Mineral (photo: Patric Carver)
Mineral is a band that doesn’t offer many surprises; they don’t need to. They are a solid outfit that plays gut-churning rock, and they do so with gusto every time. Thursday at Great American Music Hall, they tore into their set with raucous “Five, Eight, Ten.” Every member tore up their guitars, and the room full of fans lapped it up. Though Mineral is celebrating their 25th anniversary with this tour, the longevity named in that celebration seems a little more than disingenuous. Mineral broke up after less than four years together in the late ’90s. After getting back together five years ago, the band seems to believe that they can tout this quarter-century milestone. If a couple had divorced after four years of marriage and then remarried decades later, I doubt anyone would be breaking out the silver to commemorate the occasion. However, based on the enthusiasm in the room, I was in the minority in holding this belief. I will say that Mineral’s songs are certainly worth celebrating, with powerhouse numbers like “Gloria” and “Aurora” raising the hair on the backs of necks in every corner of Great American Music Hall.
Less exhilarating was opening act, Tancred. Jess Abbott, formerly of Now, Now, has really developed her voice with Tancred. On “Queen of New York” she was singing with her whole self, and it was impressive. She’s got one of those voices that is clean and utilitarian, and I mean that in the best way. Her chops sound like a good pair of new work boots feel — reliable and made to last, comforting in an odd way. “Bed Case” and “Apple Tree” showcased her talent for writing beautiful songs with someone unusual structure — songs that deserved to be played emphatically. It’s a shame that I felt like Abbott and her drummer seemed to be the only ones on stage that were living up to the potential of the songs. The bass and guitar were…fine. I mean, there wasn’t anything wrong, but it felt a little too right. Her bandmates played like people who had learned the songs, and there wasn’t anything particularly emotive about their playing. Abbott’s songs deserve better than that, and I hope that one day her current project is able to capture the magic she had with former Now, Now bandmates.