Broken Bells and The Morning Benders Play Humphrey’s
If you haven’t heard of Broken Bells, chances are you’ve already heard their music. The musical duo consists of Shins’ front man James Mercer and artist/producer Brian Burton, better known as Danger Mouse. While Mercers’ acoustic folk and Burton’s predominantly hip-hop based work may seem unlikely ingredients of a succesful musical recipe, several years of collaborative effort between the two delivered a gem in the form of their self-titled LP released earlier this March.
Even better, the Berkeley-based west coasters The Morning Benders were opening. I’ve had the chance to see these guys several times in Diego over the past few semesters and have yakked with them on several occasions as well. They were excellent guys, but an even better band. Their Big Echo, released earlier this year, has been playing in our living room for several months now.
The Bells took the stage to a fully attended crowd. Though that crowd was sitting on a tiki-torch lit lawn outside Humphrey’s resort, which made my friend liken the atmosphere to his grandmother’s 60th wedding anniversary, the fans eagerly greeted the Bells and fueled them through the show. As for the gang on the stage, it was a definite showing of masterful musicianship.
Both Mercer and Burton showed creative bouts in genres previously untouched in their careers. Looking back on what they’ve both done independently, it shouldn’t have been a shocker, but I kept thinking about how incredibly talented musicians were at work. It warranted the classic “they make it look so easy” line. Overall, it was a night of excellent music both new and familiar, albeit the strange setting. I highly recommend seeing either the Bells or the Benders next time they roll your way.