Bay Area dream-poppers Minipop celebrated the release of their EP Chances, as well as their 10th anniversary, at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on July 18th. After generating some great buzz with their debut LP A New Hope in 2007, Minipop had been fairly silent since, save for the Automatic Love EP in 2010. So it was quite a pleasant surprise when I did my semi-regular “I wonder what happened to Minipop?” check just a couple days before this show. Particularly as a displaced New Yorker who just moved to SF, it was a nice little bonus. The live music scene is one of the things I miss most about New York, and while SF certainly has a vibrant scene, there aren’t a whole lot of out-of-leftfield surprise shows like there are in New York. So this was definitely one in the “couldn’t have seen this in NYC” column. This was even more confirmed when the band mentioned their next shows were supposed to be in China (though those fell through, apparently).
After a long hiatus, and sporting two guest members on guitar and bass, the band still sounded super tight, with the new songs sounding as good as old favorites like “Generator” and “Like I Do.” Minipop always sounded like a long-lost 90s dream-pop/shoegaze band (that’s a compliment), and this was even more evident on an outstanding cover of Smashing Pumpkins’ “Rhinoceros.” Though I recognized the song immediately, it was still tough to tell if I was actually hearing it correctly, because it blended seamlessly with the rest of the set. Bottom line: great band, played a great set, and hopefully more shows and music to follow.
Oh, also, they handed out mini cupcakes. Bonus!
Check out 1 minute of “Rhinoceros” and photos below.