by Matt Kelchner
Hailed as being one of the forefathers of the “emo” scene, it’s been a long time since Mineral were a functioning band. A LONG time. The Austin four piece officially broke up after finishing their sophomore album, EndSerenading, in 1997. Their collection of songs have since gone on to be cited as highly influential for countless bands, including Evan Weiss, the mastermind behind Into It. Over It (and approximately a million other bands), who happens to be direct support for the entirety of the tour.
After a series of sold out shows in New York City and an intimate performance held in a small church in Connecticut, the tour rolled into Philadelphia last Thursday night for a near-sold out show. Older fans from the early days stood side by side with those who have discovered them since, eagerly waiting to hear the songs that provided soundtracks to their lives.
It’s not every day that you get to see an act tour with one of their biggest idols. Since being named the opener for the full length of the US portion of Mineral’s reunion tour, he has not kept it a secret his level of excitement and gratitude to be a part of this run. On top of this, any Philadelphia show for Weiss and Into It. Over It. is a sort of homecoming for the now Chicago native who grew up right outside of the city, in Cherry Hill, NJ. Midway through his set, Weiss took the time to thank the concert promoter, R5 Productions, for not only the night but being so influential when Weiss was living in the New Jersey suburb
>While having released a new album, Intersections, last year, Into It. Over It. still offers a wide range of songs that pull from the entire discography. Thursday night was no different. Newer songs like “New Northside Air” and “Upstate Blues” were mixed in with cuts such as “Embracing Facts” and “Midnight: Carroll Street” from his first album Proper. Weiss also offered up a few tunes from his two projects Twelve Towns and 52 Weeks. For the concertgoers who might not be familiar with Into It. Over It., Thursday night was the perfect introduction to one of the acts at the forefront of the current crop of “emo” bands.
For a band who was reuniting after a little over a decade and a half, there was no big, grand entrance for them. The was no elaborate banner hanging behind them and no decorative stage set up. It was just four guys walking out to grab a couple of guitars and get behind a drum kit. Yet there was a loud, roaring cheer from their devoted fans who have been waiting for way too longer to see this night happen.
Mineral kicked things off with a couple of songs from their first album, The Power of Failing. They played the first three songs, “Five, Eight & Ten”, “Gloria” and “Slower” as they appeared on the record. Both songs from their “February” b/w “M.D.” single followed. With only a personal knowledge of how the songs sounded recorded, each one hit harder live. Whether it was the energy steaming off the fans down below or being back out on the road, there was breathe of fresh air in each guys on stage.
The remaining portion of the set was devoted tracks off EndSerenading. The album was never taken out on the road when it was first released so for many of the songs, this was the first time they were performed in front of an audience. Songs like “Soundslikesunday” and “Wakingtowinter” rang out with echos of every lyric as the crowd sang along to every word. There was little stage banter or storytelling between songs as Mineral attempted to jam as many songs into their night as they could.
As the last few notes of “&Serenading” finished, Mineral walked off just as humbly as they entered. After just a minute or two, they came back out for a three song encore that featured more from EndSerenading, “LoveLetterTypewriter”, “Palisade” and “Parking Lot”. Throughout the night not one member of the band seemed to skip a beat. They played like they had been secretly practicing since they disbanded. The future may be a little foggy for Mineral as no plans have been announced on their tour overseas finishes but for one night in Philadelphia they made a lot of wishes come true. Here’s to hopefully seeing you again Mineral!