LIVE REVIEW: LA’s Mini Mansions in Cambridge, MA (06/04/19)
A week ago, I ventured out to one of my favorite spots in the city to check out what the dudes of Los Angeles based trio Mini Mansions are all about, and man was it a trip. The band has been a unit for ten years now but as the abundance of Queens of the Stone Age shirts and homemade jackets could tell me, this was an incredibly special night for the packed house in attendance. While Mini Mansions is clearly a true passion for the group, the members also have spots in Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys and Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys’ side project The Last Shadow Puppets.
That night though, it was all about Mini Mansions. As the guys walked into the room on their approach to the stage, everyone just turned in silence and awe watching them move through the room. The show taking place at the Middle East Upstairs which holds a mere 194, it clearly made for a magical experience for fans in the loop. The room of dedicated music fans never shouted out tracks the guys do with their respective bands, it was purely a room full of nodding heads to every track. Opening the set with ‘FreakOut!’, the crowd was roaring for each member as they individually took the stage as the track warmed up. The song started out with heat until front man Michael Shuman shouted out to the crowd ‘Our in ears are out so help us please’, which had the sound guys alerted to only the beginning of the technical issues that plagued the set throughout.
But being the seasoned professionals that all of the guys in the band are, they continued to play through their set with the audience in full support. Several times through out though and only fair to them, Shuman continued to voice that the band wants to bring the best show possible every time and felt that they were unable to do so in Boston. While musicians that may be more prone to diva behavior could have easily walked off stage and called it a night, the band was determined to still play a full and fair set to their crowd that had come out. From dealing with a bass not being plugged in to keyboardist’ Tyler Parkford’s microphone not working at another point, he still sang like nothing was wrong and the band continued to play through fan hits like “ Any Emotions”, “I’m In Love”, and “Monk”. With the latter, Shuman introducing it by saying “The guy taking a piss next to asked for an old song. This isn’t it though’ and the crowd went off. Their crowd interaction was on point throughout the set and fully appeased the fans through the moments the sound guys were hustling to fix the technical issues on stage.
While the band played plenty of the old, with a new album around the corner coming out July 26th, “Guy Walks into a Bar…”, obviously some new material was on the bill. Including a huge stand out for me personally and for the crowd as well with lead single off the new album, “GummyBear”. The new tracks seem to indicate a bit of a change for the band’s direction but fully here for it. The band rocked their way through a stretched out fourteen song night, but the crowd was eating up every moment despite the tech difficulties the band couldn’t help happening. Including just a room of laughter after Shuman said, “Everything’s fucked but it’s cool”.
Overall the band put on a great show, screaming the veterans they are of live performance, and the crowd was blissed out over the treat that was this intimate show. With the new album around the corner as mentioned, we’re sure to hopefully see another Mini Mansions tour soon despite all members’ intense music schedules I’m sure they find themselves battling and we’ll be there when that time comes!