The Morning Benders introduced never-before-heard songs off of their upcoming album last Thursday night at SOhO, surprising fans with their new musical twist.
The SHE’s, an all girl band, opened the house with tunes reminiscent of those of the Beach Boys with the girly twist like that of Camera Obscura. Although all the members are only sophomores in high school, they have already developed a distinct sound.
The lead singer, Koley O’Brien, of the next opening band, A B & the Sea, actually discovered the young talent and asked them to join them in opening for The Morning Benders since the concert date landed perfectly during their spring break. A B & the Sea also served the crowd beachy tunes mixed with a Beatles vibe.
Finally, the Morning Benders walked on stage to sound check; however, they seemed to be a member short. Tim Or, the former bassist, appeared to be missing. When asked where Or was, the lead singer Chris Chu said, “He’s not playing with us anymore. Things just didn’t work out.” No further explanation. Nevertheless, the show went on unaffected by his absence.
This show marked the first performance since a four-month dry season spent working on new material, yet the band was more than ready to entertain. They played hits off of their most notable album Big Echo, such as “Promises” and “Waiting for a War” meeting every expectation.
Then Chu dropped the big news: this specific audience would be the first ever to hear their most recent compilations. The indie rock band decided to take a different course with this new album. The three songs “Be Your Man,” “Halfway to Heaven,” and “Rock Your Body (RYB)” definitely surprised the crowd with its electro-pop sound. Despite the turn of events, die-hard Morning Benders fans remained open-minded and loyal.
Chu ended the set with a bang, incorporating the entire audience to sing the three-part harmony of “Excuses.” The venue boomed with voices of all different ranges yet remarkably created a melodious balance.
Chu even made his way down through the crowd, walking through the sea of fans as flanking arms reached out to touch any part of him. The Morning Benders then proceeded to walk off stage, leaving the crowd with an intense high. The people demanded an encore, and they clearly wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.
They gave in to the crowd’s demands and played one final song, despite the long trek they would have to make for their Coachella performance the very next day. “Virgins” was shouted throughout the crowd, so they accepted the request. With soft melodies, the Morning Benders put their audience to ease.
Whether or not the Morning Benders decide to continue on their indie-rock path, I will continue to follow their music because they are a band of tremendous talent. Whether it be polka, punk or country, I have faith that this band will make it work. Be on the lookout for the Morning Benders’ upcoming album.