A collection of musically themed musings by Brendan Bush in Burlington, VT

Mail: PO Box 1556 | Burlington, VT 05402

Wrapup: The Morning Benders @ Monkey House 4/16/2010

Filed Under: Concert Reviews, Live Shows, New Releases

Written by Brendan

Sunday April 18, 2010

As my first thought, I just want to say that I love the Monkey House. It’s amazing that a venue that size (~100 capacity) is able to bring bands like The Tallest Man on Earth and The Morning Benders to the Burlington area. Not only that, but the bartenders were attentive, the crowd was generally friendly and respectful, and it’s pretty hard to find a bad place to stand there.

Moving on, and I’ll get these out of the way quickly – though the crowd was generally respectful, there was WAY (and I don’t capitalize frivolously) too much talking going on from the back of the room. Yes, it’s still a bar, and yes, there is a pool table. But why waste $12 extra for a ticket to a show you only marginally pay attention to? You can definitely buy the newest Morning Benders album for less than that, and I bet there is a better place to play pool on a Friday night. So I’m just saying…

(also, I wish I had brought my SLR because I’d love for quality photos to accompany these posts, but the Monkey House photo policy requires explicit permission from the band, and I unfortunately never got an answer from the band’s manager)

I’ve done some intentional damage to my ears in the past few years, there’s no disputing that. But like various other things, it’s taken me this long (30+ years) to figure out that it might be better to start with prevention instead of instigation. So I donned my heavy duty construction-grade earplugs early, having heard ringing for at least 2.5 days after The Hold Steady show the week before. And as it’s always really tough to gauge the true sound of a show with earplugs in, I may have had it better or worse than those standing around me — but I thought the Morning Benders sounded great.

The musical depth of their recently released album “Big Echo” could truly be felt at The Monkey House. The vocals were crisp and comfortably sung, the guitars were steady and strong, and the bass and drums made me move. If I paid more attention, I’d say that they may have played the entire new album (though not cover to cover). We also got to sing happy birthday to Tim the bass guitar player, whose earnest smile made it worth having to hear myself sing.

Having put “Patient Patient” from their 2008 release “Talking Through Tin Cans” on my favorite music from that year, I do have to say that I was sad to not hear a single tune from the album. But I gather that album was personal and the band feels good about moving on, so I’m glad I was along for the ride. The Morning Benders are fresh-faced (literally and figuratively) and entertaining, and I definitely recommend seeing their show.

Looking forward to seeing these guys again at Osheaga. Maybe this time they’d at least give me all 1:58 of “Damnit Anna”…

Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

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