In yesterday’s post, I briefly mentioned that The Morning Benders opened up The Black Keys’ show last night. But a brief mention is not enough for this band. Nay, a full review is necessary.
Now, at first glance, The Morning Benders might look a bit like Vampire Weekend. A young indie-rock band. They dress like hipsters complete with skinny jeans rolled up, boat shoes, button down shirts half unbuttoned, and wayfarers. But that’s where the comparisons end. Everything I hated about the Vampire Weekend concert I not-so-recently attended was perfected in this show.
Shall we list these things? We shall.
1. The crowd
I guess this one isn’t too fair, because the crowd was there to see The Black Keys. But hey, that’s kind of irrelevant. The crowd didn’t know the music too well, but they hummed along, and seemed to enjoy the songs as they were. And instead of a bunch of hipster kids in the boat shoes and scarves, we had true music fans (Wow! That’s a crazy generalization about hipsters and their music-fannness. I hope the hipster KGB doesn’t try to arrest me the next time I step foot in Brooklyn), who were able to appreciate a band that they’d never heard before. This is something that may not matter to everyone else, but for me, the crowd has a huge impact on how I experience the show.
2. The band
This band seemed genuinely excited to be opening for The Black Keys. And that’s because they were. Not only did they look like teenagers, but they had the uncynical excitement of them, as singer/guitarist Chris Chu rambled on about how cool it was to be there. Such was not the case with certain ivy-league indie rockers out there, but this isn’t time for naming names.
3. The music
One thing that Vampires don’t do well: Improvise. Change. Innovate. (I realize I just said three things, but they’re all essentially the same. Please forgive this inconsistency for the sake of me entertaining myself with what I think is witty prose.) I’ve never seen Twilight or watched True Blood, but when I saw VW in concert, it was as if they just pressed play on the album and stood back to lip-sync. Not so with The Morning Benders. Every single song sounded a bit different. This is a band that know that the album version of their songs might not be perfect, and seems to have continued to let those tracks evolve over time. Because, with indie bands who’s albums tend to lack solos or improvisational sections, it’s imperative that they find some way to shake things up in concert. The Morning Benders have found a way, and it’s obvious at their shows.
While I don’t have a good TMB bootleg right now, I promise to share it with you as soon as I do. For now check out this album track. And for pics from the show, check out yesterday’s post here.
The Morning Benders – Cold War