Mineral: Italy 2015 & Alabama 1997

My wife and I drove from our home in southern Germany yesterday to see Mineral plan in Milan, Italy. Except we never actually saw Milan, as both the concert venue, the Bloom Theater, and our hotel were in far northeast "suburbs." It was an incredible 24 hours, in which we of course saw the concert, but also drove all the way across Switzerland twice, which was indescribable (photo above I took out the car window as my wife drove).

The Bloom was in Mezzago, and as we searched for a dinner spot, we discovered the town of Vimercate. Besides finding a great place to eat (and eating Italian food in Italy for the first time), we drove across a narrow bridge on our way from dinner to the show. I could tell the bridge was unique as I passed through each end of it, but it wasn't until doing research tonight did I find out how special it is. The bridge is called Ponte di San Rocco and is one of the oldest bridges in Italy. Apparently a bridge has existed in this spot since the 3rd century, and parts of the current bridge are from the 12th Century.

Back to the main subject of the post, Mineral was spectacular. It is pretty mind-boggling to see them play in 2015, as less than a year ago the four guys in the band have admitted they had no plans to play a single reunion show, much less a world-wide tour. They were definitely raw and rough, but the energy was incredible. As I told Chris Simpson when I spoke to him after the show, I don't know how many people in the audience spoke English, but most everyone there knew all of Mineral's lyrics and sang along.

There is not much more I can say that hasn't been covered in the last 9 months since the band announced their reunion for their first shows since 1997 (and has since taken part in dozens of interviews, podcasts, etc.). I was impressed that they played both tracks off their outstanding 7", and of the seven "essential" Mineral songs I had my wife listen to on the drive down, they played all seven. (We also listened to Chris Simpson's newest Zookeeper album, Pink Chalk, which my wife greatly prefers.)

The setlist is below, and I am almost positive it is correct (but still from memory and notes I took). I took a ton of photos that turned out great. See one below or the whole set here. I also filmed my favorite Mineral song and uploaded it to YouTube (also below).

Mineral at Bloom in Mezzago, Italy
January 31, 2015
Solemn Sun opened

1. Five, Eight, and Ten
2. Gloria
3. Slower
4. February
5. M.D.
6. A Letter
7. For Ivadell
8. Sounds Like Sunday
9. Unfinished
10. If I Could
11. Waking to Winter
12. &Serenading
13. Love Letter Typewriter
14. Palisade
15. Parking Lot


Lastly, as I was packing for this overnight trip I thought back to when I first saw Mineral in concert; in Birmingham, Alabama in 1997. I did a Google search to see if I could find the date of the show or any other information. What I could not believe is that I was able to find a video of the entire concert on YouTube!

I am unable to see myself in the video because of where I was standing at the venue, but watching it is like going back in a time machine. I didn't remember most of the details, most importantly that the Get Up Kids and Jejune opened, but also randomly that the show was the day of Chris Simpson's 23rd birthday.

I actually took a bunch of photos of this show--but on film--and they are currently in storage so I can't scan any of them. I was surprised to see that "February" and "M.D." were performed both times I have seen the band, as they appear exclusively on a 7" vinyl record (that I bought my copy of at the Birmingham show in 1997).

Mineral at Unity 1605, Birmingham, AL
September 16, 1997
The Get Up Kids and Jejune opened

1. (unknown instrumental)
2. Love Letter Typewriter
3. Palisade
4. Slower
("Happy Birthday" sung to Chris on his 23rd birthday)
5. February
6. Gloria
7. M.D.
8. Parking Lot


Ponte di San Rocco photo by Rickseventy79 on Fli ckr.