Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Good Morning.

The Morning Benders
The Independent
San Francisco, CA
March 30, 2010

If so inclined, one could find reasons to quibble. i.e., the set was barely an hour long, consisting essentially of the Big Echo album, w/song order shuffled. No encore either, it was pretty much wham-bam thx & goodnight.

Honestly though: it was a great show, & it was a good hour later before I even thought to get critical like that. The Morning Benders have quickly matured into a very sharp & very satisfying live band. Still centered around the original & efficient trio, they’re currently touring as a 5-piece. The new songs, so richly & lushly produced on the album, were fleshed out beautifully onstage. All of the playing was fresh, exuberant, totally fun.

Of course, this was something of a triumphant return: the album is a big hit (in indie terms), the tour has been selling out left & right, NY, LA, & SXSW all went well, Hey life is looking good for the Morning Benders. This hometown show was all sold out, & the mood appropriately festive.

As per my usual preference, I stood right up in front of the stage. That put me amidst all the girls, sighing & fawning all gaga for Chris Chu. What a heart-throb, what a dreamboat. Which ought not to suggest that Chris is just a pretty face, no way that. He is waifish & mignon, yes, but he’s also a man all in charge of his destiny. The sweetness is there but it’s plenty balanced; there were portions of actual ferocity. It’s a rock & roll band, after all.

& I have commented before about Julian Harmon’s drumming, of which I am an unreserved fan. But I’m not certain I’ve ever been fully appreciative of Tim Or’s bass playing. Like every truly great bassist, Tim’s grapple against those unwieldy blocks of sound is undertaken w/grace, w/fluidity. He constantly does difficult things & he makes them all look inevitable.

The closing number was “Excuses,” accompanied by a string trio & members of both opening bands. I think I counted thirteen people on the Indy’s little stage. Nicely done, that.

1 comment:

  1. so mad I didn't get to go to this. 21 in a few monthsssssssss. I went down to so cal for their troubadour show but it was sold out so I saw them play at an instore instead.