An Afternoon with The Morning Benders

It was Record Day across the United States yesterday, and in Boston The Morning Benders were in town to play a show at T.T. The Bears. They stopped by Newbury Comics at Fanuiel Hall to play a free acoustic show. There had been a mix up with the time they were supposed to go on with times ranging from 2:00-4:00. We got there around 2 with no sign whatsoever that the Morning Benders were supposed to show up. We wandered around the store in a kind of desperation to find any sign of them coming to the store and only after asking a staff member did we figure out that they were supposed to come around 4. So then to waste the time we went to nearby Quincy Market for lunch. After an hour we headed back to the store to peruse the good deals they had available for record day (20% vinyl and 30% off used CDs and DVDs). Front and center in the vinyl section there was the Morning Benders Big Echo and we deliberated on buying it given the fact that neither of us had a record player, but the album art was making it hard to resist.

Then the girlfriend noticed Chris Chu walking incognito around the store guarded by a simple grey hoodie and non-descript clothes to match. We then decided that it might be a good idea to buy the vinyl in hopes of getting it signed by the band after the show. While waiting at the register, a man brushed by us and said “hey man thats a good record” looking up we noticed it was Chris Chu and not to let the moment pass, I said “oh yea well you should sign it” in a moment of pure modesty he consented and signed the vinyl front and center and although somewhat star-struck we just complimented him on his “Yours Truly” version of Excuses and went on our way. Fifteen minutes later the band was set up in a tiny corner of what had been the Levi clothing section of the store. The drummer only armed with a tom and tamberine, Chris Chu just with an acoustic while the guitarists and bassist were the only members still electric. The first song they launched into was Promises which was pulled off surprisingly well despite the studio version being so reliant on electric technology. Harmonies were on key and the musicians were in top form and despite being completely different from the original, it was a fun song to listen to.

The other songs they played in no particular order

Stitches

Wet Cement

Cold War

All Day Day Light

Damnit Anna

a cover of some Neil Young song

Excuses

As symphonically swirling and dynamically driving as the studio record is, the melodies on all these songs are strong enough to come across in an acoustic format.  The members were very down to earth and well suited to the low key environment and had some very nice banter with the crowd.  After the show, I sought out the rest of the band members and got them all to sign on the vinyl, all of them being quite modest and happy to see an appreciative fan.  They’re definitely a band to see live, and they’re coming back to Boston June 2nd with another great new band Broken Bells.

All Day Day Light

All Day Day Light

Cold War

Cold War

Stitches

Stitches

Wet Cement

Wet Cement

Excuses (Yours Truly version)

01 Excuses (Yours Truly Session)

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