to prepare the night's crowd for Kasher's difficult but often rewarding lyrics. The Saskatchewan band's quirky songs about being in love with a girl with tentacles were decidedly crafted to get people dancing "like only a troll could." Midway through the set, drummer Erin Passmore, bassist Joel Passmore and pianist Vanessa Benson switched roles in a musical game of Chinese fire-drill, without skipping a beat. Heads were bobbing and toes were tapping by the time the band's extremely accessible guitar-driven "Arrows" filled the Vic. Finally adequately prepared, Kasher took the stage at around 7pm, and after his set, Minus the Bear took the stage at 8:30pm. At this point, the Vic was full to the gills.

Minus the Bear's lead man Jake Snider rocked long scraggly hair and a beard, evoking images of the former Seattle grunge scene where the band hails from. The band's sound and set design conveyed a different aesthetic Thursday night, however. Usage of flashing florescent light bars and 8-bit video game-like banners displayed a digital chic that found its stride in "Echoes" off the album Omni. A solid showing, last night's performance picked up right where 2002's Highly Refined Pirates' "Absinthe party at the fly honey warehouse" left off.

With Kasher as their world-weary guide, bright-eyed Canadian rockers Rah Rah served as the harbingers to the rollercoaster of emotions Minus the Bear ended the night with. Whereas other artists of this past year have sorrowfully decried the suburbs and lauded the escape from their lonely streets, Kasher seemed complacent and ready to give into the self-fulfilling prophecy he has created for himself on this tour and with his new album The Game of Monogamy.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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