Discover The Morning Benders

All the way up to August 6-8, we will be featuring reviews and previews for artists playing Lollapalooza 2010. Not only that, we’ve enlisted Lolla-loving blogs, many which you guys picked out yourself, to help us out. Today’s feature on The Morning Benders comes from Enjoy! Spend a day or two out on the West Coast and you’ll pick up on the laid-back, worry-about-it-tomorrow attitude that persists throughout many of the various locales. Give Big Echo, the sophomore album from Berkeley, California’s The Morning Benders a spin or two and just as quickly you’ll pick up that airy West Coast vibe. Despite the relaxed atmosphere there’s nothing lazy about the group bringing their melodic and breezy brand of pop to Lollapalooza’s The Grove stage at noon on Saturday, Aug. 6. The quartet, led by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Christopher Chu, worked with Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor on Big Echo to capture a lush but warm sound that the group has transferred to their live show. In the studio or on stage there’s a cool confidence in what they do. “The grass is always greener – when we are in the studio, I get antsy, and all I want to do is go on tour,” said Chu, “When we are on tour for months at a time, all I want to do is get back in the studio and make something new. Can’t have one without the other.” At a recent performance at The Vic Theatre opening for Broken Bells in Chicago, Chu personalized the set by chatting with the audience between songs. He’ll try and do the same in front of the larger, outdoor festival crowd at Lollapalooza. “I always find a way to feel connected to the audience when I am performing,” said Chu. “And even if we can’t talk to people from the stage, we’ll go into the crowd after and talk to everyone. We do that at every show.” Chu’s ability to connect with the audience is aided by his charming and vulnerable lyrics that are laced with romantic imagery. There’s sincerity in his tone that’s bolstered by the focused rhythms of drummer Julian Harmon and bassist Timothy Or and the blissfully harmonic guitar of Joseph Ferrell. The Morning Benders have toured extensively in 2010, already having played in Chicago twice. But Chu and company are excited to be coming back for Lollapalooza. “Chicago is one of our favorite cities to play,” said Chu. “Festivals are a lot of fun for us though because we get to see a lot of our friends in bands. Due to our crazy schedules there are few times when all our band homies are in the same place at the same time. Who is Chu looking forward to catching at Lollaplooza this year? “I would love to see The Strokes, and Arcade Fire. I very rarely go to see big bands like these at shows, and a huge music festival seems like the ideal venue to see them in. Could be epic.” Written by Associate Editor Andrew Kahn. Photos by Craig Shimala.