Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Airborne Toxic Event and The Morning Benders at Spaceland

I knew it was going to be packed at Spaceland when I couldn't find a parking spot on the street and the valet parking was full. The Airborne Toxic Event secured a coveted Thursday residency and word continues to spread fast about their engaging live show. I last caught The Airborne Toxic event in November when they played at the Detroit Bar and was impressed.

The Morning Benders

The Morning Benders continue to impress me with their live performances. This was the fourth time I have caught them since originally seeing them at the Viper Room in November. Their songs continue to grow on me and I have been listening to their two EPs "Boarded Doors" and "Loose Change" quite a bit. The Morning Benders started their set with the catchy foot stomping "I Was Wrong". Joe Ferrell (Guitars) was tremelo picking so rapidly he sliced his hand and was bleeding all over his Fender Stratocaster. Joe had an Electro Harmonix Black Finger Compressor in his pedal chain along with a Boss Digital Reverb to compliment Chris Chu's (Vocals/Guitars) Fender Telecaster tones well. The Morning Benders also played "Crosseyed" which is another potential single off their upcoming release "Talking Through Tin Cans". The Morning Benders are the front runners for the most live reviewed band in 2008 as I will see them again with The Kooks at the Troubadour on February 7th and with We Barbarians at the Detroit Bar on February 25th. The Morning Benders did not play their cover of "Ceremony" but did play "A Song" which is the B-side off their 7 inch release of "Waiting For A War".

The Airborne Toxic Event

The Airborne Toxic Event shouldn't be playing Spaceland with the performance they turned in. I envision them playing the Wiltern within a year or so. The soft synth swells of "Wishing Well" echo nicely before the jangling guitars roar in with the violin riding the undercurrent of the sythns. The music soon gives way to Mikel Jollet's commanding voice. "Papillon" is fueled with stabbing guitars and the shout along chorus of "I'm such a mess!". "Gasoline" is fueled by a hypnosis inducing bass line that almost has a punk vibe to the song meshed with clean rapid fire guitars. "Does This Mean You're Moving On?" incited a dance party on stage and featured some tambourine action to coordinate all the stage invaders. Mikel must have been inspired by Joe Ferrell's earlier guitar performance and broke a few guitar strings on his Fender Jaguar and Fender Telecaster. The Airborne Toxic Event are finishing up their debut album and I imagine they won't be unsigned for long as they mysteriously list Sub Pop in their top friends.

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