Live Review: The Morning Benders (MHoW) 4/24/10

I still don’t know the name of the openers’ opening act, but let’s just say that their “lead” woman came off as something closer to terminal cancer patient who had been granted her wish to perform at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Rubbish. This dirty hipster, as lazy as he may be, does not have enough time to waste discussing such a band. Painful. Fortunately, the two bands whose names were written on my ticket, Holiday Shores and The Morning Benders, were terrific.

After taking a stroll down Kent to try and wash the bitter taste of the opening act’s set out of my brain, I reentered after Holiday Shores had begun their set. The room was beginning to fill up, and a much-needed adrenaline boost was delivered to the audience by an (unexpectedly) excellent band. I couldn’t help but say out loud: “this is the kind of music you want to hear at a show,” even though I was at the show alone. I got a weird look from an unattractive girl. This is when sunglasses at night come in handy.

Holiday Shores
Holiday Shores

Following Holiday Shores, I grabbed a beer , okay, a couple beers, drained the lizard and heading back into the room. Doesn’t it suck when you leave for ten minutes only to find that the only place to stand is right next to the stinkin’ sound guy? Either way, anyone who has read this dirty hipster’s review of The Morning Benders’ album will know that I was highly anticipating this show. I did not leave disappointed.

The Morning Benders
The Morning Benders

The Morning Benders lived up to their title as the headliner and put on a truly remarkable show. They were charming, engaging and, perhaps most importantly, tight as all hell. They executed every note to utter perfection. Julian, the lead guitarist, manned his instrument with a noteworthy adeptness, striking notes with both a machine-like precision and a genuine passion. But the show really rotated around Christopher Chu. Chu is a singer’s singer, ya dig? He delivers his lines with a contagious youthful sincerity. And, despite the fact that he resembles the sort of fresh-faced dweeb I’d push down the stairs in middle school/a prostitute in Apocalypse Now, he bears a commanding and professional presence on-stage. Heartfelt, melancholic songs of love, upbeat dance songs, brilliant musicianship and an undeniable band chemistry made for a truly outstanding performance. This dirty hipster highly, highly recommends seeing this band from Berkeley as soon as the opportunity presents itself. There are, allegedly, still tickets remaining for their July 28 show at Summerstage with the Black Keys. Skip Union Pool for a night and put that PBR money towards a ticket to see The Morning Benders. -DFH

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