Photos: Broken Bells, The Morning Benders @ Regency Ballroom, SF 5/21/10

© Justin Ward

Broken Bells have been a band that I’ve been plugging since I realized how sick their debut album is, and I was fortunate enough to grab one ticket from their publicity team for their sold-out show at the Regency Ballroom this past Friday night. The Morning Benders played the opening set and got the crowd nicely warmed up with their summer-sounding indie rock grooves. I really enjoyed what I saw from them and instantly became a fan of their songs and melodies. They’re on my playlist today as I got these photos uploaded.

But for the headliners, Broken Bells, this was a show that seemed to only feature a tip of the iceberg for what this band could be capable of. James Mercer has a voice and style so distinct that I never want to see it fade or disappear, and having a producer like Danger Mouse behind him will prove to be a project that could extend very far in the future. Whether or not we see this band for anything past their current tour — the band is in Portland tonight — this is music that is worth making, worth listening to, and worth seeing live by finding a ticket on Craigslist if it’s already sold out in your metro. Highlights for me included “Your Head is on Fire,” the cover of “Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James and the Shondells, and the false-start on “Citizen.” Such a mistake was really the only crack in a set veneer that sounded like they had lifted the music straight from their recording sessions to make their album, so I welcomed the idea that these guys weren’t as rehearsed as they actually sounded. All in all, it was an amazing show and I’d go see these bands live the next time they roll through town.

Read on for the photos.

Did you catch these guys on tour yet? Drop some comments.