Brendan Benson @ The MOD Club, Toronto (Photos and Review)
31-Aug-2009 11:30 pm
Contributed by: pete
Although Brendan Benson may more commonly be associated with Jack White and their band The Raconteurs, he has had a solo career since 1996, releasing four solo albums interspersed with his work with The Mood Elevator and The Raconteurs. His 2005 album, Alternative To Love, hit the charts in the U.K. and is the album that is responsible for making me a fan.
His current tour, which ends in L.A. on September 12th, is in support of the August 18th release, My Old Familiar Friend, a fact I learned at the concert itself. When it comes down to it, I was only there because of three songs that continue to be included in a few of of my playlists: Cold Hands (Warm Heart), Alternative To Love, and Biggest Fan. I assumed he would be playing lots of new material, but hoped he would throw in a variety of his older tunes, including those three.
When the set list got put out on stage, I took a look to see what we had coming up, and it included both Cold Hands (Warm Heart) just over 1/2 way through, and Alternative To Love as the closing song. The set list also contained a number of songs from the new album, as well as five songs from his 2002 album, Lapalco. As it turned out, though, the band didn't play to set list, and didn't include either of those two songs I was waiting to hear before leaving the stage. When they returned to stage for an encore, Benson announced that he had just been told that they had only performed for 45 minutes, which was shorter than they had intended, and so they proceeded to play a full second set as the encore. It was a bit odd the way they went about it, but in the end it all turned out great, so no real issue there.
The band is pretty easy-going in the way they play, which matches Benson's style of alternative pop-rock. The sound is always good at The MOD Club, and was mixed really well this night, so the songs really popped compared to their recorded counterparts. Their playing was solid, even if their organization was a little soft, and it turned out to be just the right kind of concert for a Monday night. Not overbearing, just good music played well. I'll pick up the new album soon, and based on what I heard, I once again expect to find a couple of songs that I really connect with, surrounded by songs that make decent occasional listening.
Info: Brendan Benson | Connect: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter
Media: Cold Hands (Warm Heart) (video)