BEND SINISTER at the Biltmore Cabaret
Bend Sinister live up to the hype. Lead singer Dan Moxon plays the keyboard and whistles. With his long hair and skinny headband, he looks like the male version of Lights (all he needs is a keytar). They know when to rock and when to tone it down, keeping the perfect amount of variety in their set. Their live show is energetic and jam packed with good music.
Dan explains that this is their “first local show in about six months,” so it’s good to be home. Their third song is low-key with a story-telling sound tinged with reggae. Of course the chorus rocks, and now I know that this is something that I can expect from Bend Sinister. Their fourth song is Dan’s “ode to R&B.”
As most bands in the wonderful Peak Performance Project will do, Dan talked about the rewarding time they spent during band camp. “We’re in the Peak Performance Project. This is one of the challenges they gave us, we had to learn a great Canadian cover song to play in the showcase.” As soon as Dan starts the song on his keyboard, everyone laughs and claps; it’s “These Eyes” by The Guess Who. Although I’m pretty sure kirkofdoom and I were the only people singing along…
“Jimmy Brown” is probably one of their best songs, and it definitely sounds like the “These Eyes” era. It’s marvelous when a modern band can recreate a sound so well. I can’t help but wonder if it’s a cover, but I’m glad it’s not. It’s a song you could share with your parents and they’d actually like it. And that, in a twisted sense, is meant as a compliment.
“Because Because” is a haunting song of a similar sound, building a crescendo into their signature rock we’ve heard in their previous songs. Next is a song that begins with a smooth jazz sound that merges into rock. Bend Sinister has the best way of incorporating a keyboard into a rock band! But strangely enough, this is the song where the instrumental section inspires the guitar and bass players to perch on top of their monitors and kick over their drinks as they try not to fall on each other. To each his own, I guess. The instrumental section fades and builds amazingly well, as mic stands fall over and the guys strut across the stage while the play. There are an incredible number of bad smells in the audience right now, but I can’t complain about the show.
Their last few songs include one with a sweet but sad piano intro, with harmony that can woo any girl, and their big finale has rocking drums that really gets toes tapping. Alternating between heart-throb melodies and heart-racing rock, Bend Sinister is the fresh new sound we’ve been waiting for.
BEND SINISTER SET LIST
1. The News
2. Brothers of Human Kindness
3. The Same Things
4. Fly (…)
5. These Eyes (The Guess Who cover)
6. Jimmy Brown
7. Because Because
8. Thing Will Get Better
9. Dr. Lee
10. Time Breaks Down
11. Through the Broken City