photos by Dominick Mastrangelo, words by Andrew Frisicano
At their Brooklyn Vegan-presented show on Saturday night (4/24), The Morning Benders didn't bring out any special guests a la their widely circulated video for "Excuses" (which features support from a studio-full Bay Area musicians). Instead, the band made do with the sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg crowd, who boosted that song's wordless harmonies with encouragement from frontman Chris Chu as he suavely serenaded the women in the front row and then hopped off stage. He hopped back on before the extended, set-closing hit song was over. There was no encore.
The Morning Benders' Big Echo has only ten songs, but from that they culled a set with ups and down that started with a whisper and closed with ebullient highs of "Excuses". They also went back to their 2008 record Talking Through Tin Cans for the song "Damnit Anna", and played a non-album track live for the very first time. It was a B side to a limited 7" that was for sale at the show. They said they played it to mix up the set for those who came to multiple NYC shows on the tour.
Holiday Shores warmed up the crowd with splashy beach pop. The band was bolstered members of Twin Sister, who they had played with the night before, and who were filling in for Holiday Shores members that couldn't make the trip to NYC this time. Their drummer and bass player were totally locked in and riveting to watch. That made the other things happening on stage - an extra ride cymbal being pulverized, a Rhodes solo, vocals - all the more interesting. They split afterward to do a late set at Bruar Falls' one-year-anniversary party, which was happening a few blocks away.
Before that, Montreal's the Luyas played gently shattered art pop with a French horn, keys and a harplike electric guitar. They created atmospheres of tension with those tools and more - at one point, their drummer rattled chains on his floor tom for extra eerie effect. It was one of several NYC shows that week for the band (one of which was at a loft, and the last of which was at Glasslands on Sunday night).
The Morning Benders, now based out of New York, have one more sold-out NYC show on Wednesday at Mercury Lounge, before they tour with Broken Bells in May and June. That includes a June 5th show at Irving Plaza. Tickets are sold out. Their shows after that include a pair of shows at Central Park SummerStage with the Black Keys in July. Tickets to one of those are still available.
More pictures from the MHOW show, with the Morning Benders' setlist and their newish video for "Promises" and all tour dates are below...
The Morning Benders...
The Morning Benders - 2010 Tour Dates
Apr 28 Mercury Lounge New York, New York
May 01 Dickinson College Carlisle, Pennsylvania ^
May 18 Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay San Diego, California %
May 19 Henry Fonda Theatre Los Angeles, California %
May 21 Regency Ballroom San Francisco, California %
May 24 Wonder Ballroom Portland, Oregon %
May 25 Showbox @ The Market Seattle, Washington %
May 26 Commodore Ballroom Vancouver, British Columbia %
May 29 Gothic Theatre Denver, Colorado %
May 31 Vic Theatre Chicago, Illinois %
Jun 01 St. Andrew's Hall Detroit, Michigan %
Jun 02 Queen Elizabeth Theatre Toronto, Ontario %
Jun 04 Royale Night Club Boston, Massachusetts %
Jun 05 The Fillmore New York @ Irving Plaza New York, New York %
Jun 06 Electric Factory Philadelphia, Pennsylvania %
Jun 07 9:30 Club Washington DC, Washington DC %
Jun 10 Center Stage Atlanta, Georgia %
Jun 11 40 Watt Club Athens, Georgia %
Jul 23 CMAC Performing Arts Center Canandaigua, New York &
Jul 27 Central Park Summerstage New York, New York $
Jul 28 Central Park Summerstage New York, New York $
Aug 01 Osheaga Festival (TIME TBA) Montreal, Quebec
Aug 06 Lollapalooza (SET DAY/TIME TBA) Chicago, Illinois
^ w/ Grizzly Bear
% w/ Broken Bells
& w/ THE FLAMING LIPS
$ w/ Black Keys