The night of October 26, 2014 was a memorable one in Pomona, CA, for none other than Mineral were a band again and were playing The Glass House. Sure, it was a late, Sunday night set, and sure, the band might've been tired after a string of shows in San Francisco and LA, but if they were, it wasn't evident.
Kicking off the night were young and vibrant Astoria, OR-based indie rockers Holiday Friends, who moved the crowd with bright hooks and a verbal graciousness to be opening for the California portion of the reunion tour. Although they differed quite a bit from the rest of the night's lineup, Holiday Friends certainly held their own, and it would be no surprise to see their name come into more prominence in the future.
Chicago's Into It. Over It. followed, a band who in many ways have followed in the footsteps of Mineral or likewise bands of the late 90s' "emo" era (but, please, don't call it a revival). Frontman Evan Weiss, the man behind IIOI, dominated the stage with a friendly, exuberant presence that displayed his past 10+ years playing in more bands than most can count. Between songs from most of the band's catalog, with the exception of anything from Twelve Towns, Weiss joked with the animated crowd ("Turn up!" "Turn up what? My guitar, my amp?") and even began solo, like old times, with the beloved "Anchor." It's no surprise why Into It. Over It. opened for both Mineral and American Football on a single tour.
Eventually, the lights would dim for the third and final time of the night, and for one of the first times in nearly 17 years, Mineral took the stage. The band sounded like they hadn't aged a day, exhibiting the intense (see: "Gloria") and the emotional ("M.D.") of their too-short repertoire. Chris Simpson was soft-spoken, sipping out of what appeared to be a goblet of wine, assuring that the band would do their best to make the babysitters worth it, only to be met with a yell of "My kids are in college!"
The night was filled with joyous sing-a-longs, and despite the crowd being smaller, a not-so-rare affliction of Sunday night shows, the audience was in a special place while Mineral played, held captive by a mutual feeling, perhaps one of teenage emotions revisited. Whatever it was, Mineral were the source of it, and for once in the world of mass hysteria and about a million other things gone wrong, everything felt okay. Not perfect, but okay.
Into It. Over It.
About the Author
Brooks Ginnan is the editor of Exiled Music Press. He is usually crying over the fact that we will never see a reunion of The Smiths or Cocteau Twins.