Nightlife, Stepdad, Minus the Bear

First Aid Productions in Marquette, MI has put on some great shows for the students of NMU. Thanks to them I’ve been able to see Dashboard Confessionals, OK Go, Chiodos, Plain White Tee’s, MxPx, and other great bands without leaving the comfort of my home. Thing is… none of those shows were… that… good. Granted, personal taste has a lot to do with this, it seems like over the past year FAP has really stepped up their game. Last year, Bouncing Souls killed it, and just last week they brought up Nightlife, Stepdad, and Minus the Bear. Whoa.

Nightlife got up first. We’ve done an article on them in the past, but I had never seen them live. Loving their recordings, I was really excited to see how they performed. Darin pressed play on a laptop (and some keyboard keys), and Caroline sang her (very soothing) vocals. Their songs we’re just as catchy as ever, but their performance wasn’t the most engaging. Maybe it’s not just my scene, but I’ve seen performers use laptops as a primary vehicle for their live music who have been much more engaging. Don’t get me wrong, their music is fun, catchy, and poppy and worth checking out.

After Nightlife wrapped up, Stepdad took the stage. We’ve wrote about them before as well, and they’re playing this years Keweenawesomefest. For anyone who has seen them, it’ll be no surprise for me to say – these guys are fucking amazing. Also using a laptop to drive a lot of their music, they know how to get the crowd going and not look like they’re bored on stage. Their debut E.P. is available for $1 on bandcamp, and if you dig that, they’re raising money via Kickstarter for their debut full length.

Last, but not least, was Minus the Bear from Seattle. About half way through their set I thought to myself “Holy shit, I’m one foot away from one of my favorite bands from high school taking press photos of them.”, so you can guess that I’m pretty bias. They killed it. What else is there to say? I haven’t listened to any of their new music and was a little concerned it would be like seeing Say Anything nowadays, but it wasn’t at all. They’ve still got it, and hopefully they keep having it. Although they aren’t midwest in the least, if you ever get a chance to check them out – I highly recommend doing so.