Broken Bells kicked off their first tour with the opening of Humphrey's 2010 concert season. The show never reached any epic peaks, but if you've listened to their self-titled release, you didn't expect any major showboating, and if you've seen James Mercer perform before, you know that he delivers a straight-shooting show. The crowd wasn't limited to the indie rock set, which means there were plenty of people there just to enjoy a night out by the bay and spend gobs on adult libations.
Morning Benders opened the night with a set of material mostly off their latest release, Big Echo, and when they asked people to come to the front to dance, you could see Elite security losing their minds, attempting to let the crowd enjoy one song but promptly sending everyone back to their seats. This is the curse of a seated show; the crowd can't agree whether to sit or stand, and with the narrow chairs and cramped rows, there's not much wiggle room. I've seen Morning Benders about half a dozen times now, though always in small venues, so it was nice seeing them spread their wings a bit on a huge stage.
With just one album under their belts, Broken Bells performed just under an hour, including their two song encore, topping out at 12 songs including a cover of Crimson & Clover, which incidentally was the song that got the people in my section to all finally stand and the chatterboxes behind me to declare their love for the song only to then continue talking through it (and the whole set). If the music is playing, you have NO REASON to be flapping your lips. period. Shut the hell up during shows. Treat it like a movie. Or church. Or kindergarten.
Aside from that, I enjoyed the show. I especially appreciated how smoothly things went when I got my photo pass (Thanks, Nikki!). They accidentally gave me a VIP pass instead of Photo, but once we figured that out, it was smooth sailing and the Elite security were friendly to me as I asked the parameters, since there was no waiver or rule sheet to sign and no specific photo area. There were a handful of real photographers there (or at least people with professional cameras), but it was still fun attempting to shoot the stage that was taller than me with my Sony Cybershot.
If you wanna know more about the show, there's a great review of the show at SDNN. Last, I'd be remiss if I didn't thank Jeff for buying such awesome tickets (4th row!).
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