Phillip Morgan ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Needless to say, the announcement of Mineral’s Reunion Tour came as a pleasant shock at the beginning of summer. As a late-comer to the genre, I instinctively jumped at what could be the only chance to see one of the godfathers of emo live. This was something I’d never dreamed was even possible, given the track record of most 90s emo bands breaking up prematurely and disappearing off the face of the Earth. And when I heard one of my favorites of the newest wave of emo, Into It. Over It., would be opening? That sealed the deal for me. I knew I was going before I even checked the ticket prices.
Now don’t get me wrong, I did have some reservations about going to this. Mostly these amassed to a series of “what-ifs.” What if they’ve lost their touch after a 17-year hiatus? what if after having just seen Into It. Over It. I realize Mineral’s just not that good of a band, and I was only compelled to come because of 90s nostalgia? What if that ruins emo as a genre for me? What if they’re so good I start thinking all the newer bands suck? What if ninjas drop from the ceiling? What if Al Gore appears with a lightsaber and challenges me to a duel over the last fresh salmon? WHAT IF I HAVE A HEART ATTACK AND DIE DURING THE SHOW MAN?! You know, typical pre-show “what-if” questions.
Well, I’m happy to report that my what-ifs were completely dispelled over the course of the evening, though I can’t speak to the possibility of ninjas or Al Gore attacking your favorite music venue in the near future.
Obviously Into It. Over It. began the show. It was the first time I’d seen this band (though I’ve been a fans of Evan Weiss and co. for awhile now) and I have to say I was floored by how energetic their live performance is. Not every song is a high-energy affair, and nearly their entire set is devoid of the pop-punk circle pit tempo beats, but they still found a way to groove with each other and the music, which breathes life into their songs in a way that I don’t think a record ever could. Evan’s voice doesn’t miss a note either, which is especially impressive considering the above-average guitar work he juggles, and his backing band is right there with him every step of the way. That’s really what makes Into It. Over It. a great band, the fact that while the music is the brainchild of Evan Weiss the other members have been given room to make the music part of them as well. You’d never know they were a touring band, and that what makes them fantastic. Having Matt Fazzi from Brooklyn, NY’s A Great Big Pile of Leaves step in on keyboards certainly helped too.
Then Mineral slowly appeared on stage, and you could tell just by looking at them set up that this wasn’t going to be your run-of-mill medium-size indie rock set. The crowd was almost dead silent watching them prepare, during which point they didn’t even acknowledge there were other people in the room. That proved to be a recurring theme of their set, as they only spoke with the audience a couple of times through the whole 45-minute set. Where Into It. Over It. continuously engaged in banter with the crowd, Mineral hardly noticed there was one. They also weren’t as outwardly energetic either, which is understandable considering they only have a handful of high-speed songs in their entire catalogue. That isn’t to say they didn’t have energy. Quite the contrary, the entire set I felt this burning intensity erupting from the stage, as they hammered through the best songs of their career, not once missing a note and never losing focus from their own music. As they continued it felt less and less like they were playing out of sheer enjoyment. They looked like guys who needed this to feel alive. This wasn’t a performance for them. It was a ritual.
Naturally, the audience responded in kind. The applause after every song, whether they recognized it or not, was nothing short of thunderous, and they more than deserved. After 17 years, Chris Simpson’s voice is still magnificent (though he had a shaky start at the very beginning that he quickly made up for) and the band is still at the top of their game musically. To put it bluntly, watching those four guys play so subtly yet so passionately music that has helped shape an entire genre of music was simply mesmerizing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen musicians of any kind pack so much intensity in such a reserved performance, and I’m doubtful I will again.
If you can catch them on this tour, go. Seriously, go. Even if you’re 1000% positive you hate emo/indie rock/music like that, these guys are an amazing band to see live, and the window of opportunity is closing rapidly. Whatever genre of music you’re into, these guys will be worth your time, I promise you. You may not get to the music much, but more than likely you’ll be too blown away to care.