The word “underdog” is used loosely here, as selling out four shows this week (three of which take place at the sizable Bowery Ballroom) suggests the opposite, but the reunited Texas-birthed emo outfit Mineral are dark horses by definition, coming to represent a population of underdog music fans that in the band’s mid-90s heyday hadn’t yet exploded into Hot Topic’s mainstream marketing demographic. On Thursday, they play their first New York show in 17 years at Saint Vitus — more proof of talent buyer David Castillo widening the venue’s booking past its metal comfort zone — as part of the band’s 20th anniversary tour, fortuitously synched with emo’s unexpected reemergence in the press.
The genre’s token hyper-sensitivity may contrast Vitus’ black-and-doom interior, but that shouldn’t deter the crowd from revealing hearts on sleeves. If all goes as expected, per 1998 tradition, frontman Chris Simpson will lead the crowd in word-for-word rally calls from The Power of Failing and EndSerenading — the band’s only two proper albums, essentially boiled down to a series of floundering wails that sound like Simpson is cracking open, grounded by guitar work that is precise but heavy. Newly appointed emo torchbearer Evan Thomas Weiss starts the show in Mineral’s image with his band Into it. Over it. and a promised “very special guest” (maybe, probably, probably not Sunny Day Real Estate) will presumably cause mayhem. The underdogs will rise, if only for a night, usurping a metal bar in Greenpoint. Don’t miss it.
Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter @heylaurenbeck.