Broken Bells @ The Commodore

A few weeks ago, my radio station of choice CBC Radio 2, debuted a song by the newly formed Broken Bells. The first single off of their debut album, a catchy tune called “The High Road,” was the lead into a great album which I’ve been listening quite a bit lately.

A few short days after first hearing the song, I spotted a concert listing for the band’s tour which brought them to Vancouver last week.

We waited patiently in line at 8PM, finally making inside shortly after that only to wait around for 90 minutes before the opening band hit the stage. The Morning Benders, an outfit out of California, got a few people up and moving around but from the volume of the chatter from the crowd, I’d venture to say that they’re indie pop sounds weren’t working for everyone. I loved their opening track, an instrumental which had great depth, but didn’t care for their California sound. Special K noted that some of their tracks started well and then sort of fell apart and other didn’t star off so well and then got better. Overall, they were OK but nothing to write home about (though I’ve searched high and low for that opening track and have discovered one a second track I really dig off of their new album “Big Echo.”

After much tuning and my impatience at having to wait so bloody long for the band to get on with the show, Broken Bells took the stage and started a great set. They played everything off of their debut album and mixed in a couple of covers (most notably Joan Jett’s “Crimson and Clover” which had the crowd swaying as if Kumbaya was blaring from the speakers). The appreciative crowd seemed to know one or two songs but went nuts when “The High Road” came on.

Overall, they played everything they had and still only managed a set which ran a little over an hour. It would have been nice to hear more, even if it was just more covers, but I’ll take what I can get and though I was frustrated at how late the band went on stage, I thoroughly enjoyed their performance. I’d definitely see Broken Bells again – hopefully when they have more material to play.

And just a taste, here’s my favourite song from the album, a little track called "Mongrel Heart":


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