Concert Review: Broken Bells, Morning Benders, June 2, Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Toronto – I am a sucker for a good falsetto voice. Luckily, last night the Queen Elizabeth Theatre had two bands with falsetto front men cued up!

The Morning Benders, hailing from Berkeley California opened up for Broken Bells. To me they are a combination of The Dodos, The Beatles and The Shins – they have that breezy California sound, with some classic melodies while having their own distinctive indie-pop sound.

Morning Benders just released their freshman album, Big Echo.  Seeing as they are touring with Broken Bells now and immediately after they begin a tour with Black Keys, they have been very well-received. Their performance was great, a very enthusiastic youthful band that is clearly still on that break-out star high. Some highlights were their tunes Cold War and Promises, they closed with their dreamy-sunny day-in-California hit single Excuses. Their set took my mind of the torrential downpours in Toronto and had me on a beach in California for an hour.

You can grab a free non LP song from the Morning Benders called Cold War (Wallpaper. Remix) here

Broken Bells are the super group legends are made of, a combination of James Mercer of Shins fame and Danger Mouse, 50% of Gnarls Barkley, who has collaborated with the who’s who in the music industry (Gorillaz and Beck to name a couple). With such a strong falsetto and production genius, fans had high hopes for this collaboration. I really liked their debut self-titled album (though very Shins-esque) so I was pretty excited to see this live show as I have never seen the Shins live!

Their live performance, was, well a little on the boring side. James Mercer’s voice was beautiful as ever and Danger Mouse exhibited talent moving between drums, keyboard and guitar but the 7-piece band lacked energy and excitement. There wasn’t much audience interaction which was fine but they seemed to race through the set, playing the entire album plus two covers in about an hour. The highlight for me was their cover of Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells, they really nailed this 60’s hit.

I wouldn’t say this show was a let-down because Broken Bells were good, but only about as good as listening to their album. I came for Broken Bells but I must say I left loving the Morning Benders, they will be back in August opening for Black Keys and I already have tickets!

Check out the new music video for Broken Bells, called The Ghost Inside, starring Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks here

Broken bells – The Ghost Inside by akitrash

Posted on by sarahw in Concerts

3 Responses to Concert Review: Broken Bells, Morning Benders, June 2, Queen Elizabeth Theatre

  1. josef

    The new Broken Bells video for The Ghosts Inside is awesome. I’m lovin the chic from Mad Men. Beam me up Scottie

  2. Pingback: Shows This Week: August 3rd to August 8 | The Panic Manual

  3. Jenn Aguinaldo

    I’m pretty much in love with the new single they just launched on Spotify for “After The Disco”.

Add a Comment